Jong Beom Cho
Happiness can derive from verity of reasons. For some monetary success would make them happy. Some will feel happy when they have achieved a certain position or a goal. People sometimes just feel happy for no particular reason. The state of being happy is what everyone desires. However, many find acquiring happiness difficult and feel themselves as unhappy person. It is because most people focus on elements that make them happy when the real question is 'what is making them unhappy?'
Happiness is triggered by interaction between two different levels of human mind. Human mind always and unconsciously create ideal state of oneself. The ideal state can be formed differently from a person to person depending on the culture and atmosphere they are exposed to. In relationship with the ideal state, there is reality. It is the state which a person conceives as real. Every person has these two states of mind: ideal state, and the reality. For most of time there is a gap between these two states. This gap enforces people to compare their reality to the state of ideal and make them crave for it. When the gap is not narrowed, then a person would feel unhappy. It is when the gap is narrowed or completely exterminated, people would feel happy. Therefore, the obvious solution to the happiness is either bringing down the ideal state to the reality or taking reality into the level of one's ideal state.
Happiness can be achieved by lowering one's ideal. This does not mean that one should set one's goal low and lower one's expectation. It means one should remove unnecessary burden from one's ideal. Studying English, which would be the most likely event that make many students unhappy, is a good example. When students study English, they would probably set certain goals and create their own master plans. For instance, many students will plan like this: 50 words, reading 5 newspaper articles every day. It is these types of planning and executing part where they bare themselves with extra burden. By setting a numerical goal they are living a life of a prisoner and serving there sentence to the studying. Sooner or later they will find themselves in the situation where they are simply repeating the exercise forgetting the real purpose of the work. Consequently, they feel tired and unhappy from the endless routine. The ideal the student set was to improve one's English level not being best and doing the same activity for a long period of time, but because the student have set a goal that is impossible to achieve, since no one can repeat the routine for the rest of one's life, he or she is feeling unhappy. In other words, the student has made a gap that can never be narrowed down. Like the student studying English, many people put themselves in a situation where there is a gap that cannot be filled. Avoiding creating these gaps that are impossible to be filled and focusing on the core essence of filling the gap is a key to reaching the happiness.
Second part of acquiring happiness is by improving one's reality. Reality is not what is actually real. It is a state which one perceives oneself to be in. For example, a person can say the glass is half full or half empty depending on how they perceive the glass. Like the glass metaphor, there are many aspects in our lives that can be improved by changing the attitude of perception. The most important things at the attitude of perception are the positive attitude. One must constantly make effort to perceive the world as positively as possible. It does not cost anything and does not take much time. One must not forget that reality is not always about what is 'real' but what our mind think is real.
Searching for happiness does not start from dissecting the elements of happiness but from discovering what are making people unhappy. Unhappiness is presence because of the gap between the ideal and the reality. Therefore, the gap must be narrowed down in order for one to feel happy. The gap can be filled from both ends: from the reality's side or the ideal's side. However, there is common ground going through the two methods. It is that happiness is not something to be searched outside oneself but it is already innate emotion covered by people's mind. Finding happiness is actually soothing one's mind and changing one's view of the universe.