In pursuit of happiness…
In this blog, Cindy, our Limerick Institute of Technology Ambassador from Barbados takes us on a philosophical journey and offers some great tips on fulfilling your purpose…
“The purpose of living is to seek happiness.” – Dalai Lama
We all find ourselves caught up in today’s society and what we should be doing – work, school, etc. And many of us are constantly asking ourselves “what is the real purpose of my existence?”
Well, what if you were told that the sole purpose of your existence is to seek happiness. Many of you would be quick to argue this since it seems “selfish’ and ‘self-centred’ – and of course that’s not what we want to be. However, this does not mean that your purpose is to go through life exclusive of others and merely focusing on yourself. In fact, it means exactly the opposite. Those around us are the materials necessary for cultivating true happiness in ourselves. There are a few things we should look at when seeking happiness…
[NOUN – mass noun]: Sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.
Compassion is the root of all actions that involve humans helping each other. It is a feeling that is essential to being happy. At the end of the day, no matter how much you preach about being independent – humans are naturally dependent and without those around us, we wouldn’t be who or where we are today. Having compassion for those around you allows you to be more open and communicate more easily. It encourages you to see all human beings as just like you, and therefore you’ll be able to relate to them.
[NOUN – mass noun]: Close familiarity or friendship.
In my opinion- with today’s society in mind, this can be defined as “something commonly looked for in a romantic relationship, but exists in all connections or interactions that we have with other beings”. Intimacy improves our overall health and happiness, and many of us deny ourselves this simple source of happiness by looking for it in the wrong places. We go through life thinking we can only get intimacy from finding our ‘soul mate’ or the ‘right person’, and so when we don’t find that person, we are left feeling unloved and ultimately unhappy. But when we look at intimacy and it’s true meaning, we realize that it can be found in everyone around us. Our friendships, our family, even a stranger on a bus. Maintaining a sense of openness and kindness will allow you to find intimacy in the most unexpected places. It comes from connecting with someone, relating to them, sharing a passion.
Getting out of your comfort zone
[NOUN]: A situation where one feels safe or at ease. A settled method of working that requires little effort and yields only barely acceptable results.
Many of us reach a point in our lives where we are so comfortable that we don’t push ourselves anymore- the ‘comfort zone’. We don’t take risks or take on challenges, we let the fear of the unfamiliar prevent us from experiencing life. This is a danger zone. You’re settling for a level of happiness far lower than what you could achieve. It is important that you are aware of this zone, and that you continuously make the effort to get out of this zone.
To finish off, I’m going to share something that has personally helped me to be genuinely happier, while experiencing self growth on a whole new level- travelling. If you have even the slightest opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and hop on a plane to an unfamiliar country – do not let it slip away! Travelling, especially at a young age, shows you a whole new perspective on life and the world. Learning all about a new country while being immersed in the culture is so beneficial to your growth and opens your mind up to incredible things. Overall, it is such a great experience, filled with lots of little experiences that will leave you with amazing memories to last a lifetime!
Now that you have found your purpose, fulfil it.