Trying to make sense of life and to learn living it happily.

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Friday, August 10, 2012

The Pursuit of Happiness: Part 2. "Different Strokes For Different Folks"

This is a follow up on the last post "The Pursuit of Happiness" (http://olgarythm.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-pursuit-of-happiness.html)

Everybody strives toward happiness and away from suffering. 
Even though the path to happiness is different for everyone, we are still looking for the same thing.

You can compare the happiness to a mountain summit. There is one summit, but it can be approached from the different sides of the mountain. Some can go fast, others slow. Everyone may walk a different path, with different goals and different gear to help them. Different peoples call the summit by different names. But in the end they will reach the same place, the same summit.

Similarly, some approach happiness through faith, using prayer as there tool. Others practice meditation. Yet others apply practicality, etc. We approach happiness from many different philosophical schools. But all of us try to reach the same goal – be happy.

      I came across the same tool being used absolutely differently but for the same goal.

      In corporate culture

Purpose: stress relieve and achievement of happiness:

a.       affix to a wall at the eye level
b.      stand comfortably next to it
c.       Start banging your head against the target dot until you feel stress leaving your body and bliss entering.
d.      Smile 

In yoga class
Purpose: stress relief, achievement of mindfulness and happiness. 

a.       affix to a wall about 3 feet from the floor
b.      seat cross legged comfortably next to it
c.       concentrate on the dot. Do not allow any thoughts.
d.      Feel stress leaving your body and bliss entering.

      I have gotten the first instructions from my coworkers as a joke. I thought it was so funny, I posted it on the wall (just like instructed) and invited anyone who came into my office and complained to try that method. Even though no one actually banged their head against it, it relieved stress quite nicely. Several years later I have gotten a similar picture in my yoga class. The above example, albeit funny, helped me realize that even though we use different tools, or use similar tools in different ways, we are still trying to move toward the same target. 

     I believe the sooner we realize it, the sooner we will admit that we have a common goal, the sooner we will understand how important it is in our lives, the sooner we will begin to change our attitude toward contentment and happiness.

     In the posts to follow, I will discuss my theory on happiness as well as practical advice on how to achieve it.

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