Happiness: is it a choice or a fate?


We are the designers of our own future. We have to make decisions since we are free beings. I have to decide whether to be happy.

Many of us were raised to think that happiness is some sort of nirvana that can only be attained after the next objective has been met. We believe that once we finish school and stop studying or once we land that dream career, we will be content. All of it is fantasy or an enticing promise of the future. There is always a self-imposed prerequisite that must be met. Conversely, if we tend to dwell in the past rather than always believing that the future would offer us happiness, then we spend time reminiscing, and remembering moments of joy when some temporary attainment was realised. In fact, happiness can only really happen in the present, in the now.

So where does happiness really come from? It can only come from within and it is a choice that we make, a choice to be happy now, that then determines my destiny.

Few individuals realize that we are responsible for our own happiness. When we recognize that we get to decide what we think, we understand how that affects how we feel. Our attitude, which in turn reflects our sentiments, directly affects how we interact with other people. It is not difficult to understand how, depending on the beliefs we select, our lives could be drastically different and turn out the way we want them to. We shouldn’t undervalue the influence of thought. Dr. Masaru Emoto conducted studies on how thought-quality affected water. When water was frozen after being encircled by lovely, strong, kind thoughts, the crystals’ appearance was breathtakingly gorgeous. 

When water in negative thinking patterns was frozen, the crystals were unattractive and uninteresting. Only what I think exists in the world. “We perceive the reality we can describe, not the world that we see,” René Descartes once said. The experience I have in that scenario or connection will depend on how I choose to interpret what life is trying to show me.Happiness comes from our deep thinking and ability to quietly respond to challenges in an enlightened way and learn something from it.

To have the possibility to respond rather than react requires us to be silent observers. To be able to see the self, and what is going on inside, to see and understand what is robbing my happiness. What are the thoughts and feelings that are making me unhappy? It is nothing ‘out there’, there is no one to blame, it is how I connect to and what I think about what is happening out there. It is all about how we allow circumstances and other people to influence us.

There are two aspects to practise and understand that allow the light of happiness to shine through into our everyday lives. The first is to hold an attitude of gratitude. Exercise the inner eye to recognise the value of my own expression and appreciate the opportunities to learn from what may have gone wrong. We cannot change what has gone wrong, and it may impact us greatly, but if I can learn from all of that, I can be grateful for the new understanding. Things come and go, because we are all energy, constantly flowing and expressing ourselves. Life is a game and we need to play with a true heart.

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