How to be Happy When Life Hits You Badly

Happiness is such a vague word.

When I was in college my friend calmly told me that his life sucks.

A few months ago his father was diagnosed with cancer. He and his mother spent all their money in hopes of keep him alive. But the cancer was too severe and his father died.

His job application was refused in a couple of places. He was desperately looking for a job. Now, he works in a call center – a job he doesn’t like but he needs money.

lifehappensI remember him smiling, confident and happy. He believed that his lifestyle was the result of keeping positive thoughts in his head. He didn’t bother working, because his father was supporting he and his mother financially.

Today, I can’t remember the last time I saw him smiling.

And I wonder.

Is happiness dependent on life circumstances?

The real world

I have a dream that one day we’ll live in a world where happiness won’t be affected by the challenges of life, but by the type of our actions.

Until than we live in a world where different life circumstances affect our lifestyle and we have to adapt to these changes.

Imagine yourself in these 5 life circumstances:

1. You have an unbearable boss

You like your job, but you hate going to work. Your boss shouts and puts pressure on you. He is not well organized and makes you guilty for all his failures.

2. Going through divorce

Breaking up with your life partner isn’t easy. After living together for a while it’s difficult to share the good memories. It’s even harder when you have to share the property and kids.

3. Living in a bad neighborhood

You live in a city with a high crime rate. Every time when you go out of the house you are at risk to be mugged or become a victim of a crime. You are terrified to use the subway because of an overwhelming tide of junkies.

4. A parent’s death in your childhood

It’s a shocking tragedy when a parent dies and you’re still very young. You immediately mature and you take responsibility for your younger brother or sister.

5. Working at a job you don’t like

Finding a job you’ll love is difficult. In my case it took me about 6 months of looking for a better job opportunity. Until then, you have to go to your job and do it like you love it. Otherwise you can be fired.

I believe it’s difficult to be a positive thinker when you’re going through one of the above circumstances.

Who said that life is easy?

In many cases it’s not. You have to endure things you don’t like, go through challenges and obstacles. This road may either break you or make you stronger.

If you manage to keep calm, be confident and think positive in these circumstances, then you are on the right track to your happiness.

You’ll understand that happiness is not how much you have, but how much you enjoy.

Don’t confuse happiness with pleasure

You may perceive happiness as the amount of things that bring you pleasure.

You think if you could gather everything, you’ll be happier. If you miss something, your happiness collapses.

Wrong.

It’ll only make you tired.

It’s like a beautiful chocolate cake. First serving is delicious, second one not so much and third one you’ll feel disgusted.

You fail to understand that the outer world is limited. In the pursuit of happiness you need to look inside of you.

Finding happiness

Your dreams should correspond to the life you live today. Find things you can easily enjoy.

You should always try to change your circumstances to better ones. It doesn’t mean if you’re in bad life circumstances you can’t enjoy beautiful moments that’ll fulfill your heart with happiness. On your journey to happiness follow these basic principles.

  • Be an example to follow: Tell me who are your friends and I’ll tell who you are. You’re the average of 10 people you spend most time with. It’s never too late to set goals and dream big. You have to live with a vision of yourself first, and don’t ever compare yourself to anyone else.
  • Focus on things that matter: Our world is full of interesting things and we often have the desire to try as many of them as possible. Some of them will make you busy and will make you unhappy. Focus on things you enjoy that truly matter to your heart.
  • Choose to help others: Help people when they need it. Be compassionate about someone who is in a worse position than yours. If someone is sad, make them smile by telling them a compliment.

There is always a way to be happy

Happiness is something that comes from within. It’s a deep sense of serenity and fulfillment.

Happiness needs to be supported by acts of generosity. When you save a child or make someone happy and you don’t ask for recognition.

Just doing that, you feel a deep sense of adequacy with deep nature, and you would like to be like that all the time.

Instead of living with anger, depression and stress try to keep serenity, inner strength, confidence and freedom.

Find the power to move forward.

It’s worth it.

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About Ion Doaga

Author bio: Ion Doaga is the owner of Massage Dreams. On his blog he writes about cupping therapy, one of the essential elements of alternative therapies.

Comments

  1. This is a very interesting and timely article for me.

    Just last week I watched a TV interview with an Australian social researcher Hugh Mackay.(www.hughmackay.net.au/) The commentary was essentially based on the parental comment ‘I just want my children to be happy.’
    Without going into a great explanation here his conclusion was that it was an inherently poor premise on which to raise children. It was unrealistic to expect life to just be ‘happy.’ There were many other factors and emotions to experience. If they were not exposed to them they would not grow into a rounded person able to properly cope with life.

    I think your article here is in much the same vein – thanks

    • That’s exactley the message I wanted to reach.

      Behind the big love we have for our close friends and relatives

      It’s painful to look at those who you love facing challenges. You would rather do it for them and make everybody happy. But they don’t learn the lesson.

      One day you may not be around to help them, and rather than doing it alone he will look for help from someone else.

      Example:
      If you want to eat fish, I can give you 100$ to buy it (you get want, but you don’t learn anything), or I can give you a fishing rod and you can catch fish whenever you want (you don’t get what you want, but you are given a solution to learn a new experience).

      When you can do something without having to depend on other factors, that makes you happy.

      Thanks for your great comment!

  2. Beverly Sills was a great opera singer who experienced a lot of tragedy in her life. When asked how she remained so happy in the midst of the chaos, she replied: “I’m not happy, but I’m cheerful. There’s a big difference.”

    Well put, I think.

    Nice reminder to keep your chin up no matter what the circumstances are.

    Melissa Curran
    Author of Find Your Paradigm: The Art of Living With Grace and Ease

    • Melissa, that’s a great example to follow. And the great thing is that the tragedy in Beverly’s life didn’t stop her of becoming a great opera singer. Now, that’s worth our attention.

      I like people and examples like this. They are a great reminder for me that I’m not alone when I feel like giving up.

  3. Happiness is something you are naturally. You can let the heartaches and heartbreaks of life stand in your way, or you can decide to focus on the positive in life. As the old saying goes: “It’s not what happens to you, but how you respond to it that matters.” I prefer to keep my mind focused on the good things, and the opportunities in life because then I am able to break through my fears and create the life I want to live.

    • “It’s not what happens to you, but how you respond to it that matters.” – This is a great quote!

      It’s great to hear that you can look at your challenges in life from a positive perspective.

  4. I believe that happiness is a passing emotion like all the other ones. I think contentment is something that is found deep within and can be fostered regardless of situation, but happiness is like any other emotion it passes. Sometimes you will be sad, sometimes you will be happy, and sometimes you’ll be angry. They are all okay. It is how you act that matters. In the end it is about creating a life worth living rather than just trying to be happy all the time.

    Just my opinion. Thanks for the post.

    • I agree with you Sebastian. I also think that happiness is not meant to be present in every minute of our life. It comes and goes. It’s definitely a changing emotion. If we could learn not to be affected by this migrating character of this emotion (going to the extremes of happiness and sadness), we could make well thought decisions based on our values rather than emotions.

  5. It’s true that happiness begins from within. But we are creatures of the physical world, and so our interactions with this world will always make an impact on our thoughts and feelings.

    Fortunately, we’re not powerless here. We shape who we are and how we interact with the world. It’s our choice. And so we gain an even greater measure of influence over our own level of happiness.

    Change from within, and you’ll find that changes everything on the outside as well.

    Cheers!

    Cheers!

    • What I point in your comment is that there is always a way out. Sometimes life is harder, sometimes easier, but don’t stop looking for that door to happiness.

  6. Hi
    Liked your take on happiness.There is something i would like to present differently about what you brought out.I personally think your association with people tells very little about your personality or your happiness traits.Whether you spend time with 10 or 1000 people it doesn’t necessarily say very much about your proclivities.If you are strong about your convictions yourself you can definitely spend time with a vast variety of folks without them impinging on your identity.
    On the other hand i completely agree with you about being selfless in spreading happiness.Also it’s agreat insight you have brought out about happiness and pleasure.
    Thanks
    Mon

    • You are right. Spending time with 10 or 1000 people don’t say much about your personality, but it may indicate who you want to be.

      If you want to be a positive person, spend more time with positive people. If you want to be rich, you have to think, act and behave like the rich. You can’t learn to be rich from somebody who is watching television all day.

      Find like minded people who inspire you learn from them. It doesn’t mean you have to copy/paste everything they do. Watch them, analyze and apply it in your life in a way that will correspond to your values and beliefs.

  7. I had an unbearable job. For some time, it did get me down. But then one day I had the realization why am I letting this job have control over my life? It wasn’t easy, but over time, I began letting my job control my live, feelings and moods both while at work and outside of work. When something bad would happen, which was pretty much all of the time, I just found the positive in the situation and laughed to myself. It got me through the days until I found a better job.

    • I’m curious about what was your realization …

      Laughing at yourself is a way of handling problems and in your case it was a happy end. You found a better job.

      If you can’t handle a situation it’s smarter to take a different angle. Then, what seemed to be a big problem, from another angle it does not seem that big anymore.

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