Happiness… what?

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a little better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

For some, this is the meaning of success. But what about the meaning of happiness? When is one really happy, when is it that we don’t need anything else, when can we say: now I’m happy, I can stay this way? Happiness is the undying quest of life, what we all seek for, what we long for. But can such bliss be nothing but an elusive state of mind, which is here one moment and gone the next, or is such a positive outlook attainable for a lifetime?
All of us, consciously or unconsciously, are motivated in all we do by our need for happiness. We chase love, money, health, growth, fame, power, property and relationships, not always just for their own sake but for the satisfaction they promise.

Most of us will acknowledge that we don’t always feel happy. Oh, yes, winning that merit scholarship, living in a nice house, buying a car or losing weight feels great for a while. But we find that our friends are jealous, or that the promotion means longer working hours or that the car guzzles petrol, and that our lives haven’t been transformed by living in that house we always wanted. We are weighed down by a sense of lack. No matter how well life turns out, nothing seems quite enough. Others seem to have more, or desires keep arising. If nothing else, we fear for the future. What if something was to happen to our loved ones or to us?

Many of us are content to accept this mixed bag of happiness and sorrow as the human lot. Within this framework we attempt to maximize our joys and minimize our woes. We excel in whatever skills we have, spend less than we make, save for a house, get pets, take care of our health, get our children married and keep money aside for old age. At the end of our lives, we believe that we have lived to the best of our capacity. But for a few, this unpredictable, fleeting happiness is not enough. They dare to ask if a permanent and absolute happiness is not possible. A happiness they can trust…

I can see that I didn’t answered my own question about what happiness is, but I don’t think I can answer something I don’t really understand myself… It’s different for everyone, so I can’t say there is only one definition for it. Perhaps happiness is.

It just IS… Nothing more, nothing less…


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2 Comments to “Happiness… what?”

  1. Great post Estrella!
    I can’t leave without putting in my two-bob’s worth on happiness. Firstly, I was tempted to say happiness is a state of mind, but then the mind (brain) is often controlled by ego, which eliminates happiness. So I’ll try again and simply say “Happiness is a state of soul”.
    Secondly, I’d like to recommend a book to you available on Amazon, called “The G-Spot – The Ecstasy of Life Through Gratitude” by Sumner M Davenport.
    I wish you a Happy Life!

  2. Thanks for your lovely comment, it’s nice to see how others think too :)
    And I agree it is a state of soul, because when the soul is down… so is everything around us…

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