For years I have been thinking about the questions “What makes me happy”. Coming from a depression with suicidal thoughts, this was not an easy question to answer. But I feel like I developed a good model that helps me a lot.
I thought that I write it down here. Maybe it helps someone else too.
- How can a monk possess only 7 things an no money and still be happy while someone who earns millions isn’t?
–> Happiness can’t be directly linked to how much you earn.
- How can some people love to go to work while others can’t get themselves to get up in the mornings?
–> Work can’t be something generely bad
My concept of Four States:
My concept is based on the assumption that I have a mind which resides in a body. This body is living in an accommodation which is again surrounded by a social network of people.
To be truly happy, all these four parts need to be cared after. Neglect one and you will feel fear, pressure, bored, lonely, and so on
Helping each other gives us a sense of reason and shows that we belong here.
This part includes for example looking after your friends. I made a calendar where I wrote down all birthdays of my friends. Additionally I added things like “person x has a job interview on day x” to remember that I could ask him how it went.
This part also includes being friendly to all people you meet. Give them a smile and they will have a better day.
Also, imaging one thing. If you eat a piece of bread, how many people get up every morning so that you can eat that piece of bread? Probably thousands. Bread needs clean water, flour, yeast. All these things needs to be produced in buildings which need cleaning and so on.
We are an interconnected society where everyone is important.
We need to live somewhere. A more fancy house doesn’t lead to more happiness. But an accommodation which suites you definitely does. A small apartment with few things but of good quality is more important than a huge house full of stuff you never use. Also, cleanliness helps to feel good and in peace.
Develop a nice place where your body likes to be in.
Looking after our body allows us to feel good. For a long time, my morning routine was:
Getting up 5min before the train departs, taking the first pants and shirt I see, take something with me for breakfast and rush out. Like that, you will feel horrible the whole day.
Now my morning routine involves making the bed, letting in fresh air (both improve my accommodation), cleaning my face, eating something in no hurry, brushing my teeth, and put on some nice and fresh cloths (looking after my body). Yes, I need way more time but I feel great if I do that because I look after my body. Imaging the body as basically the house for your mind. If your boy is dirty, your mind will not feel happy to live in it.
This is the most difficult one and takes lots and lots of time.
My goal here is to live free of prejudice, behaving according to my natural and not how I feel I should because of others, feeding my mind with the right amount of challenges (that’s why I love to go to work, and listening to my feelings.
For that I read lots of good books, I mediate, and give myself time to listen to how I feel.
For a long time I was wondering, if this was my last day, what would I do. The answer now is: exactly the same thing. I would get up, I would clean my bed, I would clean my body, I would go to work, look after my mind and check in with my friends, because that is exactly what makes me truly happy.
Hope this helps you too