For this day of Thanksgiving, I am sharing what I heard so far about what makes people happy and should be thankful for.
Deepak Chopra once said in front of a live audience that a person who won a lottery or became instantaneously rich for any reason will be ecstatic for that moment. After a year, that person will be used to what he or she has and will be back to his or her original state of emotion. The same goes for man who may have lost a limb in an accident — he will be devastated, but emotions are resilient. After a year, he will be back to his original state of emotion before the accident happened.
In the examples described above, each person’s state of emotion could have turned for the better or worse depending on what will transpire after a life changing event. For the man who lost a limb, he might find his love ones grew closer in support of his condition while for the person to won a lottery he may realize that people got closer to him because they needed something. Needless to say, many popular personalities succumb to loneliness and depression despite having the materials an average person do not have. Some experts would say that it is caused by a chemical imbalance. Is that it? While some if not most of the less fortunate seems to be happy regardless.
Someone shared with me once that what makes a person happy is not how wealthy, intelligent, or beautiful that person is. What makes a person happy is his capacity to build a relationship and the quality of his relationships. (The same goes with finding meaning or purpose. One can find purpose by developing and maintaining a relationship not just with people but also with ’causes’ or organization.)
Taking a step further is to recognize what can threaten a state of happiness. Recognition is key here, because one could not possibly totally eliminate threats to one’s state of happiness. What are these threats? Threats are very familiar to you and me. Threats can be in a form of how you feel when someone showing (without the intention of sharing) what they have, realizing what you have not, and the list goes on. These then leads to the importance of recognizing desires and wants, which are not needs. And these desires when achieved goes on the same cycle snowballing and threatening other people’s state of happiness. This is not to say that the person next to you should not achieve something. This is saying that you recognize how you react and getting back to the people or relationships you value most regardless whether you also proceed in your own conquest.
No matter which new roads you take, know that you can get back to the road that leads to people or relationships you value most, because you would not know when you must take it when you need them most.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving!