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  • Writer's pictureTan Hui Ling

The Secret Behind Happiness

Updated: Oct 26, 2021

When was the last time you felt joy? What does joy mean to you? What makes you laugh? Take some time to reflect….are you truly happy now?

Living in a typical Asian society like Singapore, we are often thrown into a culture of materialism within the city-state. From the pursuit of cars to extravagant houses and luxury items - every single aspect of our life seems to be riding on the wave of material possessions, forming the foundation of our definition of “success”. The reason behind these pursuits; Our desire for affirmation and to flaunt to others. What is scary about this trend is not that Singaporeans are unwilling to admit it, it is the fact that Singaporeans are unknowingly getting caught in it. Indeed, societal pressures have caused a bandwagon effect where Singaporeans are just blindly pursuing these “successes”, turning a blind eye to what they are chasing these for. These have led to a vicious cycle of simply pursuing and not “digesting”, turning us into zombies that no longer feel.

Then, you must be wondering - what does it mean to “feel” then? While this definition is exhaustive, in my perspective, it would refer to being able to enjoy the little successes in life. This can be something trivial - like passing an examination or learning to cook a new dish. Celebrating little successes like these can bridge our thought and our heart, helping us build not only our technical skills but also recognise and reconcile the feelings behind them. This can eventually form the foundation of a feeling called “happiness”.

So, what does “being happy” mean then? By the dictionary, it is defined as a state of pleasant emotions from contentment to intense joy. Basically, this means that it is an emotional state that brings a smile to your face and makes you feel good about yourself. Now, ask yourself - when was the last time you felt that, and what brought a smile to your face? Share your stories in the comment section below!

How do I then achieve this state of “happiness” then? I will share with you 4 simple ways to be happy.

Firstly, happiness is found in perspective. Now, let me give you a glass half filled with water. Do you see it as half-full or half-empty? If you see it as the former, congratulations, you are an optimist; on the flip side, if you see it as the latter, sadly, you are a pessimist. See what I did there? In both situations, the volume of water in the glass is actually the same. However, when the perspective changes, the outcome actually changes. Fascinating isn’t it? Therefore, you should always keep in mind to always see the positive in situations. So what if you do not get the car? It’s okay. At least you do not have to spend money on COE :)

Secondly, happiness is found in purpose. Each and every one of us is created with a purpose for a purpose. Some of us might be better at music; Some of us might be better at sports; Some of us might be better at studies - every one of us is unique and valued. Find this hidden potential and use it to drive yourself to greater heights. In the process, you will find fulfilment and happiness.

Thirdly, happiness is found in people. Cherish your family, friends, and love ones - for they form a community of individuals that you can trust and grow with. We are not born to be lone creatures, we are born to be a pack of talents, stronger as a cohesive whole.

Lastly, a simple smile goes a long way. I am sure that many of us heard the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Now I should replicate this and switch it around “A smile a day keeps your worries away.”. Life can be filled with meaning and enjoyment - only if you let it. Therefore, do not be stingy with your smiles! You can possibly brighten up someone’s day with a simple smile as well.

Ending off this article with a simple joke - How do you make a tissue dance? Answer: You put a little boogie in it :) Hope that made you laugh! Now spread this joke to your friends and family! :D

Written By: Tan Hui Ling

Edited By: Alexis Lee

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