4 Things You Don’t Have To Do To Be Happy

Many people believe that these four things are part of life. You can’t escape them. Everyone must follow this pattern. It’s just the way it is.

Yes, all the items in this list can bring happiness. However, you don’t need any of these things to be happy. You can choose to follow this or not and it’s your decision. Don’t let society convince you to do any of those things. Think carefully about them and decide if they are for you or not. Because one things is true: they are not for everyone. People are different and they have the right to choose a different path. No one’s path is the same.

1. You don’t have to have a religion. 

But whatever you decide to do, there are some things to consider:

Don’t judge people because of their (lack of) religion.
Don’t let someone else (not even your parents) choose your religion or what you believe in. It’s something very personal.
Don’t be arrogant about it and don’t try to convince others that you’re right and they’re wrong.
And most importantly, don’t hurt people in any way because of your choices.

2. You don’t have to get  a job. 

This might sound crazy. How can I survive if I don’t have a job?

Fortunately, there are many ways to make money that don’t involve getting a job.

Steve Pavlina wrote a great eye-opening article about it and you can read it here.

3. You don’t have to get married.

For some people, a wedding is a dream come true. But sometimes people get married for all the wrong reasons.

It’s tempting to get married because everyone you know is getting married or you are afraid to be alone or it’s an ‘easier’ and sometimes cheaper way to live.

However, getting out of a marriage is much more complicated than getting in.

It’s not only about love. You can love each other and even live together and be happy but not get married.

If marriage is really important to you in a deeper way, fair enough. If not, think twice.

4. You don’t have to have kids.

This is one of the most important ones. Having kids is a huge responsibility and there are so many people that should never do it.

This is different from getting married. Here you should not only ask yourself if this is what you really want but also ask yourself if you’re ready and if you have what it takes.

You’re responsible for raising, educating and loving a person and depending on the job you do, you can either make this world a better place or a worse place. So if you do decide to have kids, make sure you’re raising them to make this world better.

Let go of control

“If you can’t control it, let it go.” 

That’s my favourite zen saying.

Letting go of control is a challenge. It requires a lot of practice. The truth is that life is unstable and it’s impossible to control what’s going to happen. Sometimes we have the false impression that we are in control but the truth is we are not. Life is unpredictable and anything can happen anytime, good or bad.

We can’t control other people and we can’t control the outcome of situations so we have to stop trying or we will only get frustrated and disappointed.

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature…Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller

If we accept the way things are, we can find peace.

That doesn’t mean we should settle for less in life. If there’s something you can do to change a bad situation or make things better, do it. If there’s nothing you can do at the moment, let go.

Happiness And Things I Learned From Buddhism

There are only two basic things that everybody wants: be happy and avoid suffering. If you think about it, all the other things are included in those two. If it’s that simple, why is it so difficult to be happy?

I’ll tell you why: because people don’t know what really makes them happy.

If something is a cause of happiness, it can never be a cause of suffering or pain. If you eat something delicious, it will bring you pleasure. If you eat it too much, it will give you a stomachache. You might love your job but if you work too much, you’ll be exhausted. And so on.

Therefore, none of these things can actually make you happy.

Nothing that you have or even that you do can make you happy. Only what you feel can bring real happiness.

You can feel love, compassion, respect, forgiveness, patience as much as you want and it will never cause you pain. Good feelings are the only true cause of happiness.

How To Live The Life You Want

Living the life you want is very important to your happiness. If you try to live your life the way other people expect you to, you will be letting yourself down. The first step to living the life you want is to find out what is it exactly that you want.

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  1. Spend some time by yourself. I don’t mean spending time at home doing nothing. Spend time travelling, doing things and going to places alone. When you’re alone, you make your own decisions and you don’t have to please anyone else. This gives you amazing insights about yourself. When your decisions only affect you and when only you can make the decisions, you learn a lot about yourself and about what you really want.
  2. Listen to yourself. Don’t take what others say as true for you. Sometimes you make decisions and everyone you know thinks you’re making a mistake. They give you advice and try to ‘help’ you. They might mean well but only you know what is best for you. If you feel it’s right, don’t listen to others and go after what you want.
  3. Persist. Sometimes it takes long to get what you want. Sometimes it seems impossible. But if you try hard, eventually things start going in the right direction.
  4. Make decisions. This is actually the hardest one for me but I found out it’s the most important. When you’re stuck, make a decision. Usually whatever decision you make will make you feel better. When you make a decision, you can start moving forward. You will find out if you’re going in the right direction or not but at least you’re not stuck in the same place.