Home > Reflection > All I want is a happy life

All I want is a happy life

As I write this article, I have just awoken from an afternoon nap and I feel like crap. I am not in the best of moods and I don’t know what my problem is. I have to write something so you will excuse the somberness of this article.

I am thinking about the twists and turns of life. I am thinking about the roller coaster ride this life takes us through. And I find myself wishing life came with a handbook. I wish there were stipulated guidelines that if adhered to, guaranteed success and happiness. No scrape that – there are successful people who lead miserable lives. Heath Ledger took his own life at the height of his career. The movie the Dark Night earned him an Oscar posthumously. Success does not guarantee happiness. Let’s focus solely on happiness.

Religious people will be quick to say that the Holy books (Bible, Quran etc) are the guidelines of life. That does not hold water in this argument. These Books tell us how to live here on earth so as to earn eternal life in heaven. They are about pleasing God. This post is about happiness while on earth. The Bible embraces suffering. It is evident from the Bible that leading a blameless life will not guarantee you happiness. Trials and tribulations are supposed to take us closer to God. Remember Job?

I have never really been able wrap my head around the Biblical story Job. It’s a very disconcerting story. For those who might have missed Sunday school, Job was a devoted man of God. He is arguably the most pious man in the Bible. But it’s this devotion that made him lose everything. He lost his children, wealth and even his health.

Job suffered because God presented him to the devil as a paragon of virtue. What a paradox! I mean if being righteous does not guarantee a happy life, then what does? What does one have to do to be assured of a happy life? You see the most defining thing about this life is its unpredictability. One day you are over the moon, the next day shit happens and that ecstasy is snuffed like a blanket thrown over fire.

I understand that you can never have it all. It’s the curse of humanity. But the fact is, the level of happiness varies from person to person. Some people are happier than others. And when I talk of happy people I am not necessarily referring to those people who always act all happy and rosy. There are people who cover up so much pain behind those facades. I am talking about those people who fall sleep with smiles on their faces. Those that can’t remember the last time they wiped a tear off their cheeks.

What do these people do that the rest don’t?

Being nice is definitely not it. Someone said that expecting life to treat you fairly because you are a good person is like expecting a lion not to pounce on you because you are a vegetarian. It couldn’t have been said any better. Karma only knows payback. She does not give incentives.

Human beings live in vanity. People have this misconceived idea that if they have a lot of money then they will be happy. People are willing to do bizarre things in a bid to enrich themselves. Men have killed their parents so as to inherit wealth. The lengths at which people are willing to go to enrich themselves is nauseating. I do not believe ill-gotten wealth makes anyone any happier.

Money does not guarantee happiness. Not all problems can be traded with money. On the 13th of October commuters in Scotland’s capital city watched in horror as a woman leapt to her death from the prestigious Caledonian Hilton Hotel in Edinburgh. If you click here you will see a list of millionaires whose lives were so unbearable they opted for a shortcut.

Don’t get me wrong. I want to live a full life. If someone teased me with a million dollars I will snatch it and run so fast Usain Bolt would be proud of me. I want to be wealthy. I want to bask on the beaches of the Bahamas. I want to take cruises.  But above all, I want to be happy. I would rather have an average lifestyle with lifelong happiness than a flamboyant one with momentary blissful moments that cover up underlying perpetual stress. Personally, happiness overrides everything else.

We are told not to worry. In fact one of the quotes on my Facebook profile reads “Worry makes one emotional and susceptible to making bad decisions that usually make the situation worse.” But how can you not worry knowing that you are not the sole author of your life? How can you not worry knowing that you’re not in complete control of your life? That there are cosmic forces that may conspire against you?

Contrary to the skepticism elicited in this post, I have never been one to worry too much. I live in the moment and I am a bit of a don’t-care. I am not easily bothered and I rarely panic. Even in the heat of things, I somehow find the courage to believe that things will get better. I remain optimistic that no matter the situation, sooner or later I will be back up on my feet. I’m not sure if this is because I have a strong will, or simply because I’ve never really been tested extensively. While working on this post I had to pause, search for my Bible, wipe off the dust and read the book of Job. The guy went through hell. I wouldn’t want to be tested to such lengths. I just want to live a happy life. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

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Categories: Reflection
  1. Linda
    February 6, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Quite thought-provoking I must say. I’ll read it again and again and will post my thoughts on it after I have completely digested the content…then I will regurgitate my opinion 🙂

    • February 8, 2012 at 4:32 pm

      Hope your opinion has answers on how to live a happy life.

  2. Mercy
    February 6, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    I’m tempted to ask if you went to church jana coz the 1st reading was from Job…a very controversial topic-happiness(life in general).,…raises more questions than answers but we are told to live a day at a time and i can testify to everyone who reads this that yes you do not panic…and i quote you…”usiwai tense”…you say that alot and it is true. Interesting read here 🙂

    • Linda
      February 8, 2012 at 12:58 pm

      Heheheheeeee…ati usiwai tense. lolest!

    • February 8, 2012 at 4:35 pm

      Good to know someone found it interesting. I should stick to my quote and stop scratching my head.

  3. February 6, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    This has me all hmmmm…I was about to write my thoughts on happiness till I realized my answer is the size of a blog post…

    PS: ‘Twas lovely dropping by. Chin up…

    • February 8, 2012 at 4:37 pm

      For sure thoughts on happiness cannot be summarized in a sentence. I would love to hear them though..

      • February 29, 2012 at 9:11 am

        Ok here it goes. I do not believe that I have to go thro’ point A, B or C to attain happiness in life…I do not believe it’s a place/level to get to… I feel that happiness is fleeting and it comes in unexpected moments that are interwoven with the sad…I’ve been in a place where I was struggling (and not just financially) and yet experienced moments of happiness in between the all the suckage…I’m in a good place & I’ve experienced long periods of bliss and yet on occassion I’ll get melancholic…

        So maybe happiness is just a state of being…easier said than done though. Coz if we’re really honest as human beings, we crave for the kind of hapiness that comes from the security of knowing you’re loved by those you hold dear just as you are…tricky no?

  4. thatguy
    February 8, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Boss,i must say you have hit the nail on the head. At the end of the day happiness and to add your name(person) is what should matter most to us. We all want everything but ultimately our happiness is what we should value and always work to keep. Thought provoking.

    • February 8, 2012 at 4:42 pm

      I thought you would concur simply because of that day you thought it was a good thing returning that lost N9 despite the fact that you were broke as hell. Haha!

  5. Anonymous
    February 10, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    very deep thoughts bro. I like that karma bit, ‘she only knows payback but gives no incentives.’

  6. February 10, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    very deep thoughts bro. i like that karma bit, ‘she only knows payback but gives no incentives.’ Seems like there’s no real control over happiness cause wealth or fame can still leave you pretty miserable. without them life still sucks, spirituality and religion only gives a guarantee for happiness in the afterlife. its all just uncontrollable.

    • February 10, 2012 at 5:25 pm

      Diggz nice to see you connected. Sad fact…

  7. SLY
    February 10, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    umecatchia life feelings zako zote…..jus live one day at time……

    • February 10, 2012 at 5:27 pm

      Hahaha very funny! You’re definitely the master of living a day at a time.

  8. Liberty
    August 21, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    My sentiments exactly!!!

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