The happiness paradox

It is only when we are cognizant that life is never a bed of roses and when we are dealt a bad hand with the odds stacked against us, how we make the best out of our adversities will be how we perceive them. Like the renowned stoic, Marcus Aurelius wrote in his memoirs: You have power over your mind — not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength, and this aphorism resonates in my heart because that’s how I have always led my life. Likewise, I am also a strong proponent of stoicism because the hallmark of stoicism is essentially the acceptance of the circumstances which life has dealt and moving forward instead of dwelling in the past, and nothing has ever fazed me ever since then because I find myself being calm and collected simply by accepting things as it is and how I react to my circumstances is only a matter of my perception.

Most importantly, I believe that we are in absolute control of our lives. And our happiness is directly proportionate to the amount of emphasis we give in the various aspects our lives, be it our situations or our relationships with other people.

For example, if you are upset about something, remove yourself from the situation and leave. Why let other people who add no value towards your life dictate how you feel? If you are stuck in a rut, it is your responsibility to pick yourself up instead of wallowing in self-pity. You can’t blame anyone for how you feel. If you think that everyone you meet in your life will be misanthropes, you will meet misanthropes. If you think that everyone you meet will be assholes, you will meet assholes; it is essentially a self-fulfilling prophecy because you are seeing what you want to see. Conversely, it could be said that if you think that everyone you meet will be welcoming, you will meet friendly people. If you think that people will be receptive, you will meet receptive people. How other people react to you will be how you react to people, your vibe attracts your tribe.

Besides that, stoicism is inherently altruism as well because stoicism is having absolutely no expectations of gratitude from others, and throughout the years, adopting this philosophy has served me well because by having no expectations from others, I am genuinely taken aback when people reciprocate rather than having uncommunicated expectations for others and subsequently being disappointed when needs are being unmet by projecting my fantasy onto others without conveying my intentions congruently.