Formula of Happiness
Now, if you assume that you will be happy right after reading this article, let me assure you that there is no such a miraculous formula for happiness. You are welcome to stop reading right away, if you want.
Alternatively, you can keep reading and at least get an idea of how happiness can be achieved
So, let’s get back to our topic, to be happy.
Let’s start with the example of washing the dishes, which is one of the “most hated” household chores both for men and for women alike. You have to wash the dishes. You have two options:
1- Washing the dishes, by hating every moment while you are washing them. Meaning that 15minutes of time from your life is gone without a shred of happiness.
2- Turning around the time you wash the dishes into an enjoyable activity, thus adding the minutes you use for washing the dishes happy minutes.
(If you think that “I will find someone to wash the dishes”, stop thinking like this. In this scenario, you do not have that option. Think that way.)
Now I can hear you saying. “What is the connection?”, “How do we turn it into an enjoyable activity?”
We actually decide how each activity we do, affects us. Because we decide if we are doing something enjoyable or boring, not the aliens*, in our subconscious of course. Why would that dishwashing be a goddamn job when we turn it into something we can really enjoy? In addition, if we can do nothing else, and if those dishes are to be washed, would it not be our choice to spend the time to wash the dishes either as an enjoyable or a terrible one? At the end of the day, they will be washed. Sooner or later. There is no alternative.
When I was a kid, especially in elementary school, the thing I hates most was writing. I had a terrible handwriting. Our teacher would try to help me make it better. My dad used to make me write during the whole summer months, one page a day. Still, my handwriting wouldn’t improve. Because I did not want it to improve. You can read the details in my post about starting to write (there is an article about it, Turkish version is on though). However, the person, who hated writing back then is the one writing now. Not only on the computer, but also by hand. And he enjoys it tremendously.
Let’s talk about another example: We go to work in the morning. One of us is saying “May it be evening and we go home”. In other words, this person wants 7-8 hours to disappear from our lives. Do you not think that this is a very troublesome way of thinking?
If I were to ask the question: “Are you happy with your job?”. Some would say no. However, most of those people prefer to continue in the same work place, rather than trying to find a job, where they may be happier. Or they do not even give it a try to make their job a more enjoyable and happier one.
Is it that hard to find a new job? I do not think so. The method is important. There is no obstacle for you to look for a new job while you are currently working. And if you set it up right, you can leave one today and start at another company the next day.
How will your new job be? Will it be better? You never know, but I don’t think it will be any different than the current one. Simply because we are the same person, starting a new job. I’ll explain myself further in a moment:
Let me tell you about a poem I love. A poem from C. P. Cavafy or as the Greeks know him, Konstantin Kavafis, the greatest poet of the Greeks. The poem is called ‘The City’. Here is the poem:
You said: “I’ll go to another country, go to another shore,
find another city better than this one.
Whatever I try to do is fated to turn out wrong
and my heart lies buried like something dead.
How long can I let my mind moulder in this place?
Wherever I turn, wherever I look,
I see the black ruins of my life, here,
where I’ve spent so many years, wasted them, destroyed them totally.”
You won’t find a new country, won’t find another shore.
This city will always pursue you.
You’ll walk the same streets, grow old
in the same neighbourhoods, turn grey in these same houses.
You’ll always end up in this city. Don’t hope for things elsewhere:
there’s no ship for you, there’s no road.
Now that you’ve wasted your life here, in this small corner,
you’ve destroyed it everywhere in the world.
A must read.
I read it, from time to time.
Where were we? Ah, yes. We were talking about a new job. Generally, change is good. There is a Turkish proverb: “Tebdili mekanda ferahlık vardır”, which roughly translates to “There is spaciousness, when one changes the space”. Changes bring new challenges with them. Also, as the poet said in the poem, relocation, change of the city, change of the company etc. is actually never the solution. The important thing is to change ourselves. If we can change ourselves, our point of view, almost every place that we work can and will be good for us. If we continue to be the same, no matter how good a new workplace or how beautiful the work environment be, trouble will keep following us. We are trying to change the world; we are making a dreadful effort to do it. We are thinking about how this change will be put in place for day and night… All in vain and unnecessary. It’s like trying to erect a building without a foundation. We, each of us, are the base, the foundation. We have to change the base, the foundations first. Not the outside, not what we cannot change, not the superstructure.
Think about it for just a second! We are trying to change the thoughts of others while we are so incapable of even changing our thoughts, way of thinking, behaviours. What a mistake!
As I just said above, changing our perspective is the first step. All other changes will follow.
For example, is it possible for someone who is not happy yet, to make someone else happy? Even if s/he does, how long can this person continue with this happiness lie? I tell happiness lie, because it is nothing but a lie, trying to make someone else happy while one is clearly not happy oneself.
Let’s not call it a lie. Let’s say it’s too temporary, too fragile. When the person is not happy or is not with you, your happiness goes away and disappears with the disappearance of that very person. You will feel miserable. In other words, your happiness rests on thin ice and is dependent of another source.
Therefore, seeking happiness in faraway places, in others, in loved ones is not a logical and correct way. Happiness is not something that is lost, while we all are looking constantly for it. Trying to find it.
There was a story, they tried to hide the happiness. While considering different and far away places, they decided to put it in ourselves, since it would be the last place for us to look. What we do is to spend our lives trying to find happiness, while it just rests in ourselves from the beginning. There is no need to go that far. We just need to focus on ourselves, our inner self. We are the main focus point.
Let’s tamper with another area. For example, the time you spend alone. How are you feeling? Are you bored? While the world is constantly changing from one quarantine practice to another due to the pandemic. You can actually try to apply your own quarantine by being alone. Try to be alone for a few minutes, not hours, but days. Stay with yourself. This may be a period where you will discover your very different sides. Then make it longer and longer. I think it will help greatly. For example, I am currently in my second 14-day quarantine. Of course, I get bored from time to time, but I mostly enjoy the time I am indoors, alone, with myself. It is very enjoyable. I don’t understand how the day ends and it becomes evening, most of the time. So, I enjoy my own existence, my own self. It’s a nice feeling.
Let’s go and seek and find happiness together, inside ourselves, and in a baby’s eyes.
*Aliens here is a metaphor. I use it often.