September 8, 2016

How to find Happiness and Fulfillment!

by Dion Damen, 4th year student at AMSIB*

Two weeks ago I started an online course on named 'A life of Happiness and Fulfillment'. The reason why I started this course is because attaining happiness is something everybody is aiming for. Even though the world is full of different nationalities, cultures, and people, in the end, (arguably) every human being on earth is aiming for a happy life. I wanted to increase my knowledge about this topic because everybody aims for happiness, yet not everybody knows the theory behind achieving it.

The course is divided over 6 weeks. In each week the teacher (Dr. Rajagopal Raghunathan) explains 1 of the 7 sins of happiness. These sins are common factors that people do that stand in the way of people's happiness without them realizing that. 

The first sin of happiness was the devaluing of happiness. This means that people tend to sacrifice happiness for the sake of other things. When I first heard about this sin I thought to myself 'people who do that are crazy!'. However, after Dr Raj. explained this sin more, I realized; I devaluated my happiness as well...
I found out I sometimes devaluate my own happiness for the sake of being right.

For example, A good friend of mine tried to lose weight, so I advised him to go to the gym, exercise and eat healthy. I told him this many times, however, he did not seem to take any action. It started to annoy me that he would not except my advice, but still continue to complain. After a few weeks, he had informed me that he had found out about swimming and that he thinks this will really help him losing weight. My first reaction was that I told him a thousand times that he should go work out, and I was a little bit angry that he did not listen to me before. I thought this was okay for me to say, and I am confident that many people would have reacted the same way. However, Dr Raj has taught me another perspective of this story. Why am I not being happy for my friend, who is so happy because finally figured out a way to lose weight? I wanted to show my friend I was right, which in turn means that I wanted to show superiority (more on superiority in a next blog) in relation to my friend. 

It felt very confronting to analyze myself in this situation, and I actually felt a little bit embarrassed for the way I acted. Already in the first week of this course I have learned to not sacrifice my happiness for the sake of other things, such as being right.

However, we do not only devalue happiness for the sake of being right. We do it for a lot of other things as well. I try to think twice in a lot of situations now, whether I make the right choices, and I must say that putting happiness first is a good way to start an even happier life.

* AMSIB = Amsterdam School of International Business

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