The Pursuit of Happiness

More and more people are unhappy with who they are, what they’re doing and the state of the world around them. How do we obtain happiness?
Jason Snyman
It is easy to think of happiness as a result, but it is also a form of propulsion. Happiness = Productivity = Accomplishment. While some of us seem to run on caffeine and rage alone, the rest need something more. They need sunshine to grow. With South Africa in the shape that it’s currently in, it’s little wonder that a large percentage of people are starting to look toward immigration as a solution. For a lot of people, however, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. Marcel Proust, a French novelist, once wrote:
"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."
Life is full of impossible things, such as writing the number 6 while rotating your foot clockwise. Or, say, moving to Australia. Changing the way you perceive things may be a lot easier. The goal may not be to spend your life pursuing happiness, but creating it, instead. There’s an old quote often mis-attributed to John Lennon. As it goes, a young boy receives an assignment at school. What do you want to be when you grow up? The boy writes down: Happy. The teacher calls the young boy up to the front of the class and tells him he misunderstood the assignment. The young boy, with a wisdom way beyond his years, replies: You misunderstand life. In the current climate, we all need to find our own way to adapt and overcome these obstacles. In this article, we take a look at a few ways people go about in their search for happiness.
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Searching For Happiness

You may wake up one day with the sudden realization that you’re in serious danger of wasting your life. The years slip by as you surround yourself with people you don’t relate to, working a job you don’t enjoy and standing by as, one by one, all of your dreams become more and more unachievable. You may ask yourself, what do you want from life? And like the protagonist in the above quote, you may find that all you really need is happiness. But, if you’re deeply unhappy with where you are, what you’re doing and who you are, how do you even begin to rectify it? One secret to happiness is a good sense of humour and a really bad memory. For those cursed with a great sense of recollection, however, there are a number of scientifically proven methods you could try. These could include spending more time with friends and family, spending more time outdoors, helping other people or meditation. Out of all of these, the two most popular solutions are:

1. Get More Exercise

Proven to have a profound effect on a person’s well-being. Whether you’re down in the dumps or not, exercising every day can increase your brain power, help you relax and of course, improve your body image.

2. Get More Sleep

We know that sleep helps our bodies recover after a long day. Any negative stimuli we’re exposed to throughout the day gets processed by the amygdale section of our brains. Any positive memories gets processed by the hippocampus. Sleep deprivation hits the hippocampus harder than the amygdala. Therefore, the result is that tired people fail to recall pleasant memories, yet recall unhappy memories just fine.
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The Desiderata – A Guideline to Happiness

The Desiderata (Latin for Desired Things) is a poem written in 1927 by Max Ehrmann. For a long time, the authorship remained unknown. The text only became widely known in the 1970’s and by that time, Ehrmann had already died. The poem, written in prose form, is widely regarded as a guideline to happiness. If you could only just stick to those simple rules.  

This Is Water

“There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says: Morning boys. How’s the water? And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, what the hell is water?”
In 2005, David Foster Wallace delivered what is widely regarded as the greatest commencement address of all time at the Kenyon College. He opened with the above story of two young fish. Wallace goes on to explain that the point of the fish story is merely that the most obvious, important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and talk about.
The point of the speech was, of course, to reveal that “real value of a real education has nothing to do with knowledge” and everything to do with “simple awareness.”
Awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time, that we have to keep reminding ourselves, over and over: This is water. This is water. This awareness can be applied not only to education, but simply existing itself. How to perceive others, think about meaning and act appropriately in everyday life. The subjects of the speech cover the difficulty of empathy, the importance of being well-adjusted and the essential lonesomeness of adult life. Watch the video, made by The Glossary, below.  

Other Forms of Happiness

Everybody has their own way of dealing with life. You may decide to fake it until you feel it, spending your days smiling at yourself in the mirror, or listening to music. Some people prefer to keep themselves busy, or active, throwing themselves into their work or hobbies. You may feel good by giving back, or giving everything. Eat healthy, spend your money on experiences, count your blessings and challenge yourself. Keep your goals and expectations realistic. Shorten your commute to work, rewire the way your brain thinks. Be proactive. Move beyond small talk. Show gratitude, and keep your eye on the prize. As another old saying goes;
“You can’t direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails.” Join our happy savers and start saving on car insurance today!