Finding the Meaning of Happiness
Above & Beyond & Gareth Emery Pres. OceanLab – On A Good Day (Acoustic Mix)
Happiness is a formula. Something we are, in our subconscious, always trying to solve. For some of us the solution to the formula seems impossible. Though, some lucky and fortunate individuals are able to find the solution. Happiness is the abundance of objects that surround us in our everyday lives. The belief we have in ourselves, in others, and for some, God. Just like love, happiness isn’t discovered by or present in everyone. Some people are left in the dark never knowing what happiness actually feels like or the true meaning behind it. Others set out on a journey to seek happiness hoping to find that something or someone to fulfill their lives from the inside and out. While some believe happiness is a switch that can turned on and off. I consider happiness as one of the three intangible “wonders”. The other two being love and freedom. What is happiness? Is it a state of mind you decide upon? or is it something that you truly experience? I think it’s a mixture of both. I give you permission to slap me silly if that sounds absurd.
I find myself constantly questioning what happiness is just about everyday. Why? Because I know I’m not completely happy. Not happy with who I am individually as a person, where I am financially, and with life in general. Wow that sounded quite depressing. I know that as an individual I can improve many different aspects of my life. I just want more out of life and don’t understand how people sometimes settle for nothing more than average. I may think my life is on a downward spiral with all of the unlucky and unfortunate events that have occurred thus far in 2010. I realize however, that I have it better off than a lot of people around the world. I realize that there are many things that I take for granted, which many people could only dream of having.
EDIT 3/24/2011: Sorry everyone, at the time of first writing this I was kind of a downer. Amidst of forgetting about this post in my queue and sporadically editing this bad boy on and off since July 2010 it has taken me a while to get it to flow how I want it to flow. Yeaaahh I know, I’m lame. The year 2011 has been great and I’ve been enjoying every minute!
Happiness to me is like trying to find the perfect relationship, but not being able to. Trying to make something happen that just wasn’t supposed to be. We’ve all be in that situation. Where we want something to work out so badly that we would do anything in our power to get the outcome we desire. What I’ve realized is that things never really work out when we approach them with that kind of mentality or mindset. Instead of trying to make a perfect relationship happen with someone, let that someone walk into your life unexpectedly and let a perfect relationship develop. Instead of trying to find happiness, do the things that truly make you happy and surround yourself with people who are able to instill happiness into your life. Whether it be through their positive energy or their friendly presence. Essentially, what I’m trying to say is not to go looking for happiness because you won’t find it. Let it come into your life unexpectedly. We can’t let the burdens or outcomes in our lives affect our attitude. By doing so, we dwell on the past instead of appreciating what we have right in front of us. We have to learn to let go of the past, embrace the present, and prepare ourselves for the future.
I always ask myself whether or not the saying that you can’t love others until you love yourself is true. To some extent I agree with that statement. How can you love someone else if you don’t even know what it feels like to love or appreciate your own self? I do believe that you can love others even if you are struggling to understand yourself. That you can help others even if you’re struggling to find help or guidance in your own life. For the most part I try to think of it as, what goes around comes around. If I’m able to help others in some small way hopefully someone will be there when I need support or to be lifted up.
Lately, I’ve realized that whether or not I’m happy that I love to help others and see smiles on other people’s faces even if I’m not “floating on air” or “high on life” so-to-speak. I guess you could say that I wear a mask sometimes, not good…I know. However, you can be happy without all the material objects that our society ingrains into our heads that we, for some reason, need in order to be accepted by others. Take a look at children in 3rd world countries. You can find happy kids running around even though they don’t have access to the sophisticated technology, 5 course meals, or designer clothing we get submersed into everyday. There’s people living on less than a dollar a day! If they can find happiness, then we surely can. If they can experience happiness, so can we.
It’s crazy how many people, including myself, believe or used to believe that money will lead to happiness. WRONG. Money buys freedom and with that freedom we’re able to do the things with the people that make us happy. Just because I’m able to afford a $100,000 dollar car and sit in it doesn’t mean I’m happy (don’t misinterpret this–I don’t own a 100k car). Just because I can afford the most expensive designer clothing and put it on my body doesn’t mean I’ll be happy (I don’t own expensive designer clothing, either). These material objects only support our short-term gratification and the mindset that “hey I can afford this stuff and that person can’t so I’m better than them”. The “I’m better than you” mentality, when in fact, you’re probably not. What I want to come to is that, to me, the true meaning of happiness is understanding yourself, the amount of effort, and commitment it will require to reach wherever I want to go in life. Money doesn’t buy happiness, it only makes life a little more simpler.
So keep this in mind when you’re thinking about happiness…We make fun of a lot of the celebrities, politicians, athletes, and other people always in the spotlight of the media. We make fun of them for wanting to save the dolphins, adopting children, donating money to certain charities. Guess what? These people make SO much freakin’ money that they’ve figured out what truly makes them happy. They’re doing and supporting the things that they want to do, not what others expect of them. In a sense when we make fun of these people we’re really making fun of ourselves because we haven’t reached that point in our lives where we don’t have to worry about any financial obligations. We haven’t reached that point in our lives where we can sit down to reflect and figure out what we truly care about and have a passion for.