Christmas is just around the corner! I hope you all had a wonderful year, even through the ups and downs. The past two years have been a special chapter of my life. Life in Sydney had its challenging times, but most of all it made me learn, grow and change in a positive way. As I carry my life in suitcases, it makes me open my eyes to how little we need. This year has been a year of appreciating the time spent with loved ones and shopping less. Moving around in the last few years have made me far less attached to materials. It’s made me focus on the things I truly value.
Making health our number one priority reminds us how much we should be grateful and happy for it. This includes our physical, mental and emotional well being. Think of the moments you were lying in bed with a cold, and how terrible it felt. The time you felt depressed and didn’t have any motivation in your life. It reminds us how good health can give us the simple happiness in life. Happiness comes from the relationships we have. Our family and friends, the ones we love and sharing experiences and making memories with one another. That’s long term happiness.
Being happy means not having any stress or worries. No matter how tough life gets, worrying and stressing never helps. It makes us forget how much we have to be grateful for and what really matters in the world. It makes us focus on our own problems through a magnifying glass and forget to look at it from a birds eye view. The words that have been said to me the most in the last few weeks is “Don’t put too much pressure on yourself”. The problems we often perceive, are often far smaller than we think. We’re all capable of great things.
We can find enjoyment and meaning in the small things from being surrounded by nature, appreciating the time on our hands and using our creativity and strengths. The true happiness in our lives doesn’t come from things and they don’t even come from other people. It ultimately comes from within. Never rely on someone else for your happiness. In any good or bad situation, it’s our choice in how we react to it. Happiness is not something we can buy. Materials are temporary and do not give us long term happiness. Our material possessions do not make us better people.
The material possessions we said we needed, are often disposed of at the end of the year or after a few years. Whereas the family and close friends we have are for a life time. True happiness comes from having a purpose in our lives. It’s doing something that makes us feel we are making a difference. Happiness means you have been through the tough times, you don’t do things solely for money and you’re content with yourself. As I am currently in the process of disposing and recycling many things before moving, it makes me focus on the important things in life. Quality of life will always be far more valuable then the quantity of things we have.
One of the biggest mistakes we can make as people is to compare ourselves to others. Our self worth should never ever be determined by what others have. Many people feel a lack of something, because others have it. But that’s just the thing, those are all materials. Having a close friend or people you love is the greatest treasure of all. It’s something that’s felt. At the end of the day, money is important. We need it to survive. But it shouldn’t be the focus nor should it be the key to our happiness. Otherwise we become blinded.
Imagine a child that was raised in a poor background. They grew up to be a happy and successful person. The child had parents that were extremely loving and took the child out to the beach, park and walked them to school. The child was never hungry and didn’t focus on how their house was smaller or that they had an older car that broke down from time to time. When they grow up, they look back and don’t remember the materialistic and visual aspects, nor do they think about the things that they wish they had, but they remember how they felt happy, loved and cared for.
“Our capacity to draw happiness from aesthetic objects or material goods in fact seems critically dependent on our first satisfying a more important range of emotional or psychological needs, among them the need for understanding, for love, expression and respect.” – Alain De Botton
“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” Denis Waitley
“Happiness is not having what you want. It is appreciating what you have.” Unknown