What is happiness? Are you happy?
Are you happy?
Often, people express a desire to be happy and live a happy life. But what does happiness really mean? Is it financial stability, finding a lifelong partner, owning a business, traveling the world, having children, or being fit? What is happiness? Do you know what it means to you? And, even more crucial, do you believe reaching your definition of happiness will satisfy you? The question of what is happiness and whether it aligns with our purpose often crosses my mind. I want to be happy, but what is happiness?
Describing happiness is like trying to explain what love is. It's a personal answer. The definition of happiness is different for everyone because not everyone emotes the same way. Happiness, as I define it, is not your definition. We can agree that happiness is when we feel at our peak. Happiness varies; it's the peace of a sunny morning, the laughter of your favorite person, and a quiet evening watching your favorite show. It's owning a house, a new sweet puppy, or just waking up to a new day. Happiness can be a constant state or a temporary feeling. If you didn't know, now you know--happiness is not a one-stop destination; it will come and go. So sometimes, happiness can be a tease because we always want it, but usually, we are too busy chasing it.
To figure out what happiness means, write down moments where you remember being happy, look at the items in your living space, and what brings you happiness- a smile? When you want to escape, where do you go? Personal happiness is legit, and understanding it gives you the power to build a joyful life.
The concept of happiness marketed to us by society may not be the key to our happiness. We can feel pressured by peers to do things that don't align with our true desires.
What would you do if you were the only person in the world?
What is something you would do if you had the freedom to do anything at all? It's essential to define happiness for yourself. Forget goals; goals can bring temporary happiness, but they will expire. Dig deep! Purchasing a new car will bring temporary happiness, but what happens after? Are you happy, or do you want another car? To be satisfied, you must identify what's missing in your life and work on fulfilling that missing piece. Whatever brings you happiness, embrace it and do it every day. Sometimes, happiness is not what society markets to us; sometimes, we are peer-pressured by others to do things against what makes us happy. If you were the only person alive, what would you do? What is something you would do if you could? If you were to do anything at all? Define happiness for yourself, and ensure it's less goal-oriented and more life-oriented. Some say happiness is a new car, but what happens once you get that new car? Are you all set? Are you happy every day? What if you're not? Does this mean you need another new car to be satisfied? What is starving in your soul that needs to be fulfilled for you to honestly live day by day, saying you're happy overall? Whatever that is, do it. Do it every day. Embrace what brings you happiness.
Knowing you deserve happiness starts with embracing your quirks and qualities. You deserve to be happy. It's not about what you've achieved or what society expects – it's about recognizing your intrinsic value. Accepting who we are is the first step to happiness. Accepting our imperfect perfections, taking our hobbies, and being confident to enjoy them out loud. Living in our truth without fear of being judged can uplift your spirit immediately because the first step to happiness is finding what makes you happy. If you find what makes you happy but are scared to share it, you can't fully embrace it. So it can turn from happiness to insecurity and lead to you not wanting to embrace, pushing any chance of happiness away.
We all have beliefs that tell us we don't deserve happiness. These beliefs come from our past, societal pressure, or doubting ourselves. Reflect on past experiences that may have instilled limiting beliefs. Understanding their origins is the first step to kick them to the curb. Society can lay the pressure, making us feel happiness is reserved for a lucky few. Reject that noise. Happiness is for everyone, with no exceptions. Please repeat after me: Happiness is my birthright. It's not something you have to earn; it's a gift you give yourself daily. You are in control of your happiness. Challenge and redefine what society deems appropriate and inappropriate or in trend.
When you navigate through moments of unhappiness, it's like a contrast in a painting. The darker shades accentuate the vibrant ones, creating a masterpiece of emotions. These low moments serve as a canvas for the high moments to shine more brilliantly. Sometimes, the dark days are opportunities to grow to provide sunny days. Consider this: sometimes, being unhappy isn't all bad. It becomes a poignant reminder of how you feel genuinely happy. The contrast between the two extremes adds depth and richness to your emotional experiences. It's through the lows that the highs become more meaningful, like discovering the warmth of sunlight after a gloomy day.
Think of it as the saying goes, "Sunny days wouldn't be special without rainy days." The rainy days, or the low moments, bring a unique beauty and appreciation to the sunny days, the moments of joy and happiness. In those quiet moments, we can learn and grow and find the strength to embrace what brings us happiness.
"The Art of Happiness" by Dalai Lama & Howard Cutler
In this enlightening work, co-authored with psychiatrist Howard Cutler, the Dalai Lama shares timeless wisdom and practical insights drawn from his own experiences and Buddhist teachings.
The book not only provides a deep understanding of the nature of happiness but also offers practical advice on how to cultivate it in our daily lives. It's a thoughtful exploration of the human condition and an invaluable guide for those on a journey to find lasting happiness and fulfillment.
With its blend of Eastern philosophy and Western psychology, "The Art of Happiness" transcends cultural boundaries, making it a universally relevant and impactful read. Whether you're navigating life's challenges or simply seeking a greater sense of well-being, this book is a compassionate companion on your journey to a more joyful and meaningful existence.
If you do read the book, what did you learn about happiness?
Find a copy on my Amazon Storefront.
If you take anything from this post, let it be this – you deserve happiness. It's not a luxury; it's your birthright.