It is good to be alive. Isn’t it! But is it enough? No, it is not. One has to work towards sustaining this ‘good feeling’ throughout one’s life.
“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be,” said Abraham Lincoln. It is not what happens to us in life that determines our happiness so much as the way we react to what has happened to us.
Most people remember a compliment for a few minutes, but an insult for years. Who suffers? The person who insulted us happily breezes through life, while we lose sleep over the insult. Inability to forgive, a tendency to blame others and feelings of guilt are a greater cause of sickness than any infection, because a sour mind creates a sour body. Science has actually proved this fact that stress – could be anger, jealousy or misery – increases the acidity (sourness) of our body. This acidic environment is a breeding ground for all kinds of diseases, including cancer, in our body.
But the good news is, feeling good is pretty much in our control. To feel good, we need to concentrate on happy memories. It is quite like maintaining a nice home – we have to hang on to our treasures and throw out the garbage. The garbage here being the various memories of hurt, insult, humiliation, envy, anger, guilt and other such emotions that we have felt in our past as reactions to various situations. The trick is, that any time, a bad memory crops up in our head, we need to consciously replace it with a good one. It is quite like sweeping the rubbish out of the room.
We can learn a lot from children. The most beautiful thing about children is that they absorb themselves totally in the present moment. They do not waste time thinking about the past or the future and know more about having a good time than us. As we mature, we learn to think and worry about past problems and future concerns.
Children are eternally fascinated. A rock or a beetle is a source of wonder and excitement to them. The adults may not know much about these things either, but they do not even try to see the magic in them.
As you think so shall you become!
In his best selling book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill wrote: ‘‘Our brains become magnetized with the dominating thoughts which we hold in our minds, and by means with which no man is familiar, these magnets attract to us the forces, the people, the circumstances of life which harmonize with the nature of our dominating thoughts.”
As the things that we love most and fear most tend to occupy our thoughts much of the time, so we tend to attract those very things. Focus must be on what we want and not on what we fear. “If I study hard enough, I may come in the top five of my class,” is a better thought than, “If I don’t study hard enough, I might fail.”
Have you ever noticed that when you are feeling good about yourself, other people seem very nice! The world is a reflection of ourselves. When we hate ourselves, we hate everybody else. When we love being who we are, the rest of the world seems wonderful.
Our soul, which is our inner core, is simply beautiful. However, we rarely focus on our inner strengths. If we did, we would not treat ourselves badly or allow others to treat us so. In order to feel good, we must first develop a good self-image and recognize our own worth.
It is worth remembering that time is an abstract concept, the present is all that we have, so we must enjoy whatever we are doing for its own sake and not for the end result.