Is it similar to your happiness?

Whoever you may be: step into the evening. Step out
of the room where everything is known to you already….
-Poem by Rilke

When did you feel happy last time?
Have you ever realized or experienced it?
You never know when and how it appears.
The truth is, enlightenment of happiness doesn’t come only with philosophical reading, it might come with a very short conversation with our friend with the quality of tea in the tea shop.
It’s amazing when our subconscious mind recognizes it.
I’ve had some experiences with it.
I’ve found some unusual inner realization about happiness and, of course, it’s not about monetary, prestige or any grand achievement in life.
It’s happiness not in something I gained material but in something I lost.
You might be surprised once you attain it.
I’ve found the most happy moment when I lost myself in something else, actually, when I lost myself in something to find myself.

Here’s how I found one.
When I was thirteen years old, I started running in middle school.
I had no athletic gift, nor family history in running, nothing like that.
I just started to run, teachers pushed me a little bit with encouragement, that’s it.
I ran in many school competitions, I didn’t win a lot but I felt really good when I would run.
I ran through middle school to high school in various school competitions and local tournaments.
No one around me including my family and friends asked me to run, no one wanted it actually.
But the sense of happiness I felt during those years remains resonant to this day.
I didn’t understand back then because I wasn’t mentally mature to understand.
It’s hilarious when I reflect back and visualize those moments.
Through my undergraduate to graduate school, I didn’t run at all but jog a little bit due to various reasons.
I would say life happened so I became busy with many other things.
Actually, I didn’t find any environment in college to run, I kind of forgot about running.
Fifteen years later, I am not a much better runner now than I was then, but something followed me constantly inside without my pure realization.
I don’t know why and how I resumed my running again.
I realized that what sustains me in my life is my moment of interiority when I run and finish it.
What excites me in my present running is the moment when I forget other tasks of my present life or give up some tasks just for running regularly.

Sometimes we think that getting something tangible will make us happy.
What do you think?
Maybe it won’t be for some people.
Or maybe it will be for others, I don’t know.
I think for many people, maybe it’ll give them more power because they just might feel pride for taking some control on something they like.
One thing I’ve noticed is that doing something hard that interests us can still be rewarding for us.
Hard remains hard only in the beginning after that it becomes our ritual and if we follow that ritual then comes immense pleasure.
I can correlate this when I ran my first half marathon after a few 5Ks and 10Ks.
I had never run 13.1 miles before.
But the feeling of pride and satisfaction after finishing the run changed everything.
Gradually, I developed a running habit as a muscle.
More I work on it, the stronger it becomes.
I believe it applies to any activity that we do in life regularly.
The pride inside us pushes us further when we finish it and forces us to repeat it again.
The more we feel pride about it, the more we become sensible and responsible, and we become a part of our routine and ritual, which I realized is another ingredient of happiness.
When I run I feel pride in my mind and a kind of rushing in my body.
I make many of my mitochondria, the batteries of our body, a lot happier by running.
Remember, all the mitochondria in a cell are in contact, communicating with each other about what is going on in their part of the cell.
They know everything, they know what we are doing: sleeping, eating, running, relaxing.
They know all the activities, they influence the activity of the cell and get it to send signals to our body.
Running has become my self-directed accomplishment, no matter how absurd it may sound to outsiders, it has become a foundation of my sense of self and sense of happiness.
Losing myself in an all absorbing running, I’ve become myself.
The feeling of accomplishment by running, becomes another truth in my happiness.
As I move in my age, I feel this sensation more potent.

Nowadays I always tell the younger generation that we should always be on the lookout for right opportunities for body and mind, and we always stress getting what we’re worth.
When was the last time that you were presented with an opportunity to try something you liked but you didn’t try for some reason?
What’s something that you have always wanted to learn about but never try?
If you are turning something down because you’re not good at it or you know nothing about it.
Then you are not only cutting off any opportunity to learn or get better at it but also blocking your own inner growth and happiness.
Because you never know where your happiness is.
And to grow inside is to be happy.

What is supposed to be the habit of being happy?
I think it is a habit of mental growth in any area, personal, professional, vocational, hobby, whatever?
Habit of mental growth means we troubleshoot, pivot, fail, we try again and troubleshoot again because we love to do it.
Every attempt becomes a lesson to help us in the next adventure, no pressure and no time bound.
For example, when I started running, I didn’t know how to breathe from my mouth which is essential for long distance running, but eventually it became normal.
We just have to risk failing but still it gives us inner satisfaction.
There could be something on the other side of our fear that will be so damn great, that I experienced when I passed the finish line of my first marathon.
We just have to start doing what we like and then have tenacity to stick with it.
Giving up midway would be like turning the stove off just before the water boils.
The one thing we can rely on in life is the force of doing and repeating things that interests us as we get older, and as we age.

There is a difference between achievement and accomplishment especially when we age.
Ambition is a good thing at all times, especially if it is the drive that lets our accomplishment turn into a vocation.
We all have to make a living doing some work, and one of the worst things in life is making a living doing something we hate to do.
This would never be the happy ending of life, this would be the only thing to talk about as a regret later in life.
This is not my personal experience because I’m not there yet, but I’ve heard and experienced multiple such stories when I talk to older people.
They look depressed and sad when they share their past stories.

There is no such thing as happily ever after in real life.
There is just after.
And more after if we’re lucky.
It’s up to us to face every moment with a challenge to do our best and to make the most of it.
Every attempt is a chance to recalibrate.
Sometimes, especially in the curves and dips of life, all of us forget what will truly make us happy.
That’s ok, it’s normal.
It’s in the mistakes and in the challenges that we can discover and rediscover our happy hormones.

All of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are interconnected, understanding this connection is key.
In my past life, I would think I would never get better at anything.
This thought would bring me feelings of sadness and frustration.
Then rather than go for a run or walk, I would decide to stay home.
The more I would avoid physical activity outside, the weaker I would feel.
My thought would say, “I will never get better.”
And then would come my feeling- “Sad, angry, frustrated.”
And then I would change my behavior and habits, “I would stay at home instead of going out for a run.”
This is a glimpse of my past life experience, a vicious cycle of life-trap.
If you have a similar life-trap, you need to disrupt this feedback loop to be happy in life.

Remember, being happy isn’t all about adding positives for better results, it’s also about nullifying the negatives wherever possible on the life road.
Life doesn’t come with traffic signs, it’s a freeway without any speed limit, traffic lights and signals, we have to make those traffic signals ourselves.
By sharing this joy of riding with others we’ll always be happy.
First we must be happy ourselves and we have to make happiness a mutual thing.
Mutual happiness teaches us mutual reliance, what matters most to our happiness is the strength of our connections to family and close friends.
The good thing is happiness is an adhesive and an expander.
First we share happiness with our parents and spouse or children, just within a family,
then with our close friends,
and then with a small group of people around us,
and finally with a bigger audience circle.
Ultimately, we go outside and make the world happy.

Thank you for your time.
-Yam Timsina