The true secret to happiness


Alice Yu

The author of two spiritual novels, The Power of Now and A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle was born in Germany on February 16, 1948 and graduated from the University of London. Tolle also attended Cambridge University in 1977 but never finished his degree. After suffering from depression, anxiety and fear at the age of 19, ten years later, Tolle experienced an inner transformation that led him to the path of becoming a spiritual teacher.
It’s fair enough to say that everyone has experienced moments of disappointment, frustration, anger or any other unpleasant feeling. We’ve ended a day with a sour memory replaying in our brains and we’ve silently screamed as our plans broke down detail by detail. There’s no other consolation available other than that unfortunate events are packaged in the natural order of life.
Life is full of curveballs and basketballs to the face; there’s no doubt that it’s going to hurt to live through it. Knowing how desolate humanity and life can sometimes be, I make it a personal goal to retain an aura of positivity because in my book, happiness is contagious. Even for the situations in which it can’t turn a frowny face into a smiley face, a positive outlook ought to be a better reply than disregard or callousness.
I, like everyone else, am close acquaintances with shock and shame. We grunt a greeting whenever I receive an appalling test score and give a fleeting salutation in every instance of my self-humiliation. As a response to these less-than-ideal experiences, I can mope and replay whatever happened in my mind in an wayward attempt to turn back time, or I can say to myself, “life is life”, self-evaluate what went wrong and move on.
There’s nothing really wrong with the first option except that it sets you up in a bubble of negativity, but if that’s what you want to surround yourself with, then so be it. Fair warning, the second option can also be detrimental to your character as well. The attitude outlined can progress into a flippant response to situations in which you need to take some semblance of responsibility.
In terms of finding the core of happiness, the secret lies in discovering your balance between self-discipline and knowing when to let go and move on. Like many other things in life, there is no black and white in cultivating your own happiness; it’s a personalized recipe for everyone.
To keep my grasp on my sanity, I tend to have to focus on the positive outcomes of an unfortunate event. If didn’t do as well as I would’ve liked on a test, then I know have an obvious, flashing, neon sign telling me that I need to study more. If I responded to an event in a less-than-pleasant way, then I need to think about how I should keep my attitude in check. If I feel wronged, then I remind myself to not inflict unto others the pain that I feel. Instead of viewing everything as an attack or degradation of my character, I view it as life’s little signals, delivered in a cost-friendly way.
For every single thing that happens in your life, you can always find something that you’ve gained. Similarly, you can find something that you’ve lost. You have the power and the ability to insure your own happiness. Take responsibility of that power and you’ll be on your own path to happiness.
By Alice Yu