What will make you happy? A dream job, success, money, love, fame?
Research shows that even when people succeed, they are still unsatisfied. Therefore, chances are that even if you achieve one or all of the above in your life, you may still feel unfulfilled. So, the question arises – is there a way to achieve a more permanent state of happiness?
Thomas Oppong in Happiness Lessons From Haiku, An Ancient Japanese Philosophy writes on how you can achieve this state of happiness by practicing an ancient Japanese philosophy called Haiku. Haiku is a positive habit where you write a short poem (no more than 3 lines or 17 syllables) inspired by the emotions of a moment. The word constraint in this poem forces you to choose your words wisely, thereby making every line express your true feelings in the simplest way.
“Absence of problems
does not lead to happiness.
Dealing with them does.”
― J. Benson, Haiku to Live By: Life-affirming messages, to hearten your day
How does it work?
In his essay, A Basic Human Approach to Happiness, Br. David Steindl-Rast writes: “the one basic condition of the human psyche that accounts for genuine happiness is living in the now.”
The habit of Haiku is developed on 3 virtues – gratitude, mindfulness, and discipline.
With this practice, you start to reflect daily on small events/things that you can be grateful for. This practice develops mindfulness and slowly you start to live in the present moment. Consistent and daily practice of this philosophy brings you closer to your inner self and you start to see visible changes in your attitude towards life.
So go ahead, start your daily Haiku practice today by spending five minutes writing about one or two positive experiences you had in the past 24 hours.