How can we be more cheerful?
We often think that we will become happy when some good things happen to us or when our dreams are fulfilled. While that is true, it’s not always true; fulfilling our desires doesn’t always provide fulfillment.
Apart from the happiness that comes from good events, we can also play a part in making good things happen by our good choices — that can provide a deeper level of satisfaction.
In addition to good choices bringing cheer, cheerfulness is also the way to good choices , in order to be able to make good choices. If we are filled with resentment and anger, then these negative emotions become like a thick, dark cloud inside us; they prevent us from seeing things clearly, which obstructs us in choosing wisely. Conversely, if we are cheerful, our consciousness becomes clearer and we choose better.
The Bhagavad-gita (10.10) states that when we are cheerfully disposed, we can be receptive to the guidance of our all-benevolent Lord, Krishna, from within our hearts. Pertinently, the Gita states that cheerfulness is a discipline of the mind (17.16). Such cheerfulness is not frivolousness or a Pollyannaish optimism whereby one is so starry-eyed as to be naive and gullible. It means that we count and cherish whatever blessings we have while also staying aware of problems and dangers. Unless we learn to be of good cheer, we won’t be able to activate our inner resources for doing the best that we can do, irrespective of whether the world delivers us the worst or the best.
When we become cheerfully connected with our Lord in a mood of service and contribution, we can be happy in this world while also progressing toward the all-blissful abode of our Lord beyond this world.
Cheerfulness is not just the result of good choices; it is also the route to good choices.
Think it over:
- How do good choices lead to cheerfulness?
- How does cheerfulness lead to good choices?
- How can you count your blessings and cultivate cheerfulness as a discipline?