How to live well when you are dying
Every second that passes brings us closer to the inevitable outcome of death. It seems to be far away, yet it is advancing at a rapid pace without us realizing it. How can we make the most of each moment so that we don’t feel like we are wasting our time?
In order for the path of life to unfold at its best, it must be paved with happiness. A journey seems long to us because it is badly lived, sometimes boring and sometimes painful. It is the same for life. We have not consciously decided on the life we want to live. It is as if we had joined a poker game with cards that we had been given and that we had to play the game at all costs. Since we can’t leave the table, we have to do our best to win it.
What does it mean to be happy?
Being happy is when you no longer seek to be happy. Desire is symptomatic of what you lack. If you wish to be warm, it is because you are cold. You are hungry because your stomach is empty. You are rich, in short, when you are no longer running after money, even if it is true that people who are called rich often run after money. In short, contentment is an important ingredient of the idea of wealth. Of course, not wanting to be happy does not happen overnight – it is not the same thing as not seeking out of desperation or inability, these situations must be distinguished -.
Life, a competition against oneself and others
Depending on whether you are on the left or on the right, you will have a generally different vision of life. People on the left generally consider that there is no competition between individuals in a society, primarily because they place equality above all else. People on the right generally believe the opposite. Perhaps the answer lies somewhere in between. Life is a mixture of solidarity (family, intergenerational, etc.) and competition. Wanting to be too polarized on one of these sides would make us frustrated and unhappy because our vision of the world would be too far from reality.
The importance of staying active
If it is difficult to always stay on course because of the daily ups and downs, it is important to maintain a certain stability through habits that we carry out every day. No matter what the day will bring, you can always gain satisfaction if you manage to accomplish a certain number of tasks without being disturbed by the interferences that may occur.
Growing strong through culture
What makes us alive is the culture that carries us. It enriches us and can serve as a toolbox at any time in order to have the resources to face adversity. When we make the effort to acquire a good culture, it becomes part of us, it becomes like second nature. Finally, we become what we read, what we watch, what we listen to. At birth, we are a kind of empty shell, fragile because we are empty. By feeding on culture, the shell fills up and is therefore much stronger to resist all kinds of aggressions.
Avoid looking for happiness in the eyes of others
How many times have we looked for the envy of others in their eyes?
Probably thousands of times. Because we are looking for validation and we don’t have a clear idea of happiness, we try to find an answer in the reflection of ourselves in others. It is easier to live in the lie of many than in the solitude of the truth. However, in the long run, defining our own criteria for happiness is a more viable option than constantly wandering according to the expectations of those around us like a weathervane that swings in the changing wind.
Give less importance to results
The world judges us on our results. We judge ourselves on our intentions, but in the end, it is our own conscience that is the true measure of our worth. This should not be an excuse to do nothing, quite the contrary. It is above all a question of doing what is really important to us and getting rid of what people say. Since we are ultimately our own true judge, it is much better to analyze our actions by our intentions rather than by the results we achieve. In short, acting in the most detached way from the result could be like throwing a bottle into the sea without worrying about whether someone will find it and who will find it.
Finding happiness in wisdom alone
If basing happiness on things we can’t control is risky, we should redirect our focus of attention to things that are within our control: our efforts and our heart qualities. Becoming wiser every day is a voluntary task. You can lose all your wealth overnight, but what you know and your qualities of the soul cannot be taken away from you so suddenly. It is only by your good or bad actions (by their intention) that you will increase or decrease this heavenly capital. Your character is your treasure and it is up to you to keep it and make it prosper.
“One cannot be without fear when one inspires fear.” Epicurus
As a corollary, one cannot be happy if one inspires wickedness, terror or anger. Happiness is found in the spectrum of goodness, no matter how naive that may sound to you. In reality, it is difficult to maintain true goodness in a hostile and aggressive world. Those who manage to do so have had to show real courage to keep that nature that we all ultimately possess at birth. In essence, being good is about reconnecting with our childlike nature. Only then can we experience sweet and delicious happiness. What about a dark and belligerent happiness? Is it really happiness?
Follow masters while being your own master
Following paths already laid out by great spiritual masters can help us go in the right direction. There are thousands of enlightened people who have gone before us, just read them or listen to their lectures if available. Putting their teachings into practice is the best way to make them your own. Also, it is not always good to follow exactly what is recommended, one should also follow one’s own intuition from time to time, the great ones did the same. Essentially, enlightened people have managed to surpass their own masters by following their teachings for a while while while experiencing the lessons of their own solitude themselves.