Finding Happiness

Suddenly I don’t feel guilty of being lazy. But damn, genetic contributes 50% to our happiness?

bhutan chronicles

“Stop running. Happiness has been chasing you all this time…”

Moving to Bhutan does funny things for one’s happiness. Increasingly famous for developing the concept of Gross National Happiness, Bhutan is the first country many people think of when asked to name the happiest place on earth. This has even led the Tourism Council of Bhutan to adopt the slogan, “Happiness is a Place”. Happiness is much more than a place, but indeed, Bhutan has been a great place for me to learn about my own happiness.

People often ask me if I am happier here, and whether those around me are truly the happiest people in the world. The answers to such questions are at first complicated, and eventually simple. People here are not in a race to be happier or happiest. I was amazed to learn recently that the happiness of an individual is 50% genetic, 40% attitude…

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Freedom

Freedom to swing naked :)

Freedom to swing naked 🙂

Everyone is hungry for real freedom. Always want to be free to do whatever they want, free to choose anything, free to speak up, free to see, free to listen, substantially free of everything. Trivial evidence: most criminals are desperately trying to get out of the bars in any way because… being confined is by no means pleasant.

Unfortunately, freedom is not an absolute. Each person can not have a hundred percent freedom because it is limited by the presence of others. That’s why rules are created. Regulations exist to limit the freedom of individuals so it won’t arbitrarily harm other people. Rules should serve to protect the interests of each individual.

The term “promiscuity” or simply called as “free sex” for instance, has long been widely known as a reflection of how people label those who do not want to behave in the existing “box” of rules. They are regarded as people who violate the rules in the pursuit of freedom. These people do not want to follow the restrictions that hinder their movement to do what they want.

A few days ago I had a fifteen minute conversation with a taxi driver who got me motivated to write this post. I was stupefied by his words. This guy named Surono told me that he had been a Blue Bird taxi driver for twelve years. I was wondering why he likes working there, despite the commission system that this company applies? He said: “This way I feel more relaxed. No stress to reach a minimum revenue.” He also told me about his son who is a driver of a director of some company. I asked why he isn’t interested to be a private driver. He replied: “I have been a private driver for fifteen years. Income is indeed higher, but I didn’t feel free. Always being commanded, often scolded when choosing a route that not pleasing the employer.” Still astonished by his story, he added: “Becoming a taxi driver, I have more freedom. I can work the way I like.”

There!

Apparently it’s not just me who is fed up by the shackles of a boss who is hungry for yeses. It’s not just me who do not feel at ease with the commands that do not fit with my creativity. While I’m still working for people, I won’t feel truly free. So I think it’s fair to say that whoever it is, whatever their profession, everyone is thirsty for freedom? Yeah, I think it’s a fair conclusion and I may state it freely here.

So let’s play around for a while with freedom.

Freedom is to close the eyes from the signs. Freedom is to unplug the speedometer and race as fast as desired. Freedom is to openly share your thoughts. Freedom is to be creative. Freedom is to listen and to follow instinct. Freedom is to believe what you want to believe. Freedom is not having to always follow what others say. Freedom is to feel safe. And of course, freedom is to sleep without setting an alarm and to wake up naturally when our body decides to wake up :-).

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I wrote this exactly last year in Bahasa Indonesia. I came across this post and kinda like it. So I translate it to English. Enjoy the original post here.

I now think that the post was not well compiled. It did not focus on one issue (the opinion was scattered between criminal, sex, and job). However, I like the closing remarks. So.. what is freedom to you? Take your time to vote on the poll below. It’s anonymous so you can FREEly select anything you like or even suggest new idea. I’m eager to know! 

Kebebasan

Kebebasan main ayunan dengan telanjang 🙂

Semua orang sebenarnya memang haus kebebasan. Ingin bebas melakukan apapun yang diinginkan, bebas memilih apapun, bebas bicara, bebas melihat, bebas mendengar, pokoknya bebas semuanya. Bukti gampangnya: banyak penjahat yang mati-matian berusaha keluar dari jeruji besi dengan cara apapun sebab… terkungkung sama sekali bukan hal yang menyenangkan.

Sayangnya kebebasan bukan sesuatu yang mutlak. Setiap orang nggak bisa seratus persen memenuhi kebebasannya karena akan terbatasi oleh keberadaan orang lain. Karena itulah peraturan dibuat. Peraturan ada untuk membatasi jangan sampai kebebasan individu bersifat semena-mena sehingga merugikan kemaslahatan orang banyak. Peraturan berfungsi untuk melindungi kepentingan tiap individu.

Istilah “pergaulan bebas” yang sudah lama dikenal secara luas adalah cerminan bagaimana masyarakat melabeli orang-orang yang nggak mau berperilaku dalam “kotak” aturan yang ada. Mereka ini dianggap sebagai orang-orang yang melanggar garis-garis aturan demi mengejar kebebasan. Mereka nggak mau mengikuti batasan-batasan yang menghalangi gerak mereka untuk melakukan segala yang diinginkan.

Beberapa hari lalu saya terlibat lima belas menit obrolan dengan seorang sopir taksi membuat saya tergerak menulis postingan ini. Saya dibuat tertegun atas kata-kata di pak sopir bernama Surono itu. Dia bercerita kalau dia sudah menjadi sopir taksi burung biru selama dua belas tahun. Saya tanya kenapa kok betah kerja di sana. Bukannya taksi bluebird memakai sistem komisi yang oleh banyak sopir dianggap tidak menguntungkan? Dia bilang: “Sebab begini lebih tenang. Nggak perlu tertekan dengan setoran wajib.” Lalu dia bercerita soal anaknya yang jadi sopir seorang direktur. Lalu saya tanya apa dia nggak kepingin jadi sopir pribadi saja. Dia menjawab: “Saya pernah jadi sopir pribadi selama lima belas tahun. Penghasilan memang lebih banyak, tapi saya merasa nggak bebas. Selalu disuruh-suruh, sering dimarahi kalau memilih rute yang nggak berkenan di hati majikan.” Belum reda ketertegunan saya, dia menambahkan: “Jadi sopir taksi lebih bebas. Saya bisa kerja sesuai kemauan saya.”

There!

Bukan cuma saya yang suntuk dengan jeratan pendapat bos yang haus untuk di-iya-kan. Bukan cuma saya yang nggak betah dengan perintah-perintah yang nggak sesuai dengan kreativitas. Selama saya masih bekerja untuk orang, selama itu pula saya nggak bebas. Jadi, boleh kan kalau saya menyimpulkan bahwa siapapun itu, apapun profesinya, semuanya sangat haus akan kebebasan? Hehe… tentu saja boleh. Kita kan hidup di negara yang sekarang sudah menjunjung tinggi kebebasan berpendapat.

Jadi mari bermain-main sejenak dengan kebebasan.

Kebebasan adalah menutup mata atas rambu-rambu. Kebebasan adalah mencopot speedometer dan memacu kendaraan sekencang yang diinginkan. Kebebasan adalah mengutarakan pikiran dengan terbuka. Kebebasan adalah berkreasi. Kebebasan adalah mendengarkan dan mengikuti insting. Kebebasan adalah mempercayai yang ingin dipercayai. Kebebasan adalah tidak harus selalu mengikuti apa kata orang. Kebebasan adalah merasa aman. Dan tentu saja, kebebasan adalah ketika bisa tidur tanpa mengatur alarm dan bangun ketika tubuh secara alami memutuskan untuk bangun :-).