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Happiness Comes from Subtraction

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Muiz Bukhary

Channel: Muiz Bukhary

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Assalamu alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. This is more visible hurry with a brand new episode. And for today's video, I would like to talk under the topic happiness comes from subtraction. Now, when we think of this idea of happiness, we usually think of happiness in a positive sense. And what I mean by that is that we think that the only way to happiness is by adding certain elements to our lives. And these elements can take on or can be in the form of money, it can be in the form of materialistic possessions, it can be fame, Limelight, it can be recognition, it can be social circles, friends, etc. So we think that these elements by adding these elements to our lives, this

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is the only way that we can achieve happiness. But many brothers and sisters, what if you've been going about it all wrong, you see this idea of happiness through subtraction, rather than happiness through addition, as I put it out, it might seem counter intuitive, but in the context of feelings in the context of thoughts and emotions,

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getting rid of the ones that are hurting us could actually bring about happiness, rather than adding the ones that could help us.

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Because you see, it's, it's difficult to feel free, it's difficult to feel light with all of this baggage weighing you down. And the case could be made, that all of the things that you are trying to add to your life in order to make yourself happy in order to be happy, will just end up making your baggage even bigger, will just end up burdening you further. So I've been reading up on this, and I came across a few very interesting articles. And I thought to, you know, put this all into a video and and establish how important it is to subtract. So

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having established the stage or having set up the stage, now let's look at a few subtractions that we can look at implementing in our lives in a move to live

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happier and lighter, with the help of Allah subhanho wa Taala. subtraction, number one, subtract negative information from your life. Now this can be in the form of social media. And in today's landscape, the news now before I go further and unpack this, I want to establish that with regards to news that affects you, it's important that you keep yourself informed and you shouldn't be ignorant in this regard, you should keep yourself informed. Now you're in the middle of a pandemic. And if there are important announcement that the health authorities of your country or area are putting out, then yes, you must keep yourself informed with regards to the guidelines, etc, you must

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keep yourself informed.

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Now that on one end, and the other end of the spectrum, where you have people consuming negative headline after negative headlines, now this is going to leave you far more worried, far more anxious and sad. Now, occasionally consuming the news is helpful. But when you overdose and overdo it, the news, they, these outlets, they basically portray a very negative very extreme and because that's what you know, sells, basically, you know, so you have this negative extreme and biased view

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that you're being fed.

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And they make it look like there's more violence, more conflict and more strife than in reality.

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And what we have to bear in mind is that most news, it doesn't affect us at all. If it does affect you, then yes, you keep yourself informed. But for example,

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a hit and run

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in in the town. does this affect you? I mean, yes, it said that it happened, but does it affect you? It's happening in another town?

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Okay, let's say some tragic event in another country. Does it affect you directly? It doesn't affect us, you know. So as human beings, we only have limited mental energy each day.

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You really can't handle this overload of information, headline after headline. So when you know my dear brother, my dear sister that you only have this limited stock of energy. Why Why spend it on these negative things that you have no control over? So this is a powerful question that you need to ask yourself. And again, I'm

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Want to reiterate that this is not about ignorance, it's about knowing that certain things aren't worth the impact on your mental health. So you need to pick and choose, you need to know, if you keep overloading and feeding yourself with

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this huge flow of negative information, it's going to, you know, have a very drastic impact and take a huge toll on your mental health. Now, let's talk about social media. Generally, on social media, what happens people, they tend to only share the best thing that happened in their lives. Now, individually, there is nothing nothing wrong at all with that there's nothing wrong at all. With that, I mean, all of us, we are on social media, and we post

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the happiest of our moments. And if you look at how social media has been structured, you've got filters to make these ordinary moments look extraordinary, right. So everybody is posting their happiest moments of put filters to, to, to, you know, beautify and decorate these moments, and you put it all out there. Now studies and research is research is being established that.

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So individually, these are the things that have been put up. But in terms of consumption, as people consume all of this, they start to feel unhappy with their own lives in comparison, why because they're comparing their lives with the lives of others. So instead of using social media today to catch up with one another,

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a lot of us use it as a tool to keep up with the others to kind of find out what the others are doing to keep up with the others. Now researchers, they basically write that on average Facebook users, they spend more time examining the pages of others than actually adding content to their own.

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Ask yourself, when was the last time you posted something, you know, so rather than adding content to their own pages, people use Facebook, not that I'm saying that you never post content. But when you compare your usage, you spend more time examining the pages of others than actually adding content to your own page.

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And researchers also go on to write that all these social media sites, their most frequent visitors are people who use the sites for social surveillance. And, and these social quote unquote, social investigators, they aren't really using these sites to get in touch or stay in touch with their friends and family. Okay, they use these sites to check up on them and to see what they're doing, where they are, what they eating, where they check, where they are, checking in in terms of their locations, and things like that. And research also goes on to say that the average person spends about two and a half hours every day checking social media. Now this can have another negative

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impact, okay? Because now you have the link between screen time and your health.

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more screen time, the more you spend time on these screens, you obviously number one, wasting a lot of your time, where you could be doing good things, okay, positive things, impactful things. And on the on the flip side, it's also having this very negative impact on your health. So this is something that we have to bear in mind and this needs to be reduce, reduced and subtracted the negative information, it needs to be subtracted from your life moving on subtraction number to subtract the bottom 20% from your life. Now you have something called the Pareto principle. Now this principle states that for many outcomes, roughly 80% of consequences come from 20% of the causes

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are the names for this principle or the 8020 rule, you have the law of the vital few, or the principle of factor sparsity, you have all these names that are in place for this particular principle. So now based on this principle, I want you to assess what are the 20% of things that cause 80% of unhappiness in your life? And you also need to assess and ask yourself, what are the 20% of of things that cause 80% of your happiness and you need to be really ruthless here. Identify the 20% that's actually causing 80% of your unhappiness, okay? and eliminate.

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And I said be ruthless because this is your life.

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At the end of the day, and not negotiating anything else, this is your life that you're talking about you're trying to achieve. You're trying to become more productive, you're trying to achieve, you know, a greater greater

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heights in life. So, so you really need to assess and scrutinize yourself very diligently and carefully in this regard, subtraction, number three, subtract negative people, I posted a quote the other day on my social media,

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you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

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Don't underestimate maybe a brother, or Sister, don't underestimate the power of the company around you. If you surround yourself with good and positive people, they are going to propel you forward. On the other hand, if you surround yourself, and by the way, this is not to say that we are hindering our success or our happiness onto someone else. Now, we will discuss in just a bit, that you're not supposed to be doing that. But here, your company has an influence on you. So if you hang out with the wrong type of people, they're going to drag you down, may Allah protect us, you hang out with the right type of people, they're going to propel you forward. And we even have the

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teachings of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam to guide us in this regard.

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How this is in the book of Rahim, Allah, the Prophet sallallahu sallam, his reporter have said, and I'm paraphrasing, the narration goes along the lines of these words, the example of a good companion who sits with you, okay, in comparison with a bad one. So you have a good companion, you have a bad companion, the comparison, the parable that the Prophet sallallahu Sallam puts forth is like that of the musk seller, and the blacksmith.

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Look, the good companion is like a mask seller, a perfume seller. The bad companion is like a blacksmith. It's a parable. It's a metaphor, not that you can't have

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not that you're supposed to only have friends who are perfume sellers and not have friends who are blacksmiths. Now, that's obviously not what the prophets Allah Islam is saying in this Hadith, it's a parable, it's a metaphor. And the Prophet goes on to say, from the first companion, the perfume center, you would either buy a mask, or you would enjoy it's good smell from that individual. So think of it this way, you have a good friend, okay. Now, by being in the company of that individual, you will,

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you will inherit, you will take on some of the good traits of that individual, or at least it will rub off on you, it will rub off on you see, even if you don't buy perfume from a perfume seller, let's say you have a friend who owns a perfume store, you go in,

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you know, there's bound to be three tested bottles, you're you're definitely going to spray someone yourself and you will come out of this tour sweet smelling. But on the other hand, if you've got bad company, it's almost like going into the furnace of a blacksmith. By going in there and coming out you're going to come out with your clouds, at times accidentally burnt in certain places, you're going to come out with this smell of suit and coal. So this is this is the comparison given to a bad companion. If you hang out with the wrong type of people. You will eventually get your clothes banned. You will eventually come out smelling

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you know full of suit and cold is this nasty smell that that comes May Allah subhanho wa Taala protect all of us and may help us to maintain right and positive company I mean, moving on to the next subtraction. So I think I'm at subtraction before now. Subtract maybe a brother or sister subtract the desire to prove yourself.

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Now let me establish something there's nothing wrong with having ambitious goals alone with him as the prophets Allah Islam and as our Deen teaches us, we're supposed to have high aspirations. You're supposed to dream big. We're supposed to have lofty intentions. Yes, there's nothing wrong with this at all.

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But what we're trying to establish here is that these goals, these lofty ambitions should not be pursued in order to prove to others in order to prove something to others, and more importantly, it shouldn't be done to prove even to yourself you see today.

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Ask yourself My dear brother, my dear sister, deep down in the heart of your hearts. Why are you doing this? A lot of us we do things to prove things to others we're doing it you know what i want to prove them wrong. I want to prove to so and so this I want to prove to so and so that or I want to prove it to myself and they go about doing all these things. These last

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Things,

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scaling great heights, in this pursuit of proving things to others or themselves.

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So they are obsessed with proving their self worth. They are obsessed with validating their existence, they are obsessed with showing off that they are at a certain level, media brother media system, you need to stop

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trying to be

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perfect, and you need to stop trying to prove yourself as worthy. You need to do more things for yourself for happiness and keep more announcements to yourself. Because you have to understand that when trying to prove to yourself, you're going to be in this constant rat race where you're where you are chasing this, the standard of perfection. Now, this is something that even I grappled with, where you're never going to be content, you're never going to be satisfied with what you achieve, you're not going to celebrate your successes, you're going to constantly keep grappling with yourself and beating yourself up that Oh, I should have done better, I should have done this, I

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should have done that. And you keep doing this to prove to yourself if you're not proving to others you don't need to prove to yourself

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and you're constantly grappling with the standard of perfection, you know, I I am not happy, I'm not content, I'm not satisfied with what I'm doing. I'm not satisfied with my standard. So this, my dear brother, my dear sister is going to keep you in this in this negative abis in this negative and dark abyss. So yes, you must have this healthy balance where you have lofty goals ahead of you. And you're constantly pursuing those goals. Yes, but along with that, you also need to be happy, you need to be content. And you need to be happy with yourself, you need to be able to celebrate your, your little and small moments of success. This leads to a life full of light and happiness. Moving

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on to the last subtraction for this video, subtraction, number five, subtract attachments.

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Now, like we said that the inception at the beginning of the video, some of us think that we can't be happy until we have certain things until we have this until we have that. Okay, and we go on to attach and I'm not just talking about materialistic possessions here. It could be anything, some of us think, Oh, you know, if I have

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so and so or if I have a spouse in my life, I'm going to be happy. But eventually what happens spouse comes and this individual Yeah, there is this

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moment or moments of happiness, but eventually dies down. Because this whole concept of you know, attaching your happiness on to things be wealth, health, relationships, possessions, money, this just doesn't hold up. And the psychology

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when you achieve something, you feel happy. And then what happens is you adapt to that, that that happiness, and it becomes the new normal, and then you lose that happiness, and then you try to achieve something else. And this cycle, it keeps going on and on and on. And there's actually a name for it. It's called the hedonic treadmill. Now this concept, okay, it is the observed the tendency of humans to quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness, despite major positive or negative events that take place in in their lives. So basically,

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at the end of the day, if you can't be happy without those things, okay, then you can't be happy with them.

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If you can't be happy without those things, then you can't be happy with.

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Now again, we're not trying to say that you should not try to achieve things in life, okay? Instead, what you need to be doing is you need to reach your goals without making your happiness depend on them. And what I'm trying to say is that this doesn't mean that Oh, you know what, I can't, I can't aim to buy a nice house. Now, there's nothing wrong with you buying a nice house, there's nothing wrong with you driving a nice car. As long as you don't attach your happiness. You don't hinge your happiness onto those things. If you don't hinge your happiness to those things, and to,

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to dounia in a holistic sense, because I'm just going to touch on that in just a bit. As long as you don't attach your happiness to these things. Okay. It creates far more freedom, far more ease and far more peace in your life.

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And once you have arrived there to the hell the place, my dear brother, my dear sister, even if you happen to lose

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what you have

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You won't be as devastated because it was never the source of your happiness in the first place. Now, that's a very important point. And this is why you need to condition your mind. You need to work on your mind to arrive at this healthy place. And I'm just going to conclude in this point that you're not even supposed to attach yourself to life. Now this is this is the mindset of a believer. The Koran constantly reminds us of what death kulu neffs in other Eco mode, every social inevitabilities death, look at the Prophet sallallahu Sallam his words are clearly the CRO ademola that make excessive remembrance of the Terminator of pleasures of the destroyer of pleasures. Now,

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does this mean that Muslims believers are basically living in doom and gloom and in this negative abyss of darkness where, you know, they're constantly thinking, you know what, I'm gonna die tomorrow. So what's the point of even living?

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That's not the understanding him and your brother and his sister. Let me give you an example. Think about it this way. If you were given nobody, I mean, is going to get that notice. But if, hypothetically, you were given a notice, stating what that you've got another?

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Another one day to live 24 hours, one more day.

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Let me ask you, how do you think you would spend that one day? Would you spend it in doom and gloom? Would you spend it in negativity just brooding away like a chicken? Or would you want to make the most out of that day? Because you know that this is your last day to live?

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would you not want to make the most out of it and make it the most impactful day of your life? Yes, you would. So that is the mindset of a believer day in and day out. Why? Because you could die the next minute. So basically, what our Deen teaches us is to make the most out of every second every minute that we have, because why we could die the next minute, so we need to live our lives to the fullest. That's that's the teaching not to live a life of doom and gloom no live your life to the fullest. So coming back to what I was establishing earlier on, there's nothing wrong in in trying to get a good house or should drive a nice car. No, Allah says Robert Dudley FEMA attack Allahu de la

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Rosa Latin San Jose becoming a dounia that's the balance. Yes, seek the abode of the hereafter while a tensor nusseibeh come in at dunya and do not forget about your, your share of this worldly life.

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But the crucial point, maybe a brother or sister is do not attach your happiness to these things. Because these things are all temporary, they're all going to fade away including your own life, including your own life. So subtract these attachments and inshallah you will live a lighter and happier life. I hope this video was of benefit.

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And if you found it to be of benefit, do share it so that others can benefit as well. If you haven't subscribed to the channel, do hit the subscribe button so that you are notified and there's a little bell next to the subscribe button hit that as well so that you are notified no sooner a video goes up. And so that you can share the video around as well for others to benefit and shine on the rewards in sha Allah if we were to impact someone in a positive way make them smile, lighten their burden and guide them to you know living a happier more productive life live closer to Allah subhanho wa Taala you're definitely going to share in on the report inshallah Allah so all it is

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going to take is just the hit of a button to subscribe to share to like to make a positive impact. I look forward to talking to you on another video soon inshallah Allah This is Moyes Buhari, signing off with salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato.