Happiness: You Must Be Effin’ Jokin’!
Happiness is definitely not overrated nor should it be underestimated. So, how come so many never really understand it or achieve it? Exactly what does it mean to be happy? Some think that tons of material things, money, power and fame will make them happy. Others know that good health is vital but that could change at any time. What about being able to go on a shopping spree whenever you want? But, what happens when the money or credit limit peters out?
Think about being in the middle of a circle directly in the center. Sit down and look around you. What do you see on the outer rim of the circle? Just the circle and you! Are you happy just being you? Do you need more? Happiness, author Derek O’Neill states on page four in its true form is a clear and present state of being, and a genuine sense of recognition of what is important in life. So, what is important in life?
In order to be truly happy and to see more than just that outer rim when you look around you in that circle you need to reprogram your desires and let go of self-criticism. Let’s take it down to the basics and understand that people, that would be you and me and the rest of the world’s population, only need one nourishing meal a day and water to stay alive. If you really think about it food, water and of course shelter. What more do you really need? Let’s say outside the perimeter of this circle that you are sitting in the middle of you see luxury cars, huge private planes, jewelry, a mansion and definitely some high end apparel, would that make you happy? Would that bring a permanent smile on your face? What about if you and everyone else realized that clutter in your life does not equal happiness? Think long and hard: What do you really want? Think before you answer this question!
Let’s use another example: Take one of those scales that you can balance things on both sides. Consider it like a pendulum. At one end or on one side of the scale are unhappiness and the other side happiness. Would it balance all the time? Simple example or definition: “Pleasure is the space between two pains, and pain is the space between two pleasures.”
So, if one of these knocked on your door which would you invite in: pain or pleasure? Understanding that the pendulum or the scale’s balance does not remain the same and that happiness always follows unhappiness you won’t get stuck and neither will the pendulum on despair and sadness. The rest of this chapter highlights more about how to deal with unhappiness, one of the best remedies for unhappiness and how and why helping others is a great solution.
Molly has tons of money and you want what she has too. Tina is thin and you are overweight. You hate the way you look. Ted is a millionaire who lives in his huge mansion alone with his servants. Is he really happy? The author states: Money is simply energy or just a piece of paper. Do you judge yourself or impose judgments based on material wealth? Do you equate happiness with success; money and things that are truly just things and will never smile at you, give you a hug or really be there when things get tough? What happens when these things disappear and you lose your edge or your wealth because of bad or poor investments, over extending your credit or just spending too much? Read the rest of this chapter and find why wishing your life were different and comparing yourself to others is not seeking happiness but your EGO taking over and at work.
Desires: A Fast Track to Misery: Read pages 16- 18 to understand why. Like I have said before some mysteries you need to find out for yourself. Happiness and the Mind: What does that mean? Do you get up in the morning and hate the way you look? Is that your first thought for the day? Negative thoughts bring more negative thoughts. The first thought you have in the morning will most likely determine or decide the rest of the thoughts to follow. Your first thought will determine the weight of your positive thoughts for the rest of the day. Think Positive! When was the last time you woke up and realized how lucky you are to just be alive? What do you do when a negative thought comes up? How do you turn it around and make it positive? Pages 20-21 hold the answers plus the author includes in the next chapter: The Buddhist Teachings and let’s readers in on whether Buddha was really happy?
What is the difference between pleasure and long –term happiness? One kind of happiness is pleasure, which makes us happy? But, pleasure comes too easily! So, what leads to long-term happiness> How do we achieve it? “There is a kind of happiness that is best reflected in the kind of pleasure and savoring those elements that give us enjoyment in our daily life, but, what are the drawback? A second kind of happiness is when you experience the “feeling of getting lost in an experience, where we feel one with something, absorbed in the flow.” This is explained in paragraph 2 on page 26. Finally, the author defines what you and everyone hope to finally achieve: Long-term happiness. Just how you can attain that I won’t ruin it for you by telling you. You need to read pages 27-30.
The Path to Lasting Happiness: “ experiencing all of life’s emotions-from sorrow to suffering, to bliss and contentment is the path to true happiness. The rest and what that means, why desires will hinder you and what happens when we experience loss, death, a catastrophe, allow you to test your belief in the cycle of happiness and unhappiness. The rest I will happily let you find out for yourself. Long-term happiness: find out how you too can attain it: read page 32 and you just might be enlightened.
From the author of Anger: I Don’t Give A Shite: comes this resource on happiness and understanding that if you want to look outside the circle that you are sitting in, look past the material, the superficial and understand the difference between fleeting pleasures and long-term joy. You can do it! Love who you are! This is a great resource for both adults and young adults to learn the true meaning of the word Happiness.
Fran Lewis: Reviewer