It is part of human nature to experience happiness. Why is it that our happiness is sometimes high and sometimes it disappears? Can we actually make the choice to be happy? Could being happy actually be in my own hands?
It is all down to the power of the mind. As any sportsperson will tell us, winning is all in the mind. Politics and business are all mind games too. The ultimate mind game is the game of life. If I have some control over my mind and can achieve total composure, then it is ‘game over’! The ups and downs of emotion level out and the way I feel is then entirely of my own choosing.
There are three ways the self can engage with life. One is to just survive, but that is what a tree or a plant does. There must be more to life than just surviving.
The second way is to exist. That is, to go through life on a day-to-day basis, the ups and downs, reacting to circumstances as if on an emotional roller coaster. When things are good, it is great, and when they are not so good, we can become depressed, upset or hopeless. The mind becomes exhausted because of the emotional upheaval.
The third way is the way the smallest group of people engage with life – they actually live. They realise that the way we feel is a choice; it is my responsibility.
Adversity is something to learn from and help me to grow. I cannot control what is happening, but I can choose how to respond to what life is showing me. Then I own my feelings and develop my own inner strength.
The first step is to identify what I can learn from a situation and what I could have done differently. Then forget it and let go. Finally, move on and carry only the lesson, forget the situation.
Aristotle said that the beginning of all wisdom is to know yourself. The way to know the self is through meditation.
Start each day with some silent meditation; charge the battery of the soul. Meditators understand that the most precious energy we have is our thought energy. Meditators take care about what they think and spend time accumulating the power of silence, daily. The mind then becomes steady, safe, secure and stable. That is the way to happiness.
Yogesh Sharda is the National Coordinator of the Brahma Kumaris’ services in Turkey.