Being happy is both the easiest and most difficult thing for human beings to manage, which is odd; how could one state of being be so incredibly difficult to manage for some people and seemingly effortless for others?
Likewise, how is it possible to be happy one moment and then miserable the next? If happiness is attainable, it seems like it’s impossible to hold on to.
I feel most of the issues people have with finding happiness lie, firstly, in the way they define it. Or rather, we fail to understand the full scope of happiness, but instead only grasp part of a larger whole.
No matter whom you ask to define happiness, you will almost always get the very same answer: We define it by the way we experience it, the way we feel when we believe ourselves to be happy.
Happiness is defined as a feeling, after all, and this is what most people fail to comprehend; happiness is not synonymous with the feeling of joy -- or any other single emotion for that matter.
Joy happens in an instant. Happiness is a much more complex mindset, relying on several instances, the feelings we experience in those instances and the changes in feelings between those instances. There is more to happiness than simply feeling good.
I feel most people approach the idea of happiness as if it were the embodiment of ecstasy, as if it were some euphoric experience that encompasses you and your entire life, making your entire reality perfect.
Happiness cannot possibly rely entirely on things outside of you, on physical objects and what people like to call “luxuries” – luxuries, which more often than not translate to wastefulness and pointlessness.
Happiness lives entirely in your mind, so in other words, you can get control of it.
Those who have better control of their thoughts and actions are more likely to be happy than those who prefer floating along by, never bothering to mold their own personal realities.
Happiness is the result of a combination of experiences, interpretations and thoughts, meaning that if you know the right formula, you ought to be capable of creating it at will.
But you need to have control of the variables that make up that formula. More importantly, you need to understand which variables are actually at play.
Most people are as unhappy as they are because they hold things that have no intrinsic value in the highest regard.
We live in a world where status governs our lives. We want to be better, richer, cooler, prettier, weirder and funnier than everyone else.
We feel a need for others to understand our status, so we buy things that we either don’t need or especially want, just for the sake of outdoing the next schmuck working his ass off to buy some sort of toy or precious metal that is only worth as much as everyone else says it’s worth. It’s really incredibly ridiculous.
We’ve been bred into consumers, who believe happiness can be bought. We believe the less we do, the less we have to work and exert ourselves and the more we can purchase, the more fulfilling life will become.
I hope this sounds insane to you... because it is. Yet, it’s the way the whole world functions. Everyone is competing to beat everyone else in a race that should never be run in the first place.
You’re all spending your lives chasing after objects that hold absolutely no meaning. You’re building your life, your existence, on trivialities and delusions.
It doesn’t matter what clothes you wear, what car you drive, the house you live in, the watch you wear, how many diamonds you managed to squeeze onto that incredibly tacky chain. None of it matters. But you believe that it does…
How can you expect to be happy when you are building your reality, your truth, on a pile of half-truths and misconceptions?
Sure, having a nice place to live, comfortable and stylish clothes to wear, a sexy car to drive, is wonderful. It makes us feel good. But have you ever stopped to wonder why these things make you feel good?
A large part is, of course, comfort. We like to feel comfortable. We don’t like to worry -- financially for example -- but instead want to feel a sort of security. This is why we enjoy money as much as we do; it makes us feel safe.
Other than comfort, all we’re left with is the ego, which, in a sense, is just another level of comfort. We want to satisfy our egos and give them whatever it is they are looking for. And what egos are always looking for is a bit of power.
Egos are incredibly competitive -- it’s the reason we evolved into the species we are today. Our egos want to be better than all other egos. We want to be stronger, smarter, more interesting and just plain better.
The problem is our egos are very basic and animalistic. They aren’t capable of the complex thought and logic that the rest of us is capable of. Our egos don’t reason -- they react to stimuli.
Sadly, we’ll often find that what our ego is craving isn’t necessarily in our best interest. Egos compare and then push to outdo, to one-up. They never take the time to consider whether outdoing the next guy is worth the reward.
Those with the fewest possessions in this world are often the happiest because their lives aren’t filled with piles and piles of garbage like the rest of ours are.
Anything that doesn’t add to your life takes away from it by default. All those trivial possessions you’re accumulating almost certainly aren’t adding to your life.
Even if they aren’t necessarily hurting your life, believing they hold the meaning to life is doing you more damage than anything else possibly could. You’re basically being conditioned into believing happiness can be bought. This is great for all those selling you their products and services.
The problem is you’ll inevitably realize your life has very little meaning. Very little purpose. No point at all really. If you’re willing to trade a meaningful life for some strips of paper, then just know what you’re doing.
Understand that if you hate your life in a few years, even though you have everything your heart desires, that it’s completely and entirely your fault.