Accessible to the Common Man?
Judaism says: Of course.
To find happiness we have to ask ourselves : What makes a person happy? and how come many are not?
Pleasure that establishes a closer relationship with Hash-m (G-d)
There is some truth to the following statement,
Pleasure brings happiness.
But it must be qualified:
1. Pleasures that bring a person to a richer relationship with Hash-m brings happiness. Those that distance a person from Hash-m do the opposite.
Many people have all the money they need. They have access to all the pleasures in the world, but still feel a lack in their lives. Apparently it is the lack of spirituality in their lives.
One reason people go on vacation to distant places is unconsciously they search for spirituality.
Having a positive spiritual relation with Hash-m will uplift a person – in the short-term and long-term. A person finds happiness when he or she is spiritually connected to the source of all good – Hash-m.
There are many proofs to this.
I have a friend in Florida – a retired salesperson. Just like many, he went to enjoy the rest of his days. Today he lives his life doing Bikur Holiom – Visiting the Infirm. He tells them Jokes, offers his help and uplifts their spirits. Although he is doing much for them, they are also doing good for him. For when he does acts of kindness he receives purposeful living.
Ask yourself – What makes me happy?
Note the commonalities between all of those activities. Taking care of the children – this is doing act of kindness. Having guests over – kindness. Helping others – kindness. Apparently everything that makes a person happy – there is a Mitzvah involvement. Some people think that it is the activity that makes the person happy. In a sense it’s true – the reason being is because the activity involves doing a mitzvah.
What are the things that bring a person closer to Hash-m?
Four things help a Jewish person to become closer to Hash-m – observing the 613 commandments, learning Torah, doing kindness and achieving one’s purpose in life.
Gentiles have a similar four but their list entails following the 7 Noahide Commanments for all humanity, learning Torah applicable to them, doing kindness and achieving purpose in life.
2. Be happy with what you have. Don’t compare. You have what you need.
In Pirkei Avot (4:1) it says “Who is Wealthy? – One who is content with his lot.”
One reason why people are not happy because they reflect upon what if, only if or what they don’t have.
What if – this happens or that happens?
Don’t Worry. Be Happy
To that the Torah says – Don’t worry.
Don’t worry about the past, because it has already passed.
Don’t worry about the Future – because you never know what will happen.
Don’t worry about the present because it passes in the blink of an eye.
A person’s imagination drives them to illusions that in the end cause them sadness. Think positive.
What I don’t have
A person will overlook all the blessings they have and look at what they lack. They look at what others have and what they don’t have. Really it should be the opposite – they should look at what others don’t have and what they do have.
Seeing What others don’t have – you can feel you better about what you have and you can do kindness to them to help them with what they lack.
Appreciating what you do have – allows you a life appreciating your blessings. A good exercise is to take a piece of paper. List all the good things you have in life. Post it in front of you. All these things are things to be happy for. All these things one can be grateful to provider of them all – Hash-m.
Hash-m gives you what you need. If you don’t have it, it means you likely don’t need it now. Would you be jealous of an Air Force Pilot that has a F-16 jet? No. Because you don’t need it.
“If I only had a million dollars, I would be happy.” “If I had this car, I would be happy.” These are statements that one makes in their mind that has negative repercussions. One is always looking to the future for happiness. But even if they get what they want, it will not necessarily lead to their happiness.
Be Happy Now. Let go of all those dependencies.
3. Don’t make your happiness dependent on some one or something else – i.e., once I will have this I will be happy
A person sometimes looks to others for attention, honor, help or other things. When they don’t receive it they become upset.
The Torah teaches that one should not become emotional because of someone else does not act they way or do what you expect them to. If you are calm you control the situation. If you are not the situation controls you. Be in Control.
4. Educate yourself and get in touch with your true self by learning Torah
Learning Torah allows you to enjoy more of a satisfying relationship with G-d and others.
Jews have many aspects of Torah they can learn. It is recommended for beginners to learn the Humash / 5 Books of Moses or Tanach – Torah, Neviim (prophets) and Ketuvim (Writings). (Recommended : The Artscroll Humash / 5 Books of Moses)
Establish a daily learning time. Even 5 minutes a day. (The links section has sites that will hook you up with a learning partner)
Gentiles can learn about their 7 Noahide Commandments.
5. G-d is Good
G-d is Good. He does the best for you. Knowing this, one can overcome many obstacles. When he or she does encounter an obstacle – it could mean you have to make more of an effort or that it is not in your best interest to receive that which you are vying for.
6. Prayer is available.
When you pray to Hash-m, things you thought were impossible become possible. Of course, you should also make the proper effort.
7. Achieving Your Purpose.
Sometimes a person does what they can in terms of Mitzvah Observance – but still feel may a lack.
The Torah says that a person is brought to the world to achieve a particular purpose. To Find One’s purpose one must investigate their strengths and use them to do what they can to help the world by doing something that is congruent with Torah.
8. Know You are Special
In the history of the world, there never was or will be someone exactly like you. You have special abilities, talents and strengths that make you special. Focus on improving yourself and developing your own talents. Don’t think about bringing others down – bring yourself up.
Sometimes one feels down for the past. One can always start over. (Click here for Article) Regardless a person should recognize they are created in the “image” of G-d. Just that makes you special
Knowing your special attributes can help you contribute much for the good of the the world. Using them, you achieve your purpose.
A Free Card is a available on the Subject. The “You are Special Card.”