As a self-proclaimed “techno geek,” I have the habit of searching for answers to every question using popular search engines. Typing in the question above yielded the following top result:
“Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy”.
Words may not be enough to explain what happiness is. We do, however, experience it in several ways.
For some people buying a brand new car is happiness. For others, it could be hanging out with friends, or even eating our favourite chocolate! But we also know that people who have “everything” are not all happy. But if you know or have heard of Nick Vujicic, you’ll surely agree that he is the happiest person on earth.
Why is that?
(Yet another question presented itself and so I turned to Google for answers.)
I found out that he never lived his life dwelling on what he did not have (two words: arms, legs). Instead he did things any normal person would do in spite of what he lacked. He can stand without legs, can swim, can surf, and can even play golf! Once he learned a skill he changed his focus to another.
Many of us also follow the same pattern. Whenever we start getting bored we change pace –taking a break and listening to music while studying, or playing games or having dinner out after a long day’s work.
Why am I talking about happiness anyway?
Well, mainly because I am very happy right now.
After a few days I started my internship at World Youth Alliance Asia Pacific I found myself really happy working here, despite the not-so happy things I go through each day.
I take public transport to and from the office. It takes me about an hour travel, and it’s really tiring. My being a vegetarian limits the food I can eat, and I’ve probably eaten just about 2-3 dishes the whole month I’ve been here. Our discussions are most of the time quite difficult for me to understand (as an engineering student, I’ve hardly had to read numerous paragraphs and write essays).
The reason for my happiness? Change! Each time I come in the office, I feel energized because I learn something new and exciting, and this feeling overcomes the feeling of exhaustion. As Viktor Frankl says, my response is always up to me anyway. I could change my outlook from boredom to enthusiasm. I could choose to be a better person. I learned from WYA that this is what true freedom is about- choosing to do the better of two actions. And for me, it’s changing my attitude to be happy despite the sometimes difficult circumstances.
By Amey Walvekar, an Engineering student from India, currently an intern at the WYA Asia Pacific office. To learn more about the concept of freedom and its relation to human dignity, be sure to check out our Track A Training Program.