Many are unhappy because they choose to. It is funny that when you attempt to give them reasons why they should not be unhappy, they justify it. To them, they are unhappy because the situation warrants being unhappy. They make it look as if the situation or circumstance should always determine how they feel. For them, the outside determines the inside.
Actually, man was not made that way. We are created to determine our inside irrespective of what is happening outside. It is the society we have created that affected our values by making us decide in which situations to be happy or to be sad. In some tribes if a man raises his hand, faces you with the palm and stretches out all his fingers at you, they see it to mean that he is cursing your father. Someone from such a tribe would be sad or angry if anyone stretches out all the five fingers with a raised arm at them. However a stranger who enters that community would wave back bye-bye to such a person because he reads a different meeting to the gesture. The same gesture gets different reactions because of difference in perception.
THREE THINGS MAKE PEOPLE UNHAPPY
Fear of the unknown: Man is ignorant of so many things. The fear that something may go wrong, the anxiety about how to prevent things from going contrary to expectation causes so much agitation and anxiety. The parents worry about the children who are gone to school. The woman wonders if the spouse is not cheating on her. The patient going for surgery is afraid something may go wrong. This fear is so strong that despite all reassurances, it lingers till it is obvious all has gone well. Many seem more prone to listen to their fear than seeing how well things have gone. Much apprehension at work, much of the anxiety we experience is the fear that we may be sacked, or the landlord may give quit notice etc. Much of what keeps us from enjoying the moment is our fear of the unknown.
Presumption and Assumption: A man meets his boss on the way to work. The boss who usually meets him with a smile met him with a blank face and would hardly reply his greetings. Such a man goes into his office with a disturbed mind, ‘what have I done wrong this time’, ‘Is it what I said yesterday at the meeting?’ ‘Did someone tell him something wrong about me’. Meanwhile the boss had lost a friend overnight. Many of us have the subconscious habit of presumption that keep us unhappy. Many go ahead to act on their presumption without finding out details. A woman caught her husband who was meant to be at the office in a restaurant with another woman and became violent. Meanwhile, the husband had forgotten to inform her of a client he had to meet over lunch to discuss a contract! Presumption has ruined homes.
Unforgiveness: Forgiveness is a virtue. It cures the person. It removes unnecessary burden. It destroys sadness in a jiffy. Unforgiveness does otherwise. It causes bitterness. Learn to let go for your own sake.
THERE ARE THREE SIMPLE WAYS TO BE HAPPY
First, deliberately choose to be happy (at least be calm in your spirit and be full of Joy) no matter what is happening around you. This will enable you to assess what exactly makes you sad; whether it is the actual circumstance or the way you perceive it. It would also enable you to know what to do to determine your mood from the inside using your mind as a tool. Our mind is a tool not the control knob of our lives. Many live lives in which the mind dictates to them based on their feelings. Meanwhile, feelings are inputs which we are meant to process and by an act of will determine the output.
Secondly, seek information about the situation, event or circumstance. Reduce your ignorance and face the fear instead of being apprehensive about the unknown. Once you have adequate information about the situation, define appropriately what you can handle or what you are expected to do. Then, take action and do the right thing about it. For what you cannot handle, get help from the right person who can handle it and trust him to do his job! You need to stop being anxious about nothing! More than 90% of what we fear never happen. Of those that happen, more than 70% of them happened because we expected them to go wrong.
Thirdly, avoid the sin of presumption. “Keep me from presumptuous sins” Psalms 19:13. Try to give everyone the benefit of doubt. If wronged, forgive and renew the relationship or forgive and walk away but never hold grudges.
Stop judging a situation before you know all about it. Stop answering a matter before the person finish the explanation. Avoid presumption! It has destroyed many a relationship.
Decide to constantly remove sorrow from your heart. Choose to be happy! Ecclesiastes 11:10