Train Your Mind to be Happy
How much time do you spend doing your hair or makeup? And exercising to make your body look good?
Ok, now think about how much time you spend working on the most important thing you own- your mind. Probably not as much as you should if you wish to be truly happy.
I just watched this inspirational video by French monk Matthieu Ricard, called the Habits of Happiness. Ricard discusses the human quest for happiness- and how he believes you can reach this ultimate goal by training your mind.
When we think about how to achieve happiness, we usually think of external stimuli- money, success, fame, a big house or a new car. But do these things really deliver happiness? Can money make you smile? The answer is no, it can’t. Nothing external to yourself can actually make you happy- it is how the mind interprets these things that makes you happy or not. And this is where mind training comes into play.
Ricard argues that it is possible to change our state of mind to one that is conducive to happiness. He describes positive emotions, such as love, generosity and selflessness as antidotes to the negative emotions like hatred, jealousy and greed. By training your mind to overcome negative emotions with a positive antidote you can eliminate negativity from your life and be truly happy.
It’s not an easy process and will take a lot of contemplative meditation. In fact he compares it to the long hours needed to become a master violinist, something I definitely have not yet achieved! But the pay off, true happiness, is definitely worth it.
I think I’m going to go start my journey to happiness and try a bit of meditation. Wish me luck!