Happiness Questioned: Are You Making The Rules Or Playing By The Rules?

Happiness is a state of mind. It’s not just a short, fleeting moment when something great happens. It’s something that needs to be learned and practiced all the time. Consequently, it means realizing what makes us happy and finding a way to do these things every day, to give ourselves the opportunity to dive into what makes us feel alive, inspired and thus healthy.

However, as human beings, as the ones who are a part of a civilization, we need to obey certain rules. Every working place, every city, and every country has rules – it is expected from us to obey them. But, the rules change as we leave that working place, as we move to another town or even to another country.

So, the question is – to what extent do rules control your life, your personal happiness? Do they limit you; do they make you feel constrained? Numerous studies show that feeling unhappy leads to higher mortality rates. True happiness means letting go of the designated rules and creating your own. Nobody can know what’s best for you but you, and you alone.

See the rules for what they really are

Firstly, understand one thing – rules are not a universal thing. They are just guidelines and they are changeable – they change as you change the location. Secondly, some rules may have been forced upon you. Whether it’s about religious beliefs or society’s rules – you have not agreed to them, meaning you don’t have to live by them. Sometimes, rules can even prevent you from doing the right thing. In a specific situation, rules can get in the way because they are not flawless – you are allowed to bend them or even break them to help somebody or support an important issue. And let’s not forget the fact that many times people use rules as an excuse for having done something – mindlessly obeying the rules is what cowards do, and not people who have a mind of their own. It takes an open and courageous mind to critically contemplate a rule and to make an independent decision to go the other way.

You in comparison to everybody else

It’s easy to get depressed if you start comparing your life to somebody else’s. You will inevitably find a reason to feel bad – whether it’s the other person’s better job, love life or financial status – somebody else’s grass will always seem greener. Stop it right now. No matter how successful you are, you will feel miserable. There is always be someone better or seemingly luckier or happier – just leave it be and focus on yourself. Your life is what matters to you, not somebody else’s. So, forget about making parallels between you and your siblings or high school friends. Each one of you has a specific path that can’t be compared to anybody else’s. Your rules are your own, so don’t feel discouraged if nobody else is living by them.

Relationships and contracts

Human relationships (as well as relationships with our furry friends) may be the most important factor of anybody’s happiness and mental health – family relationships, the relationship between friends, romantic relationship. The latter is possibly the most important one for many people. We all seek happiness in another human being, expecting to be loved, cared for and respected. The way a romantic relationship takes its course depends on the partners – most people wish to get married, as a sign of their devotion, while some choose to have a life together without any formalities. This is where you need to follow your own heart – society can’t tailor your romantic relationship for you. Marriage is a covenant, but also a type of contract. This can help the relationship to become stronger and deeper, but it’s not a rule! Sometimes, people realize that their happiness doesn’t lie within the bounds of marriage anymore and professionals like Doolan Wagner family lawyers are the ones who will try to sort out the mess that often is the divorce. This is why you need to be sure what is that you really want from a relationship, and what your family or society expects from you. There’s never only one path to choose.

Live by a philosophy, not by rules

Having a philosophy isn’t just for great minds. Instead of following the rules of many, stop and write down your own philosophy of life, health and happiness. Put your wishes and aspirations into words; let your own attitudes and opinions become visible and clear. And then you’ll see how close or how far, in reality, you are from those aspirations and beliefs. You will then start living by something you created, not by rules set by somebody else.


Leila Dorari

Leila Dorari is an entrepreneur and freelance writer from Sydney. She’s passionate about home improvement and living better lives by nurturing our surroundings. In her free time, you can find her window shopping or exploring new ways to make her life more meaningful.

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