What does it mean to be happy?

“What makes you happy?”

Someone asked me this question a few weeks ago.

At that moment, I couldn’t answer. Maybe I didn’t expect a question like that.

I thought I knew what is happiness – but I guess I don’t since I couldn’t give a straight answer.

Recently, I discovered the “Brahma-Vihara”, which is the four states of the mind taught by Buddha, when I read the book called “A CEO, an Entrepreneur, a Tourist, and the Monk: Finding the Balance Between Success and Happiness” by the author Alex Butt.

I’m born a Christian, but to me – religion is there just to guide us. You can be labeled a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or Hindu but if you’re not a good person, your religion means nothing.

All religions teaches the same thing – love.

The four sublime states are love (metta), compassion (karuna), sympathetic joy (mudita) and equanimity (upekkha).

You can find out more (a brief version for those that hate to read long texts :P) here.

That’s when I realized that the main causes of what makes us unhappy with our lives are because we are consumed with jealousy, envy, ego, hatred, and all these negative feelings.

I know – we all aren’t perfect. We are bound to feel these negative feelings and emotions. We are human beings after all – we are meant to have good and bad feelings.

With practice, we learn how to react to situations better.

Yes, you can feel angry, jealous, egoistic and everything but you can choose to not be so consumed by it.

Let them go. Let these feelings go.

If you noticed, the times when you’re feeling happy is when all these feelings aren’t present.

Life is a long ass journey – so don’t spend your time being bitter about everything.

What you choose to feel reflects externally as well. Just like a ripple effect. What goes around, comes around.

Just like the saying goes, “You reap what you sow” – the natural consequence of your actions when you give in the present, in the future, someway or another you’ll receive abundantly.

Many of us are seeking for happiness. But in fact, happiness is right in front of us. Happiness is already within us.

The definition of happiness is just feeling love, compassion and joy.

You can find happiness in everything you do – every choice, every decision, every action.

And so, this is my answer to what makes me happy.

p/s: I highly recommend the book that was mentioned above!