Monday, January 19, 2015

Happier VS Smarter

“Would you rather be twice as smart or twice as happy?” - MSZ, 2015

This question will open rooms for personal views and opinions from anyone because people experiences things on their own as well as face the reality differently.

Their answers to this question might subject to their own way of thinking. E.g. If one is happy and pretty content with what they currently have, he might choose to be smarter – for an instance, to help spread happiness to the world. If a genius, on the other hand, does not feel happy that way, he would probably rather be twice as happy.

Even though, we cannot assume that if someone get smarter they are less happy. So if he chooses to be happier, he’ll be dumber. That is not even a correct equation to compare with.

I have lived my life for 21 years now and grown up with a lot of experiences – be it remarkable or not. Each of them beautifies my life with the happiness it has brought. Some experiences are derived from the dreams I have been keeping in mind since I was very young while some of them are obtained through the impromptu reaction of thoughts.

As I am getting older, I realize that sometimes some dreams just did not mean to work. That was the time when I found that life does not provide us all time happiness and pleasure. Sometimes we do face difficulties and feel tired in such a long journey; that we might start to give up and feel upset. It is normal and there is nothing wrong with it. It is the nature of a real life.

This question is quite confusing because generally, there is a need for us to have both qualities in life. Is there a reason why we cannot choose both, anyway? But if I were to choose, I would probably go for twice as smart.

Happiness is an abstract feeling that is crucial in this life. It can be earned through various ways – and before anything else, there comes our smart brain. My idea of smart here does not merely indicate the means of intelligence in academic field but other aspects as well - because being smart and having more knowledge are completely two different things.

Smart in finding ways to pursue what can satisfy people and our own needs.
Smart in solving problems.
Smart in handling emotions.
Smart in planning things for now and future.
Smart in achieving our goals.
With these doubled intelligence, we can do many great things. What else do we need to make us as happy as having such a manageable life?

For me, choosing to be twice as happy would mean we are worse than we are now, as if we are saying ‘we are pretty sure our general happiness is a negative number’. Are we really that bad? I do not buy that. Therefore in order to be happier, we just need to be smarter to see the silver lining behind every cloud.  
Because the reality is, happiness in life is like the seasons in a year. When it is the middle of winter, the grass is very brown. It looks as if it is totally dead. (As Malaysian, I bet we can still imagine how dead the grass is and how bad the grass will look like.) It does not look very good at that moment but the truth is, the grass is not dead, it is just not in season. In the springtime, the same grass will be just as lush and green as it can be. Then, for sure, just a few months later, that same brown and dry grass will ‘present’ itself as a gorgeous bright green, filled with life and vitality. 

This life works exactly the same way. Sometimes, our circumstances just look dead. But we have to realize, it can be that it is not in season. It may be that it will come back around in a new season.

The point here is we cannot give up life just because happiness does not ‘comfort’ us the way we want them to in the season we are in. We have to dig our heels in and look with our eyes of faith to the new season that is on the horizon.

Then, what we got here? 
When we go through disappointments or setbacks, choose to have this doubled smart attitude;
"Even though it doesn't look good, I know the truth. It's not really dead; it's just not in season. I'm in springtime, but I know summertime is coming. So I'm going to lift up my head and get ready for the new things Allah is about to do"
..to have ourselves kept reminded instead of getting down and discouraged or giving up – and then wish for twice-a-happier-kind-of-life (?).
If people keep this attitude of being smart in all aspects, we will receive strength to make it through to the next season and it will not be long until the real happiness and gratification flourish in every area of our life!

To end this sharing of thoughts, I think I should leave us a few clarification questions - to provide our mind an appropriate judgement before make a choice between being SMARTER VS HAPPIER.

How can we know that our own happiness does not neglect the rights of other people to be happy as well? *At least if we are smart, there are contributions we can make such as help solving some of global problems (yeah, it’s possible!) and make more people happy.
What’s left when we double the happiness and reach the level we targeted?
Do we stay stagnant for the rest of our lives? If not, what then?

All that is hidden in the heavens and the earth lies within the power of Allah. To Him are all matters referred for judgment. So do serve Him, and place in Him all your trust. Your Lord is not heedless of what you do (11:123)

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