Ten Reasons Why You Should Be Happy in the Moment
By: Matshona Dhliwayo, Author & Philosopher
“Why should I be happy?” a young man in a group I was mentoring once asked. “Hell is right here, right here on Earth.”
Odd statement, I said to myself, not wanting to verbalize my discomfort. But deep down inside I could not fault him. I knew where he was coming from. Indeed, there was so much to despair over. Life, being full of pain and hardship, hardly offered he and the other at-risk youth in the group an alternative outlook. And one just had to turn the pages of a newspaper or switch on a television to be bombarded with negative stories and images.
Briefly tempted to also despair, salvation came just in the nick of time. I remembered my mother’s inspirational words: “Life is what you make it,” she would chant. “Many things are beyond your control, but your happiness is in your hands.”
And she was right. I discovered, after putting her wisdom to the test, that you have the power to decide whether you wear a frown or a smile. You decide to be happy or sad. Countless times when I was miserable, I looked for reasons to be cheerful. Below are ten recurring ones:
- You are alive. Life is the most precious gift in the universe, so much so that a living pauper is better off than a dead prince. A billion dollars couldn’t buy a single breath you take. If you are among the living, you have won the greatest lottery ticket in the history of time: life.
- You have an opportunity to change your situation. If you are poor, you can work your way to riches. If you are unschooled, you can work your way to education. If you are lowly, you can work your way to eminence. You, unlike the dead, have the privilege and opportunity to better your life.
- Happiness is a choice. Happiness begins in the mind before travelling throughout the body. You have no control over what is happening around you, but you do have control over what is happening within you. The power to be happy is in your hands; your happiness at any moment is only one decision away.
- Your situation is better than someone else’s. If you have one thousand dollars in your bank account, there is someone with only a hundred. If you have a hundred dollars in your bank account, there is someone with only ten; and if you have ten, there is someone with only one. If you are tempted to despair, remind yourself that no matter what you are going through, someone else is going through worse. You have more reasons to happy than sad at any given moment if you count your blessings.
- Trials are temporary. No storm, however great, has ever lasted forever. The storm may rage today, but inevitably the rainbow will come tomorrow. This is how life is: no matter who you are, you are going to experience trouble. Life is going to challenge you, but you must remain positive, for more good can be extracted from cheerfulness than sorrow.
- Improved health. Less stress is one of the greatest benefits of happiness. Anxiety is bad for your health; it is the cause of 99% of all ailments. Less worry better health; better health, better wellbeing.
- It draws positive people to you. If you are miserable, people will be repelled by you; if you are happy, people will be attracted to you. You are a magnet; you attract, not what or who you desire, but what and who you are. The more positive people you attract the more positive things happen around you, and the happier you are.
- Your mind performs better. Though the mind can handle pain, sorrow, and despair, it was never created to. Entertaining negative thoughts puts an unnecessary strain on both its biological and spiritual components. If you pour contaminated fuel into a car, the vehicle will not run at its best speed; likewise, when the mind is contaminated it will not perform at its highest potential. The mind performs at higher levels when the happiness hormone is released.
- Happiness leads to fulfillment. No matter how long you live, you have not truly lived until you experience fulfillment. Even if you live for a hundred years, one who has only lived for ten is better off if he or she experiences fulfillment and you do not.
- You cannot let your enemies win. When you are sad, it pleases your enemies; but when you are happy, it infuriates them. Never give them a chance to gloat; hold your head up high; always let them see your smile. Happiness is a good friend; negativity is an evil enemy. If you are happy you are rich, no matter how poor the world says you are.
Matshona Dhliwayo is a Canadian based Philosopher, Entrepreneur, and author of books such as The Art of Winning, The Little Book of Inspiration, 100 Lessons Every Great Man Wants You to Know, Dinner with King Solomon and Lalibela’s Wise Man. He is a regular contributor for The African Leadership Magazine, The CEO Magazine, Health Magazine, The African Union, and other internationally renowned magazines. You can find The Art of Living book on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Art-Winning-Matshona-Dhliwayo/dp/0797479902/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8