Happiness is An Art (Al-Qarni, 2005). It is important that at any point in life one has to achieve happiness. In the state of happiness, one operates with a clear state of mind and it allows one to be productive.
Why Al-Qarni identified Happiness is An Art? How one can learn to be happy? After reading Al-Qarni, I found three ways that one can learn to be happy. The same means can be exercised to preserve that state of happiness.
First, happiness is an art that needs to be learned. One has to develop the ability to endure and to cope with any situation is a the fundamental principle for this art of learning. The heart can’t be swayed nor be controlled by big calamities and challenges in life or by insignificant trifles. In simple words, one needs to self-train to be patient and forbearing. In long run, she/he would easier to bear and manage the hardships or calamities. In addition, Al-Qarni also emphasized that a purify heart facilitates the development of this ability and coping mechanism. One needs to pursue this exercise in life until the ability to endure and the coping mechanism become her/his second nature.
Second, happiness is a state of mind. Bridle one thought and restrain it. This is also one of the fundamental principles for the art of learned happiness. Al-Qarni warned that if 0ne let his/her mind to wander as it wish, then the mind will run wild and control his/her. By the way Al-Qarni explained, I have this understanding that our brain–our mind, has its own life and its own wants. Thus, we should have control to our brain and don’t let our brain control us. If we failed to do so, as described by Al-Qarni, our brain will walk us to the past woes, remind of misfortunes, images of past difficulties, images of uncertainties of future that is so frightening etc. All of these thoughts could shaken our beings and flare our thoughts.
Third, happiness is the ability of a person to value life according to its merit and worth. Basicly Al-Qarni said that life is imperfection. Misfortunes, calamities, challenges, insignificant trifles are all natural life events equal to happiness, opportunities, achievements etc. One cannot remove oneself from all remnants of grief, as they are natural life events. One way to ‘turn-away’ is to learn value them for its merit and worth. Re-label and reframe them in positive outlooks in our life context helps use to value them for its merit and worth. Since we’re in the belief that happiness is acquired by the practice of learning, Al-Qarni said, happiness is acquired by assuming it. He suggested a simple method, practice happiness through your lips! I mean practice happiness by learning to smile. Make smiling your second nature. Constantly smiling. Find reasons to bring genuine smiles to your lips. Any reasons will do. Even though it’s hard (I know, I hardly can deny this), one has to force oneself to smile in every situation. While I’m writing this, I’m smiling. Somehow, with the smile in my lips, I found my heart and mind are uplifted. Surprisingly without any reason too. It works for me!
In conclusion, a state of happiness is an essential condition for one to have a clear mind and productive regardless of life situations. Don’t take heart with life situations, they are all natural events to reality. Three means to gain the Art of Happiness suggested by Al-Qarni (2005) that the state of happiness could be learned, one has to control and manage his/her mind and gain the ability to value life according to its merit and worth.
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