Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Obligatory 2011 New Year Post: Lessons for living a happy life

My awesome family, some day my nephew will be old enough to play miniature games with me, mwahaha! 
Sometime i look around me and i see people not happy and i try to figure out why? I don't have all the answers but here are some things i learned along the way how to make living better:

1. Have high expectations for yourself, and work hard to make yourself better. This is a given. Self-impovement is the game here, alway reflecting and striving to improve your personality, finances, skills, spirituality, everything. However, the problem with having high expectations for yourself, is that you generally also have high expectations for people around you. This will always be disappointing because no one is going to be the specific way you think they should be. Which leads to the next point...

2. Have low expectations of other people. Not in the sense that they are stupid, but in the sense they may not have they won't be the same as you. For example, i don't expect my room-mate to do any cleaning because if i ask him and he doesn't do as clean as job as i would, i would get mad at him. I just do the cleaning to my high level of standard and if he helps out without me asking it's a bonus. Which leads me to my next point:

3. There are many right answers. Usually we do things in a certain way or method because we believe it is the best way. We think our way is right. But what realized is other people may do things in a different way because they think it is right. Who is right? The solution to getting along with other people is to realize that there may be multiple right answers, and this is okay. We all have our own narrow mindset but the reality is for most things it doesn't really matter and doing things differently from what you think is the right way is okay. For example, at a recent party i was planning my friend wanted to cook western foods and got mad when i wanted to bring some eastern foods. But in the grand scheme of things more food (no matter what the type) is merrier for parties, so it didn't matter. there can be more than one right answer when you look at things with a wider perspective.

4. Don't be offended. Most of the time, when someone does something that offends us they didn't really mean to offend you. If they didn't mean to, then why do you get angry? You're only hurting yourself. Offense should only be taken when there is true intent against you. A lot of times we just don't know why they acted in a certain way, and if we knew their situation, then we wouldn't be offended. Example: Sally was really offended and hurt when her friends decided to leave their church without telling anybody. How can they be good friends if they don't tell her they were planning to leave? But the reality was that they left quietly because they still respected the pastor (even tho they didn't agree with him) and didn't want to cause discord in the church. So there was no intent to offend Sally, they had another reason. Yet Sally got hurt and angrily put up a wall, she basically hurt her own relationship with other people when they had meant well. True story within my family (although Sally is a made up name). Don't be easily offended. So when can we get angry?

5. Don't get angry, unless against true injustice. So don't get angry when people don't intend to harm you. But Jesus takes it one step further, don't be angry when people DO intend to harm you. This is tough, so when can you be angry? I believe anger and action is warranted against true injustice, like child prostitution. You don't need to defend yourself against insults because you know what? You're tough, you can take it. Defend those who can't defend themselves, people who get taken advantage of.

I guess the point of it all is to change your perspective. Our natural perspective is change others to solve our problems, when we should be looking how we can change ourselves. Our natural perspective to think we're always right when there may be multiple right answers. Our natural perspective to focus on us and how people hurt us, when we should be focusing on how we can care for others. I hope and believe that with this change of perspective our lives could better, meaningful, and happier in the year 2011. Peace.


Mira said...

It's funny that you posted these things. All these things is what I have learned in 2010.

Linda said...

Good for you. You were always a cheery person, compared to most. I agree with your points. A common mistake I see in people (of any age) is their "quest for finding happiness" where they believe IF they do A, B, C, THEN they will reach this gold altar of happiness. These people may never reach it because they fail to be aware that the standard of happiness are always increasing because of human nature to be "bored" of the current. So I'd like to add the point of being happy in the "moment" and enjoy the "process." It's a clique, overused statement but still, many people fail to do so.

Also, something I have learned in the past few years (during my quarter life crisis) is learning to take CONTROL of your own life. In industrial terms, DECIDE and EXECUTE. It is easy to be sad, paralyzed, depressed. It is easy to listen to philosophy, TED talks, church sermons. Although those may be inspiration, any result in life requires action.

I like your points on "don't get offended" or "angry." That had been something I've been trying to improve since I was a teenager. It's so hard to do! But in the end, I agree that all that is required is a change in perspective, as well as being patient, open-minded, and big-picture focused rather than dwelling on little things.

Lol um, that was a long response. Good post.

L said...

Oops, I just realized I made a ton of grammatical typos... sorry sometimes I tend to type faster than I think:) PS nice family portrait.

Monkey said...

thanks! along those lines i was just reading a blog which said:
* Ambition is good because standing out leads to interesting opportunities in life.
* These opportunities, however, are wasted if you have to suffer to maintain them, therefore the only acceptable paths to achievement are those that are compatible with a happy life right now.

in other words, we should figuring out how to pursue exciting ambitions in a sustainable manner. or living live without burning ourselves out, and enjoying the ride like you said. :)

metal bookends said...

Sometimes, people forget what living life really means. Most of us spend it working, studying, keeping ourselves busy, without even knowing what real happiness is.