Living not just existing
At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want. ~ Lao Tzu
We focus here at the Ministry of Happiness on how to live a happier life. Recently, while talking with a friend we started talking about a person we know who lives a less than wonderful life. The crux of it seems to be that this person is no longer living, they are just existing. As far as I understand life it is a one-way, one-time trip and from my perspective that means we should get everything we can out of this experience.
I get why this doesn’t happen for so many people, thinking about the nature of life and death can be terrifying. We get distracted with the day-to-day necessities of life, work, family, bills, and groceries. It’s easy to focus on this day-to-day until years have passed by. We constantly realize again and again that we haven’t talked to old friends for years, that our dreams haven’t been realized and that our bucket lists aren’t getting any shorter.
THIS DOES NOT HAVE TO HAPPEN! It is our choice my friends, our task and responsibility, our duty to ourselves to sit down and right this wrong. It is one of the most important ways in which we can make ourselves happy, a responsibility we owe to ourselves. This is one of the best ways to make ourselves happy, and if we are happy then those around us are happy as well. So give it a shot my friends, give someone a call, check off a bucket list item or make plans to do so. Go full on cliché and actually stop and go smell some roses, live my friends and make it a happy day ~ Rev Kane
Happiness: Deciding that it matters
I prefer to be a dreamer among the humblest, with visions to be realized, than
lord among those without dreams and desires. ~ Kahlil Gibran
So last week was truly a terrible week, I received some news that shook my world up more than a bit. Of course everything is a pebble and when it hits the water, everything ripples and so I watched this news, my reaction to this news and all of the ripples that caused throughout the week, throughout my life.
Bad news leads to pain and disappointment and very often unfortunately the pain and disappointment come from unexpected directions. Not from the pebble, but from the ripples. So although the pebble was a shock it was the ripples that caught me and tossed me about.
The decision that I had to make was how to react, the same decision you and I have to make every day in every situation. I chose not to fold up, break down or get angry, I chose to focus on the positive aspects of my life to the best of my ability. I’d love to tell you my friends that I have transcended to a level in my life where I glided through the week with a positive attitude but I’m not quite there yet. I had some good days and some bad days, I didn’t sleep worth shit, but overall I think I did pretty well. What this illustrates is that no matter how the world hits us, and the only thing I can assure you is that the world will hit you, that it is our choice whether we let it grind us down or not. We decide, we consciously choose whether or not to be happy.
A friend recently shared the following graduation speech, it is after all graduation season, and it excellently illustrates tonight’s point, enjoy the piece and choose to have a happy day my friends. ~ Rev Kane
The Dalai Lama on motivation
Gandhi – motivation
The quality of everything we do: our physical actions, our verbal actions, and even our mental actions, depends on our motivation. That’s why it’s important for us to examine our motivation in our day to day life. If we cultivate respect for others and our motivation is sincere, if we develop a genuine concern for others’ well-being, then all our actions will be positive. ~ Dalai Lama
Things to give up to become happy
A great post shared via a friend on Facebook today, 15 Things you should give up to be happy, enjoy ~ Rev Kane
Happiness, Health, and Balance
Prowling the net tonight I found a post on the Planet Green site that I really liked. At first it seemed like the very standard tips to happiness article, but in fact it takes a more interesting turn on becoming happier. The piece focuses on five specific areas: diet; finding time; turning inward; be frugal while living life; and learning to love yourself and others. Take a look at the piece, I think you’ll find it interesting. ~ Rev Kane
Happiness & Cynicism
It is better to sit alone than in company with the bad; and it is, better still to sit with the good than alone. It is better to speak to a seeker of knowledge than to remain silent; but silence is better than idle words. ~ Mohammed
It’s very easy in our world to become cynical, I speak from experience. I’ve always been a very cynical person, it comes from living in a world where people let you down, with consistency. A world where our politicians will say anything to get elected, where elected officials are more concerned with opposing the other political party than actually governing or trying to help people. I see on TV every day advertisements from coal and oil companies talking about how much they love the environment, pretending that we can burn petroleum free of consequences. We are bombarded on a daily basis from a hundred directions manipulated by expert advertisers whose job it is to tell us what we like, what we care about, who to vote for, what we should look like and even who the good guys and bad guys are in the world. It makes you wonder at times if any of your thoughts are your own.
It is a quick and easy path to cynicism for those of us who think and feel. However, as I’ve gotten older I’ve begun to see a dark futility in being so cynical. That timeframe not so surprisingly fairly closely corresponds to the birth of the Ministry of Happiness. In creating a happier life for myself, it seemed appropriate, maybe even necessary to share and help others; maybe it was just about having some company on the path. Through this journey some of the cynical edge to my view has begun to dissipate and it has helped me progress toward a happier life. Hopefully some of what we do here will help you as well, and as always, have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane.
Happiness Rankings Worldwide
From time to time I see articles on worldwide happiness rankings and the United States bounces around in these rankings but we’re usually between 10 and 15th, they all have slightly different criteria, so I thought tonight I’d pass some of the links along for you to check out. Have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane
UN Happiness rankings, US came in #11, Denmark #1
A comparison of three indexes, once again Denmark rocking two of them as #1 with Costa Rica taking the other.
A more in depth look at the world’s happiest countries, you guessed it, Denmark, the US is #14.
A color coded map of happiness worldwide and a lot of data and detail underneath
A little tour around the web and through Facebook for some images to make and remind us about happiness ~ Rev Kane
Happiness Resources: The Components of Happiness
A quick web survey tonight for articles related to the components of happiness below are a few links that you might find rewarding:
Six components of happiness
Satir’s Mandala – an interesting take on happiness
A really interesting piece on happiness and contentment
Happiness from the Positive Psychology movement
Dalai Lama: Simplicity & the Paradox of our Age
Tonight the words of the Dalai Lama ~ Rev Kane
If one’s life is simple, contentment has to come. Simplicity is extremely important for happiness. Having few desires, feeling satisfied with what you have, is very vital; satisfaction with just enough food, clothing, shelter to protect yourself from the elements. And finally, there is an intense delight in abandoning faulty states of mind and in cultivating helpful ones in meditation.
PARADOX OF OUR AGE
We have bigger houses but smaller families; more conveniences but less time. We have more degrees but less sense; more knowledge but less judgment; more experts but more problems; more medicines but less healthiness. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble in crossing the street to meet our new neighbour. We built more computers
to hold more copies than ever, but have less real communication. We have become long on quantity, but short on quality. These are times of fast foods but slow digestion; Tall men but short characters; steep profits but shallow relationships. It’s a time when there is much in the window but nothing in the room.