The Source Of Happiness: Self Control
Life's problems seem insurmountable that some just throw in the towel, and live
day by day without meaning. Or, some decide to end it all. It does not matter
what the problems are. If you try to deal with them all by yourself, you will be
eaten alive. Or, you'd feel as though you were being eaten alive.
Yet, others continue living with the promise of better things to come.
Or, they have someone to live for. These things seem to motivate people to stand
and move on.
Or, are they being pushed forward by the ancient instinct to survive?
If that were so, then no human would be depressed, despaired, panic, or simply
surrender. It's the human ability to look back at his life and to arrive at certain
conclusions as to whether or not life is worth living. Surely, every living thing feels
pain. But, to be able to step back and look at his life is, in my opinion, a human
act. And this is why only humans are capable of experiencing mental pain. It is
called suffering. Humans can suffer without experiencing physical pain. Suffering
from a terrible loss of financial security is but one example. They could only suffer
from that if they had decided beforehand to value financial security and to live in
a society that values money. Another option would be to live far and away from
Many, however, decide to stay put.
Now, debt is a fact (if you decide to stay in that society). Unemployment is a real
possibility. And, when that happens, how should one deal with it, especially when
cash flow is severely cut off?
Rarely does one kill his family and his self.
But, almost all the time, we worry a lot. We worry sick. Then, our mental and
physical health worsens. It's easy to give up. Luckily, many of us don't take that
path. Yet, we worry ourselves sick.
Will we ever be happy?
Some of us even give up on that, calling it a mirage. Some of us don't even want
to talk about happiness. It would make them more depressed.
It would probably get them through the day with that attitude. But, they still
worry themselves sick.
Now, some people take a different route. They pray to their God, wishing for a
better life, requesting that they believe more in Him. When things don't go their
way, they pray some more and thank God. They leave everything to God. Does
that mean that they wouldn't lift a finger to make things work?
Not necessarily. But let's look into the lives of those who see some funny times
and smile, and find quality time with their friends and family.
How is this possible?
Some pray and let God carry their burden. Some see life as a cycle of ups and
downs. Because nothing is permanent, then they have no reason to worry. What
will be will be.
Now, some understand the nature of control.
I'm not referring to 'control freaks', the micromanagers, whose limited
understanding of power and self-control is based on controlling people's
behavior, Nature's Ways, and the Will of God. They are stressed out, physically
and emotional because Reality continually resists their intentions.
And, what about those who see some funny times in miserable situations and
smile, and find quality time with their friends and family?
Benedict Spinoza, a philosopher, once defined freedom as the 'recognition of
necessity'. That is, when you recognize the plain and simple fact that certain
things are beyond your control, you are relieved from emotional stress.
Emotional stress then is the result from trying to control what is beyond your will.
Worrying, then, is useless, unproductive, negative - a waste of good energy.
Does this mean that you should take things as they are, that is, passively? It is an
option, but it would be like giving up. In their case, they summon their wills and
strive to be the best they can be, while accepting the fact that certain things are
beyond their reach. Staying within their kingdom where they reign supreme, they
laugh and appreciate the company of others.
There lies their source of happiness.