Tag Archive - Happiness

Why don’t we do what’s good for us!?

I always knew that reading a good book is good for me. I knew it from real experience. Yet sometimes I waste a month, or more, without opening a book. A few days ago I picked a book from my library, mostly unread, and started reading it. I was delighted as I went from page to page. I was inspired. Good words have a sort of spiritual, clean energy that goes right to where our higher self resides. They speak to the best in us. Every human has the possibility of moving between lower and higher levels of being, between the best and the worst of one’s self:

“And by the soul and how He formed it, and inspired it its own rebellious evil and its piety! The one who purifies his soul succeeds, and the one who corrupts it fails”
Quran 91:7-10

Even though I knew it, there comes long periods of time where I don’t attempt to do myself good by reading a valuable book. But when I do get myself to do it, I just wonder: why in the world did I waste all this time without reading anything! Why did I waste all this time (or all this life! time being life, and not money!), not doing what’s good for me! At times we can’t help but re-confirming that we are our own worst enemies!

The best promise I can make to myself is this: I will always have a book to read. There are too many great books for one life-time anyway, and we are even wasting much of this one life??!! How insane that is!

However a good book is not worthy just because it’s good in itself. Books are ideas conserved and communicated in words. And ideas change people, then people change the world!

We’re indeed here only to change the world and make it, along with our own selves, better. And again, there are too many things in the world to change and reform for one life-time anyway, and we’re wasting this one life not even thinking of ways to reform it!

The least we can do for those who are suffering the unbelievable cruelty and injustice of some people is to care and think. Yes, think. Of what’s happening, how it happened, and how to change it. Thoughts are energy. Didn’t you hear that you should be careful what you think, because it might just come true!

Expression vs. Depression

I once heard Dr Wayne Dyer say a very interesting definition of depression. The beautiful thing about this definition is that it reveals both the cause of depression and the possible cure for it. He simply put it this way: depression is the opposite of expression.

Expression here refers to expressing one’s self. Expression has various forms and tools. We express ourselves in words and in actions. Expression requires a clear understanding of ourselves, and a course of actions and a life style based on that understanding.

I know first hand, for one example, how depressing it is to do work that’s not expressive of who we are, our natural talents and our interests. Many people find themselves in this situation, mainly because sustaining life requires things that only money can buy, ranging from the very basic (food, shelter) to the less basic (paying your bills!).

Expression requires freedom. Financial freedom and freedom from other obstacles to expressing ourselves. That’s why we can also say that lack of freedom surely leads to depression. We don’t like feeling forced to do anything. If we feel unfree in too many areas of our life, we will inevitably be depressed.

A worthy pursuit is therefore to free ourselves, to try and create ways for us to do things we really believe in. When looking for a job, income shouldn’t be where we look first, but more important is how expressive the job is of our interests.

We also need to simplify our life, to lessen the clutter and the things that we don’t really need, which will free space, time and resources for the things that really express who we are. We’re not this extra shirt, this new car, that new piece of furniture that we want to add to our superficial experience of life. Those things can only limit our freedom, add financial burdens that won’t help liberate us or allow us to connect to our true purpose.

The Prophet Muhammad once said something that goes like this: everyone will find it easy to do what he was created for. We find resistance when we do things we don’t like. This resistance is the same depression that’s opposite of expression. When we do things we like, they happen easily. Time goes by light , and we have delight! It’s an indication that this is what we were “created for”. It’s in harmony with our purpose.

This is the path to happiness: make it a priority in choosing your life to express yourself, to do what you like and what interests you, what feels so easy that you’ll know it’s something you were created to do!

Does self-help literature really help?

Self-help books easily make it to the top sellers’ lists. Self-help gurus are millionaires. Readers, including myself, jump from one best-selling self-help book to the other, from one form of self-improvement content to the other. We read it, we listen to it when driving, and we love watching the masters on TV. But after all that, did we really get the help we need? Did this great book change our life? Did that breakthrough program move us from under-achievers to super-achievers?

I once was having a conversation with a friend of mine, a fan of self-improvement books himself. I said but you know what, self-help books do have a problem. They bring us a great deal of pleasure while reading them. Then that’s it. The pleasure stops there, at the reading. Then in order to have this pleasure again, we pick a new book. While we read those brilliant ideas, we already get a psychological fulfillment. We get excited, imagining ourselves doing all what the book is suggesting. Then when the reading ends, and the excitement fades, we still don’t have the will to change. Doing those things didn’t look as exciting as it did during the reading. The theory was more compelling as a theory than it was in action.

Does that mean I am against reading and listening to those beautiful things? No. Repetition is good on the long term. If we keep reading and listening to this type of ideas every day, we will at least benefit from it by improving our mood and having some moments of hope. But in order to have this benefit, we need not to have gaps. We need not to listen to one audio book, get excited, then stop for a month. Because this gap will then create something worse. We will feel incapable and weak. Guilt will be born, subtle but persistent. The undone promising ideas will torture us, will leave us depressed because we failed to do what we ought to do.

We need to come up with a consistent method to make use of what we read. Because if we don’t, it could work against us, instead of working for us.

Bird in College!

I was sitting in Cornell University, Ithaca, when this bird came and stood there, looking at the horizon! Luckily, I had my camera, so I could make this moment eternal!

Birds have other ways to learn than go to college. Granted, they can visit and fly around, but they have no need for classes and textbooks, like we humans do. They come with all their knowledge already programmed into them, and most important of all, they seem to be happy! It’s not because they can fly as we might think, we humans already make planes and we can somewhat fly, but this didn’t change much in the quality of out “inner” existence. Birds are happy because they are natural, or spontaneous. They live in harmony with their nature, and with Nature itself. We humans have a greater task; it’s a quest for our true nature, and another quest for living in harmony with, or connected to it!

Page 6 of 6« First...«23456