Tuesday, November 16, 2010

7 Ways to Enhance Your Happiness

This post was kindly prepared and submitted by Arif and Ali Vakil of http://vakil.org

The pursuit of happiness is a common goal in everyone’s lives, and one we overlook amongst a busy and fast-paced lifestyle. The question then arises, can we be happy and productive at the same time?

It is not surprising that latest research reveals that the more happy we are in life, the more productive we become. Some of the side effects noticed in people when they are happy are that:
  • They enjoy their work
  • Have lower stress levels
  • Are more creative
  • Feel more confident
All these elements of happiness fused together can result in a person being more productive.

On the other hand those who show signs of depression, find themselves prone to lethargy and succumb to procrastination are arguably quite unhappy and frustrated.

For many of us who wish to be more productive in life, we should evaluate our approach to life. Ultimately that is our ATTITITUDE to life & see what we can do to increase our levels of happiness.

Let’s look at the Holy Qur’an to see what principles we are taught in Islam that can improve our attitude towards life.

7 Tips from the Quran to Enhance Our Levels of Happiness:

“And when your Lord made it known: If you are grateful, I would certainly give to you more…” [Quran 14:7]
Many of us are heedless of this Command in the Qur’an. By being grateful we place our attention on the wonderful gifts Allah has bestowed on us in life and therefore remembering to be grateful is the foundation towards happiness in this life and the Next. It puts into perspective our life and becomes a cure for negative emotions as well as a pessimistic attitude which Islam prohibits.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Wondrous are the believer’s affairs. For him there is good in all his affairs, and this is so only for the believer. When something pleasing happens to him, he is grateful, and that is good for him; and when something displeasing happens to him, he is enduring (sabar), and that is good for him. ”[Muslim]

“Surely they who believe and do good deeds and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate they shall have their reward from their Lord, and they shall have no fear, nor shall they grieve.” [Quran 2:277]
Often we are told ‘money can’t buy happiness’, and as Muslims most of us would agree. However if we ponder over this closely, money can buy happiness. The way to do it is by giving away your money to charity and noble causes. Research shows, giving charity not only benefits the receiver but also the giver.

Benefits of charity include:
- A sense of appreciation of our circumstances
- A sense of being useful to the human community
- Feeling of optimism
- Improves our social relationships

“O mankind! Surely We have created you from a male and a female, and made you tribes and families that you may know each other; surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty); surely Allah is Knowing, Aware.” [Quran 49:13]
God has created man as a social creature, as Muslims we should look at ways to increase love between the members of society that we live in for the harmony of our societies. Ways such as making time for loved ones, expressing our appreciation for them and managing social conflicts we face with wisdom play a key role in the journey towards happiness.

“And let not those of you who possess grace and abundance swear against giving to the near of kin and the poor and those who have fled in Allah’s way, and they should forgive and turn away. Do you not love that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” [Qur’an 24:22]
Real forgiveness takes place when we let go of any resentment and feel peace in our hearts. Sometimes it’s difficult to forgive, but we can overcome our anger or resentment by realising Allah is the Best of Forgivers and He loves those who forgive, this can bring the goodness within us to forgive others.

“Say: Nothing will afflict us save what Allah has ordained for us; He is our Patron; And in Allah let the believers put their trust.” [Quran 9:51]
At times we encounter difficulties in life that don’t make sense, and we begin to question our situtation despite it being the Will of Allah. The ProductiveMuslim facing difficulties has trust in Allah and submits to the Will of his Lord. You might be asking how can I develop trust of this level? Trust comes once we realise from the depth of our hearts that Allah is the Creator of the universe and everything happens by His Will. From our limited worldly perspective we cannot fathom the entirety of His Decree, but we trust that He (Subahanahu Wa Ta’ala) Knows best and our tests are a blessing in disguise. This faith and trust gives us the peace to overcome difficulties in life.

“Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest” [Quran 13:28]
Remembrance of Allah is not just thinking about Him with our minds, but remembering our Lord with our heart. When we remember Allah, He remembers us as mentioned in Bukhari. Nothing can be more comforting than knowing that Allah remembers us, and He loves the believers, even more so when they remember Him.

“Say. Surely my prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are (all) for Allah, the Lord of the worlds”. [Quran 6:162]
In examining our intentions for everything we pursue, we should ask ourselves: Is it for purely for Allah’s pleasure or for some worldly reason? By rectifying our intentions so that whatever we do is for Allah Alone, we gather a sense of deep meaning to our lives and also improves the quality of work that we do.

We hope that by following the principles above based on the teachings of the Quran and with many more lessons from the Seerah you will improve your outlook on life & increase your levels of happiness and reach the peaks of productivity; on that note life’s motto should be to-

Be Happy,
Be Productive,
Be Muslim :)

senang+sejuk hati bila ke kuliah tengok muka kawan-kawan yang ceria nak timba ilmu

selamat Hari Raya Aidiladha, moga tahun ini lebih baik dari sebelumnya, lebih banyak berkorban masa depan laptop untuk baca buku-buku yg bermanfaat(ye, lecture notes pun)

Allah yusaahil umuurakum!

No comments: