Dr. Peter Justus, the author of the book The Pursuit of the Personal Renaissance Experience, shares his views about pursuing opportunities for happiness and contentment.
For many of us, this year is turning out to be a stressful one, to say the very least. When Coronavirus broke out late last year, no one really thought it would be a global pandemic that would put the world to a standstill. As of this writing, millions are already infected, and over half a million dead. Countries all around the globe are struggling to keep their economy alive and their people safe. With lockdowns and travel restrictions, many industries are forced to shut down. And this is clearly taking a toll on all of us. Everywhere there is death, unemployment, starvation, sickness, and fear. Although the majority of us are in the confines of our homes, anxiety, doubt, depression, and loss of sense of purpose are just some of the things that are slowly getting the best of us. Now more than ever, there is a need for us to examine our perspective and disposition. We should never allow our situation to limit what we can do for ourselves and for those around us. Today, we are going to draw inspiration from a self-help book entitled The Pursuit of the Personal Renaissance Experience.
Finding Happiness in This Time of Great Pandemic
In this time of the great pandemic, the primary goal for each one of us is to survive. That means staying physically healthy and away from the infection. But as the months drag on, it is becoming clear that we also need to be mentally sound and healthy as well. In the previous months, there has been an increase in suicide cases, as well as depression. That said, it is also essential that we find happiness amidst these dark and challenging times. But where does happiness come from? How do we find it?
Dr. Peter Justus agrees with the 19th-century philosopher John Stuart Mill that happiness does come from certain actions. He notes that while pleasant sensory experiences from eating tasty food or perhaps a sexual encounter may provide happiness, these are actually short-lived and do not provide us with lasting and meaningful joy.
While observing his patients, Justus noticed that many of his patients are not happy because they feel that they have no control over what is transpiring with their lives. This proves to be a valid cause of “unhappiness” because they often lead to a feeling of helplessness, and eventually anxiety or depression. By now, I think it is clear to us that there are many things in life that we really have no control over- death, weather, other people’s thoughts, and actions, and many other things that are bigger than us. There are also curveballs in life, things that no matter how careful you are, how prepared you are, they just blindside you, and before you know it, you down on your knees- financial crisis, accidents, and sickness.
When coronavirus broke out in a small remote town in China, nobody really thought this would become the same thing that would cause the economic crisis, mass unemployment, social unrest, and fear around the world. That is something that we did not foresee, and so far, have no control over. There is still no cure or vaccine for the coronavirus. So how do we exactly find happiness, especially now that most of us are stuck in our homes, with no jobs, and limited resources?
For Dr. Peter Justus, we have many opportunities for finding happiness. The trick is to identify these opportunities where we can exercise control over processes that will benefit our desired goals in life. These opportunities vary and can be categorized so we can identify and sort them out by priorities. Justus reminds us that it is not healthy to focus on too many opportunities, but rather choose those that lead to our most desired goals and will make good use of our time. One essential opportunity that we can focus on these times is family or personal relationships. Being stuck at home gives us a great opportunity to be with our families, to re-examine our relationships, and to build stronger and meaningful bonds. There are exercises and activities that families can do at home to get to know more about each other. The time spent at home can also be an opportunity to map future family goals. It can also be a time for achieving individual goals, with the help of family. The possibilities are seemingly endless with family. While it is true that our mobility and resources are limited at the present time, we can always use the time to store great memories, valuable lessons, newfound strengths that we will serve as tools and inspiration once we go out in the world again. Now more than ever, we need a healthy support system that will empower and inspire us to thrive amidst these trying times. And the family is a great source of inspiration and happiness.
“So, the silver lining of this very dark cloud is the opportunity to work on our personal relationships. These roles actually do occupy most of our time if you think about it and therefore clearly deserve our attention. They define how we interact with one another at all levels of social organization. They clearly help determine how fulfilling our lives turn out to be.
This subject, specifically the reason why attention to personal relationships is an important factor in finding happiness, is presented in Chapter 10 of my book, The Pursuit of the Personal Renaissance Experience.” –Dr. Peter Justus, March 2020
To know more about Dr.Peter Justus, grab a copy of his book The Pursuit of the Personal Renaissance Experience: Finding Opportunities in the Ever-Present Now or visit his website today.