There are few things in life that are absolutely, one hundred percent, guaranteed. Death is one of those things. Take a moment to think about that. Every single one of us, no matter how smart, rich, or popular, every single one of us is going to die. The flesh and organic matter that is this body is guaranteed to one day cease to exist.
It's not just us either. Everything ends one day. Even this Earth will be gone, most likely consumed by the sun when it expands to a red giant billions of years from now. The entire universe, with all the planets, stars, and galaxies, will also be gone one day. And while it will probably happen a lot sooner, we can be certain that any memory of our existence will also gone when the universe goes.
The bottom line is this: You can be guaranteed that every single thing you see, think, do, or create, every single person you know or have heard of, every single place you’ve been or know about, will one day cease to exist.
So what does all this have to do with happiness? Well, if we can be assured that we’ll all die one day and that everything will eventually be gone, then it’s safe to assume that the only reason for existence is to experience life while it’s here.
So what’s life? Well, we know that death most often brings sadness and is associated with the ending of progression, so this would mean that life, being the polar opposite of death, should be associated with happiness and growth. I propose that choosing anything less than happiness and growth in our life is associating ourselves with death and thereby ignoring life.
This should give no one any reason to accept anything in life that constrains their own happiness or growth (whether mental, physical, or spiritual) or enables the constraint of others’ happiness or growth. To do either of these is to disregard, neglect, and eschew life itself.
Life is our chance. It’s our small window of opportunity. Our situations may vary and our circumstances may differ, but we all have the ability to make a conscious, day-to-day decision to strive for happiness over sadness; for growth over stagnation; for life over death.
Choose happiness. When something upsets you — the car in front of you cuts you off; you feel yourself getting agitated; someone is rude or unpleasant towards you; things just don’t seem to be going your way — make a conscious decision to let it go and choose happiness. Don't let your circumstances become an excuse not to be happy. You're alive right now. That's the only reason you need to be happy.
Choose growth. Do you feel as though you're a better version of yourself today than you were yesterday? If you don’t, then it's time to make a conscious decision to do something to improve yourself every single day. Stop watching so much TV. Stop oversleeping. Do something every day to improve your health (both mental and physical!). Small changes over a long period always equate to a greater overall change. As long as you're living, you should be growing. Stagnation is for death.
It’s your life! What will you do with it?
After all the depressing crap I’ve been through for the past 2 years, I can say with certainty that, as usual, Raam is Riight. Happiness is usually a choice, one which is ALWAYS better than the alternative.
Sorry I’ve been away for so long, buddy. []
As always, good to hear from you Stiiv! 🙂
Your words are truly inspiring and powerful. I’m glad I read your blog… I’m reading “Words of my Perfect Teacher” by Patrul Rinpoche… I think you might like it. You are already there… so, I can only wish you good luck with your journey. I will be reading your blogs and recommending you places & people to visit if you go to Nepal. So, please go to Nepal. I assure you that you won’t be dissapointed.
Thank you for the comment, Pemala! I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying the blog! I will take a look at that book — thank you for suggesting it! I will definitely let you know when I plan to be in Nepal — I’m almost positive I will be going there this year. 🙂