Selamat datang di blog Paulinus Pandiangan. Semoga kamu menemukan sesuatu yang berguna.   Click to listen highlighted text! Selamat datang di blog Paulinus Pandiangan. Semoga kamu menemukan sesuatu yang berguna.

The Happiness Paradox

Deep down, all of us want to be happy. It’s a truism. In fact, this fundamental desire is what drives our actions on a daily basis. By nature, we’re going to choose the most probable pathways leading to happiness. But the more we focus on happiness, the less happy we’ll actually be.

That’s the happiness paradox.

Turns out that constantly chasing happiness is a perfect recipe for unhappiness. Chasing joy can leave us empty, especially if we’re involved in the comparison game and material world blues. Comparing the worst of what we know about ourselves to the best assumptions we make about others is a total downer. Equating happiness with material possessions is no less damaging, as stuff only brings temporary joy. Trying to be happy is, by definition, a trap.

Suffice it to say that true happiness comes from deeper things.

Having said that, the following are some real actions we can take to provide a conducive environment for happiness:

Practice mindfulness. Peace lives in the present, so it’s imperative to understand that when one is not at peace, they are either living in the past or in the future. Being mindful means that you are living in the moment, accepting all emotions free of judgment. This attitude alleviates our tendency to be anxious over things beyond our control. Savor the good moments you have right now, and don’t get caught up in the never-ending pursuit of ‘what if.’

Cultivate gratitude. Noticing and appreciating the good things in life, big or small, has the potential to shift our perspective and increase our overall satisfaction. The practice of ‘taking in goodness’ into our mental radar enables us to balance out the negative thoughts popping up in our minds. There is a saying in Latin, ‘Mens grata, vita beata,’ which translates to ‘a grateful mind, a happy life.’ It beautifully captures the essence of how gratitude leads to happiness.

Invest in genuine relationships. The longest study at Harvard University has proven that good relationships nurture us. At the end of the day, happiness is not so much about social status, popularity, or money; it’s more about the quality of our relationships. There’s magic in human connections.

Engage in meaningful activities. These activities can be hobbies, volunteering, or even career-related work. Enjoying what you’re doing has been found to be strongly positive for human psychology, as it leads to a ‘flow’ state.

Accept imperfection. It’s okay to have low days. Life is more like a wave—sometimes we experience good days when everything seems to run smoothly, and other times we encounter problems here and there. Despite that, life is still worth living. To be fully human, we need to experience the full range of emotions, from the least pleasant to the most pleasing ones. Maintain a sense of self-control and resist the temptation to constantly self-criticize.

All in all, joy often comes as a byproduct of living a meaningful and engaged life, rather than from the direct pursuit of happiness itself. Let go of the notion of control and the pressure to be happy. Instead, focus on experiences, relationships, and activities that bring genuine fulfillment, and you’ll find that happiness arrives in its own time and on its own terms.


Author: Paulinus Pandiangan

Saya seorang Katolik, anak ketiga dari 3 bersaudara, ayah dari tiga anak, orang Batak, saat ini bekerja di sebuah pabrik kelapa sawit di Kalimantan Tengah. Saya dilahirkan pada 8 Januari 1983. Capricorn.

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