Most of us want to be happy. Happiness is relative, and is a feeling such as contentment, satisfaction, pleasure, or joy, but generally takes the form of fulfillment by acquiring plentiful of ones desires. These desire are without limit and can take the form of physical earthly possessions (usually manifested by money), knowledge, power and respect, marriage, carrier, physical exercise, winning (in deadly wars, politics, games and sports), food, shelter, religion, sexual exploits, and the list is endless. This happiness can be summed up in human security, which is freedom from fear and want.
Sadly, most of this happiness is short lived, in our quest for more as we shift our goals and our needs become more complex and perverted.
Happiness is not a destination, but a process. The more minutes you are happier in an hour, the more days you will be happier in a month, the happier you will be generally. Doing what is right today, and taking each day as it comes can achieve happiness.
The following are my main obstacles to happiness:-
- The direction of Kenyan politics. Peace order, and good governance, liberty, equality and fraternity should be part of what we all crave for, but it remains a mirage. We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. With the rampant grand corruption, impunity, and lack of a working justice system, the pursuit of happiness remains a mirage.
- Un-contentment and comparisons, the urge to be better than all of them. We all have to learn not to compete with others, because no one else is in the contest of being you.
- The herd. The big contradiction is we feel good belonging, being part of the herd, yet we still want to be extra-ordinary, exceptional and excellent.
- The perpetual loss of my London football club, to which a lot of sleep has been lost, is a major cause of unhappiness.
- Lack of an aesthetic nightly company, probable brought about by perfectionism and fear of failure.
- Street gangs who make us a terrified lot. They encroach on our liberty by containing our freedom from fear.
- Permanent selfish Kenyan souls, politicians, policemen, civil servants, and all those who have embraced officialdom, and made poor service and inefficiency their mantra.
- Sleep has been a major cause of unhappiness, both in its abundance, and lack of. The more we sleep, the more unsuccessful we are, yet if we don’t get enough sleep, we tend to under perform.
- Inconsistency in whatever we do. If only we would do one thing at a time, do it once, do it right, do it good, then personal improvement would be achieved. Willingness to persist and openness to new ideas is the formula that determines ones success.
- Mediocrity and the fear of it. Perfectionism brings about fear of mediocrity, causing someone not to act, hence nothing gets done.
- Piety. In the conscious and unconscious urge to practice goodness, how many opportunities do we miss? Which life would yield the most happiness between pious and malevolence? Piety encourages us to top up our trust, but this piety does not necessarily ricochet to happiness.
- Procrastination. When I get a feeling to do something, I lie down until the feeling goes away. Such is the sigh of the resigned procrastinator: broken by frustration, unable to catch up, chained by depression and sustained by the simple apathetic response, “I don’t care any more”.
- Lack of a better education than my peers
Happiness can be achieved by giving yourself permission to go after what feels good for you. Happiness is created by eliminating the things that get in the way as much as it is by doing what you love. There is no limit to how happy one can be. Optimism is the step before happiness.
In any situation that anyone has ever been in there are always at least two routes. There is a route where things will get better. And one where they’ll get worse.
The person that lives a happier life will choose the happier route more often. The more often they choose that route the happier and more successful they will be.
The person that struggles through life chooses the harder route more often. The more often they choose that route the harder and more miserable they will be.
The route you take all depends on how accurately you can choose your path through life. Everyone has both hardships and opportunities. It’s the ability to spot the opportunities and avoid or minimize the hardships that creates a happier and more successful life.