We all endure some level of challenges and trials in this life. But the goal is to attain happiness at the end of them. Depending on what we do and how we pursue it, some of us are happy most of the time. Some are unhappy most of the time. Perhaps, some are unhappy all the time.
Financial success is a worthwhile achievement. Academic excellence is an indication of strong determination. Possession of power may enable one to influence and rule. But none of them guarantees, equals to or leads to a definite happiness. However, happiness makes all of them more meaningful.
Although, I can’t make a claim that some are happy at all times, this self-help article presents that one essential element of happiness which we have undermined all this while.
The Recognized Elements of Happiness
There are many books and articles that discuss, and present prescriptions for happiness. You might have come across The Five Elements of Happiness (read it here). Maybe, you’ve also read about The Four Elements of Happiness.
Other elements of happiness include giving charity, extending happiness to others, ensuring constant physical exercise and developing passion in what you do. This article contradicts not to any of them. Perhaps, it adds a fifth or sixth element to them accordingly. When it does, the added element becomes essential of all.
The Undermined Element of Happiness
One of the easiest ways to attain happiness is to distance yourself from causes of guiltiness. What is it that you’re sure is not worth doing, yet you embark on it to attain some temporal happiness? It’s likely that it will end up rendering you to guiltiness.
Having said that, accidents happen. We are bound to making mistakes. But we are not meant to live in guiltiness. In other words, mistakes could be inevitable, but guiltiness is preventable. Therefore, anything that puts your heart at guilt should be avoided. This is because happiness vanishes the moment sense of guilt arises in the heart.
A sense of guiltiness is the first step to stress, anxiety and could lead to possible depressions.
You may be told, “it’s ok,” or “just carry on with it,” to normalize the cause of your guiltiness. But one should ask himself in response to that the following: is that the correct way to be happy? Isn’t it pretentious? Isn’t it double-standards?
No doubts, the elements of happiness discussed in the articles attached above are helpful in developing, maintain or enhance happiness in your heart, but no matter what the approach we adopt to attain or increase our happiness, we must work on eradicating our sense of guiltiness and guilty consciousness from our hearts.
Applying the Undermined Element of Happiness
Now, it’s your turn to ask, how does one apply the undermined element of happiness? In other words, how does one work on eradicating sense of guiltiness? It’s simple. Yes, it’s simple but it requires courage and honesty.
To apply the undermined element of happiness in your life, you, first, have to embrace yourself, and just do it. Just do what? Just do the right and correct thing. The right thing based on your calculations may turn out to be wrong. That will be a mistake. Rectify it accordingly, but there will be no need to feel guilty about it. Remember to consult experts when necessary.
For instance, you’ve found yourself in a difficult situation. Every situation has, at least, two choices. One is to do what’s right, although not necessarily your heart desired. The other is to follow your heart desire, which may also not necessarily be correct.
It’s when we choose our heart desired, that we claim, ‘we are or were left with no choices.’ So, in a difficult situation, the minimum two choices you have is to either do what is your heart desired, or what is morally supposed to.
By choosing to do your heart desired, you are taking a convenient and risk-free option. And by choosing to do the morally supposed to, you’re taking the risk of stepping out of your convenience to do the right thing.
By choosing the convenient option, you are protecting your ego, pride and self-esteem. Therefore, you will likely do the wrong thing. You may have to lie. You may have to cheat. You may have to forge. You may have to swear. You may have to curse. The list goes on.
By choosing to do what is morally sound, where you embrace yourself and are honest, you let go of your ego, your pride, and perhaps, some of your other personal interests. Therefore, you must speak the truth. You must also suspend the intention to cheat or forge. You must also be mindful of your words; so you won’t curse or swear.
The Implications of Applying the Undermined Element of Happiness
You’ve embraced yourself, and chosen to be honest. As much as it’s challenging to do that, it’s equally rewarding. Thus, what you gain in return for being honest despite losing your ego is trustworthiness and faithfulness. Although they may be the minority wherever you go, people of good faith, morals, values and honesty will appreciate your presence. Moreover, you’ll still have the respect of the corrupt people, despite their hate and enmity.
Above all that, you’re happy. You’re happy because you follow your good instinct, not the evil instinct and evil whisper in you. You’re happy because you reject the “it’s ok” and “learn to carry on with it” bad advices.
It’s this happiness, that will make your other successes efficient in your life.
What Could Make You Guilty?
Difficult situations that result to developing sense of guiltiness varies. It can emerge at home between your parents and you, between your siblings and you or between your spouse and you. It may arise in a difficult decision you have to make. In fact, it happens at your workplace. It happens in your studies and your other social relationships.
How do you feel about your relationship with your mother? Do you feel good? Why? Do you feel bad? Why? If you feel good, then you’re probably a good son. If you feel bad, then there’s some sense of guiltiness there. Find means to eradicate them.
How do you feel about your performance at work? Are you satisfied? Why? Are you unsatisfied? Why? If you are not satisfied, why do you accept to be paid what you are not doing? Will you be happy about that?
- Decide to strive for happiness
- Decide to not live sense of guiltiness anymore in your life
- You must embrace yourself and be honest
- Choose to do, say or support the right thing in difficult situations
- Consult people of expertise when unsure
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes (as you don’t intend to make them)
- Correct the mistake and apologize for it, where necessary
- Your successes should be more efficient and meaningful to you now
You’ve seen unhappy rich people. You’ve seen unhappy highly educated people. You’ve seen unhappy people of power and authority. You want to be rich but not an unhappy one. You want to be highly educated, but not an unhappy one. You want to be heard and regarded, but not a clown. To attain that, work on living ungilt.
The easiest way to attain happiness is work on distancing yourself from guiltiness. I find it prerequisite to any other elements of happiness no matter how more or less they may be. Ensure you are not feeling guilty of being unable to be happy.