Category – psychology
Reading time – 5 minutes
Ever wondered why it is so hard to be happy!
When human beings started as a hunter gatherers, it was relatively easy to be happy. You needed few things to be happy. You needed food, water, warmth, safety and a family and you were okay.
Their were no stocks, bills or quarterly targets.
As time passed, hapiness got increasingly attached to external things. It depended on things you could gather and then feel happy by displaying those things to others. Humans started collecting land, money, metals, fat and servants.
But then things got more complicated. It was still hard to be happy.
They stocked more and more stuff,only to see that it got outdated before they could earn enough to buy its next version.
They needed pills more frequently to be happy and feel meaningful.
As incomes grew; after a particular level of money; hapiness stayed the same.
So, it was probably wrong approach to achieve sustained hapiness free of transient dopamine spikes.
Only when hapiness is detached from the external things, tgen only it can become stable and eternal.
When I read , courage to be disliked, I realised it was the simplest philosophy to be happy. Although it was hard to apply fully in real world; but it provides framework over which sustained hapiness could be developed.
I will share few of these concepts of Alderian psychology in this blog with illustrations.
Here we go.
1. Think in terms of teleology and not in terms of aetiology.
Aetiology is cause of an event. Teleology is purpose behind that event.
For example if somebody is depressed, we may deduce that, he is depressed because of his troubled home environment. ( Aetiological explaination)
In teleolgical terms, person has created depressive symptoms to avoid the effort of sorting out causes of his depression. ( Teleological explaination)
So, if we start seeing things in terms of hidden purpose, in stead of exact cause; it will be easier to start acting for improvement of the condition.
Aetiology provides difficult route to a solution. Teleology makes it a bit simpler. Aetiology gives causes, teleology guides towards possible solutions.
2. Stay away from life lies –
Life lie is lie that we make to avoid change. We shift blame from ourselves to someone else.
Like feeling inferiority to avoid being courageous enough to change your circumstances. It is easy to stay locked in home by constructing life lie of inferiority complex; than going out to face your fears and making best of whatever talent you possess.
3. Once you find purpose behind a particular symptom, you need to accept yourself and move ahead in spite of the fear. You need to have courage.
As all great minds have said, we choose our emotions, our reactions to a particular event and meaning that we provide to a certain event.
If you accept these, you give yourself power to change.
Humans are slow to change. Change needs courage. Change is inconvenient. Change needs sacrifice and pain.
We rather choose to avoid it. We may create symptoms like anger, impulsiveness, depression, irritability, inferiority to avoid the change. Our purpose of all these symptoms may be an effort to avoid process of painful change.
Better thing is to see that you can change situation with hit and trials using courage and assistance from your family, meditation or your doctor.
First you need to know that you have power over your response and thoughts.
“Think I have ability.
4. All problems are interpersonal problems.
All problems can be seen as problems arising out of our relationship with others and situations.
Don’t put your happiness in the hands of external things. Other people or things or situations. This will free you of a lot of burden.
Keep out of useless competition. Don’t get sucked up into useless struggles, to prove your superiority to anyone. Even if you are correct, don’t assert your yourself. If you are right, don’t sweat to prove it.
Don’t fall in trap of reward punishment circuit.
Step back and show no reaction. See problem in the circumstances, not in the particular person.
Life is not a competition. Don’t compare with others, compare with your old self. You should be improving with time.
5. Develop feeling that all people are my comrades. Develop horizontal relationships.
All humans are not same, but all are equal. Consider everyone as your friend or comrade.
It gives you power to think positively and to stay away from negative feelings. This will give you ability to see their perspective. It will solve a lot of problems.
Treat everyone as equal with no bias or hierarchy. It gives community feeling. Know that you are not centre of the universe and don’t expect many things from others. See what you can contribute, in place of what you can get.
6. Seperate tasks –
See clearly which is your task and which is not. If it is not your task, don’t overindulge in its execution. Provide nudge or guidance but don’t do it yourself.
For example, if child is not studying well understand that it is his task. Tell him that studies are necessary for him. Provide for tuition, reading space and help whenever he requires. But don’t force things on the child or punish.
Let him walk his path himself, so that he learns to face life alone.
7. Know that contribution leads to hapiness –
If you contribute to society and other people, your feeling of self-worth and hapiness are exalated. Believe in others. Don’t generalise things.
Few bad events or people don’t make everything bad.
Contribute according to your ability. But still know that person is worthy for being or existing. His contribution increases this worth.
8. Know that life is a journey, not a destination. Life is a series of dots, it is not a straight line.
To summarise everything.
See purpose of an event or action. Seperate tasks. Focus on internal drive for hapiness. Treat everyone as comrade. Solve interpersonal issues. Have courage to change.
Have courage to be disliked.
Inspiration – Courage to be disliked