Throughout the ages, people from all cultures and spiritual backgrounds have debated one thing above all others: what is the path to true happiness? While some found it through meditation, others found it through self-sacrifice; however, the debate rages on about which path is the one true path. Having experimented with various forms of spirituality and going as far as touching the infinite and building a connection with the universe, I found the answer: if whatever you are doing makes you happy and fills you with a thrill and a desire to live and share that life with those around you, than that is the path to happiness.
There can never be one and only one path to eternal happiness for everyone, for that would be a recipe for hell and chaos. And this is the biggest reason for wars and especially religious ones. Let’s assume that meditation is the only way to happiness, so everyone on earth let go of everything else and started meditating: humanity would perish within a month because there will be no one to make food, no one to clean gutters, no one to maintain infrastructure, and no one to take care of babies. The same thing applies to prayer and any other form of spiritual and ritualistic practice.
The same would also apply to non-ritualistic practice as well. If each one of us was to dedicate his life for the service of others, then there would be no one pursuing his own goals for others to lend a hand. And if there is no one taking an initiative, everyone would be just waiting for someone to help and serve, which would also just take the meaning out of it.
Based on the above, there is no one true and definite path to happiness. Instead, each person has his own path to it, and it’s usually not just one path, but a combination of many. But how do we define our path to happiness? It’s easy; you just have to answer three simple questions:
1- Am I happy doing this?
One of the main indicators of you finding your path is that doing it makes you happy, whether you succeed or fail. Happiness is in the challenge and the journey towards a goal whether you will reach it or not.
2- Does it benefit me and those around me without harming anyone?
In our world today, there are many forms of psychological illnesses that bring joy to one person by harming another, such as pedophilia and rape. However, after the deed is done, the perpetrator is usually filled with guilt and remorse. If what you enjoy harms another, then there can be no true happiness coming from it.
3- Do I want to share it with others?
Being the social creatures we are, part of our happiness is in finding others to share it with. If what brings you happiness is something you would want to share with others so that they can enjoy it as well, then that’s the road for you. However, always be careful not to make it your sole speciality to the extent that others avoid you because that is all you talk about.
If you are able to answer a resounding YES to all three questions, then that is your path to happiness, and that is what you should be focusing on in your life. However, that is not all: your path to happiness does not have to be just one. People change and evolve throughout their lifetimes, and its normal for interests to change and for new interests to emerge through life. Therefore, it is very normal for your path to happiness to change as you grow and as you discover more things in life.
Originally posted on March 27, 2020 @ 4:01 pm
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