Happiness and Simple Pleasures

Beautiful Bay Sunlight

In the world we live in, there is a huge juxtaposition from budget to luxury. It’s easy to look upon certain situations, locations and objects and differentiate between what is affordable to some and merely imaginative to others. And unfortunately, our materialistic mindsets are focused on the ideal that if something is expensive, it is desired. However, If you begin to pinpoint your attention on the simple pleasures in life, you can break that mesmerising spell.

Happiness is drawn from many different perspectives. You can seek happiness in the largest TV, or the flashiest car. You can search for it in a beachside sunrise or a cooling dip in a flowing river. It can be found equally in the latest fashion gracing the catwalks, or from the laughter of a child playing football with an empty water bottle. The concept of happiness has an infinite amount of sources, and none are complete or correct.

When we stumble upon something that makes us happy, we need to grab a hold of it and resist all struggles to let it go. But when you set your standards of joy to an impossible-to-maintain high, you will eventually become unenthused. The world of luxury has a level which may or not be attainable, and therefore should never be relied upon as the source of one’s cheerfulness.

If you crave the latest styles, fashions, trends and products, you will forever be fighting an uphill battle. These things have become seasonal and personal. Shallow and inconsequential. Better it is to seek clarity in those things that are easy to appreciate, and that are readily available.

The stars that shine in the nights sky never cease to stop me dead in my tracks and draw my attention upward for a moment’s reflection. The beauty of mountain views constantly take my breath away. Witnessing an act of kindness from a stranger restores my faith in humanity. Even something as relatively small as a cloud passing by the sun on a hot day can make me smile and appreciate all that is good in my life.

There is a quote from the book “A Long Way Gone” by Ishmael Beah which has stuck with me ever since I read it. It is:

“We must strive to be like the moon.’ An old man in Kabati repeated this sentence often… the adage served to remind people to always be on their best behaviour and to be good to others. She said that people complain when there is too much sun and it gets unbearably hot, and also when it rains too much or when it is cold. But, no one grumbles when the moon shines. Everyone becomes happy and appreciates the moon in their own special way. Children watch their shadows and play in its light, people gather at the square to tell stories and dance through the night. A lot of happy things happen when the moon shines. These are some of the reasons why we should want to be like the moon.”

I often paraphrase this line to people during conversations about how we lead our lives and the way in which we should seek contentment. Be like the moon.

When you start to draw happiness from the smallest things, rather than the grandest desires, you will find enlightenment within yourself at a level so minuscule you will forever smile. That is life’s greatest pleasure.

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Jarryd Salem

Jarryd 'Jazza' Salem is a freelance travel writer and chief author of the stories and articles found on NOMADasaurus. Having left his home of Sydney in 2007 to pursue a life on the road, he aims to promote sustainable, community-based travel through his experiences backpacking the world. You can find him in some random country trying hard to quench his thirst for adventure. Follow his journey on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

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