Rules are important. You may feel as if they restrain your every decision. However, you should view them as guidelines towards a Utopian future. We need to follow some rules for everyone to have a chance at happiness. Keep in mind that this is my life’s philosophy and may not be as objective as I would hope! I am no Gandhi and do not pretend to be. Nevertheless, my goal is still to spread happiness across our world.
Rule #1 Consider the past, present and future.
People often say forget the past and don’t think of the future; Live in the present. As good as that saying may sound, it lacks a bit of depth! I agree that we should maybe stop worrying about our past. Yet, we should not forget it. We need to learn from our past mistakes to better ourselves, to never make the same errors. We need to experience things to know what we enjoy and what we dislike. We’ve all been sad… and, yes, it sucks… but we need sadness nonetheless. Without it, happiness would become boring, it would become normality. However, sad moments only need to be lived once. Do not let your past haunt you. If you recall a desolate moment, use it to your advantage. Remember the mistakes you’ve made and promise yourself that you will never make them again. Move forward; never backwards.
Other people may spend an excessive amount of time fretting about the future and all its mystery. Anxiety affects us all. What if I fail the test? What if they laugh at my presentation? What if I can’t succeed? What if… You should not worry about the future. I know it might seem impossible for some. Do not waste your time on uncontrollable outcomes. Do not stress about possible outcomes. When you project yourself in a possible future, simply think of what would make you happier; what you should reach for. Think of everything you have to do to achieve that happiness. Do not let things that have not yet come to pass negatively affect you. Negative emotions should only be lived in the present. They should only be lived once for every instance they occur.
Rule #2 Risk versus Reward
We all want everything right away! We want immediate happiness without considering subsequent consequences! Damn millennials right? We’ve been spoiled by technology and all it offers. Swift happiness and satisfaction is easy enough to find. Hell, we all have our guilty pleasures in life. Watching television, playing video games, eating, jogging… they can all help us feel better, but will these activities negatively impact our lives in the near future? If I eat this entire bag of chips, will my happiness outweigh the guilt that I will suffer through later on? If I spend the night playing video games or watching television and postpone all my other tasks, will I be penalized in any way?
Everyone’s happiness is singular and unique. You must evaluate the consequences of your choices before going through with them. The more you can consider the risk a reward may entail, the better your life will be. As you master this skill, you will find that happiness will be easier to find. Remorse and anxiety will become rarities.
Rule #3 Others
Many people may forget this rule, yet I suspect it is the most important. Humanity has always prospered as we came together and formed different societies. We strive for human contact. We thrive in groups and slowly decay when subjected to loneliness. This implies that your actions will probably affect the lives of others! We are all connected in some way. However, your happiness should never negatively affect others. Again, think about your actions and their consequences before moving forward. Example: Boasting about a promotion may make you feel good, but, if you keep bragging, people may get annoyed or they may even feel sad whilst considering their own meager accomplishments.
There is no finite amount of happiness. It is not first come, first served. Happiness is not taken from others, it is shared. Lets all think of others as we gather it!
*** These rules may seem ambiguous for now but they will become clearer as this series continues***