Happiness is perhaps the most sought after feeling people strive to get. Most of the things we do are in order to feel happy, happiness is almost like a drug, the more we feel, the more we want it. However, happiness is often misunderstood, many people are surprised as to why they don’t feel happy after getting the things that are associated with happiness such as getting a car, money, or buying a house. Happiness is also very hard to measure or quantify, it comes very subjective since it varies from person to person.
What is happiness:
Most people do not even know what happiness is, they might have felt it and liked it a lot, but most people won’t sit down and try to dissect happiness. Happiness is not something you will feel all the time and you have to accept that, happiness is not a goal, it’s the byproduct of doing something. Unfortunately, happiness is ingrained in our society as something that is a goal which is why the very concept of happiness is heavily commercialized. Let’s first define what happiness isn’t, happiness is not done through buying things such as houses, cars, phones, clothes, and other materialistic goods. That would make happiness like a momentary high that you get from doing certain things. According to that logic, you would have to acquire more things to up the ante. If you view happiness as a destination you arrive at when you live a certain life, it eventually leads to hedonism. Your imagination of happiness will eventually always outstrip reality in hedonism.
Defining what happiness is extremely difficult and great minds of literature and art argue that doing such a task is impossible. However, we can all agree that we have felt it and that’s what really matters.
The ultimate happiness is not what you think it is:
Happiness is often times something you experience along the way of doing something. It is not something you experience by arriving at a destination, but it is achieved through your experienced leading up to the goals you have. For instance, arriving at the peak of the Himalayas is probably not going to make you as happy as the trip towards the Himalayas, overcoming obstacles, and achieving the goal. It’s looking down on the mountains and remembering all the time you spent and how much it must have taken to get there. This is one of the greatest paradoxes of happiness that a lot of people can relate to. Often times, happiness is one of the worst times of your life, and you won’t realize it until you look back on those days after achieving the goals you were working towards.
Happiness comes through achieving the goals that seem impossible to you, and it should not be confused with distractions. Video games, for instance, a great example of fake happiness, playing a game for a few hours and being successful at it might make you feel like you are happy, but it’s a mere distraction. You can usually tell if it’s a distraction if it is not making you a better version of yourself. If something that gives you momentary happiness but is not making you a better more capable person in the short or long term, then it’s just a distraction.
Ways you can achieve true happiness:
- Surround yourself with positivity:
One of the quickest ways to feel true happiness is to surround yourself with likeminded people. People who have the same goals and aspirations as you do, these people will help make you accountable for your actions. In addition to that, they will improve who you are in ways you can never expect.
- Define your goals and go after them:
Having a goal is one of the most important things in life, a goal is a mission, and it’s a journey of trial and error, failures, and successes. Your goals must align with your mission as a person because there is nothing more fulfilling than being able to do the things you have been working towards for years.
- Appreciate the good, bad, and ugly:
Life is not full of happiness, it’s certainly a rocky road that can take you by surprise. Some days, weeks, months and even years can go better than you thought. But before you know it, it can go bad very quickly. This is a fact of life you have to embrace, life is not always going to go as expected, and you have to learn and adapt from the bad days.
Happiness is one of the most misunderstood concepts in our lives, as hard as it is to define it, we can all relate that we have felt it as some point in our lives. We can achieve it through overcoming challenges, becoming a better version of ourselves, and achieving our goals.