May 25, 2021

What it Really Means to be Happy.


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“Be happy, and a reason will come along.” ~ Anonymous


Happiness is not easy.

For many, happiness often comes in waves—up and down—or as a fleeting state. We often try to hold onto it and find it slip through our fingers even more.

But when we let go of our expectations and attachment to the result, we find it easier to feel joy. That’s because resistance to the moment causes us to stop finding our true strength. Happiness does not come from the easy way out. It comes from devotion and persistence to the life we want to live.

Happiness is Simple

What’s something small that has made you smile recently? For me, it was watching my dog interact with a little girl and seeing her sheer joy. It’s in the simple things. It’s in watching the sunset with someone we love. It’s in rereading that favorite book over and over again. It’s in making things that we know will help other people. It’s celebration of life itself. This life is complex, but happiness doesn’t have to be.

Happiness is not Perfect

Our lives don’t have to be perfect in order for us to be happy. Perfection and happiness often do not coexist. It’s about finding beauty in the flaws that make us more resilient, more able, and more happy. When we see our imperfections as part of our humanity and showcase the struggles of our journey, we wake up to the authenticity in which we are meant to live this life.

We start over every day, and it’s in taking that chance that we wipe away our mistakes. It’s like they say about art: every mistake should be made to seem purposeful. If you find your flaws unflattering, make them stand out even more. We can’t hide behind the mask all our lives. Eventually, in order to heal and find happiness, we have to take them off.

Happiness is Attainable

You might think happiness is impossible. But it’s like the air we breathe: a necessity to life and living. Some might even say it’s the purpose of life. Even though it’s not easy, simple, or perfect, its light and power can immerse someone and help them transform their lives. When we realize we are living by our values and prioritizing the right things, we realize that happiness has been here all along. We just have to welcome it in.

You Can be Happy

Happiness is about having peace with oneself. That’s at the forefront of what makes a person happy. We only need to look up to realize we’ve been looking down this whole time. It’s an attitude. It’s a choice. But as stated, that doesn’t make it an easy one. If you struggle with negative self-talk, try saying “I love you” to yourself in the mirror. This will ease frustration over our mistakes and mishaps.

We deserve happiness. As long as you are striving for it, it is possible. It can be felt even in the hardest of times by counting our blessings but also by knowing that life doesn’t owe us anything. What we can do for ourselves is learn to listen to that inner voice that says, “This is what I need.” The more we listen, the louder it gets. It is the song that leads us to the road that is our path. A brilliant path that has been waiting for us this whole time.

Happiness is More than a High

While happiness can be an emotional high, it’s also a decision. You are telling yourself, “I’m going to live this way even if others disapprove.”

Happiness doesn’t have to be fleeting, difficult to hold onto, or obtained only once we achieve something. It asks of us to be in the moment, to be present, to love what we have, to fight for what’s right, and to see the good in the world. Positivity is part of happiness; it is a mindset about how to live one’s life. It is a clarity that not everything has to be right in order for us to be happy.

Happiness is our Responsibility

Happiness is power over our own actions and a responsibility that enables us to keep moving forward—in the best of times and in the worst of times. No one can make us happy. Nothing can make us happy. We must make ourselves happy through the dreams we produce into the world, the lives we touch or change, and appreciating the little miracle of life.

Happiness can seem too good to be true for many. We can be sitting in a depressed state looking for meaning—bored and confused. We can sit there mustering the strength to go on. We can breathe deeply, looking for some resolution that we may never find. But continuing onward isn’t about the strength we have. Rather, it is acknowledging our weaknesses. It is bringing vulnerability into it. That’s because it’s human to feel.

It’s how we engage with our feelings that changes our lives and our perception. Things may have happened that are not our fault, but getting back up and changing the ending of our story is how we live with purpose. That’s how we create character. That’s how we become a light.

Happiness is Giving Back

Giving back leads us to be happy. Any act of altruism leads us away from ego-driven lives and into ones full of empathy. When we think outside of our own situation and look at others’ suffering, we start to realize that we have something to give. Even through hardship, there is always something we can give—even if it’s small, such as a word of encouragement or any kind gesture. These small things are what will change the world. And most of all, they change us.

When we live to serve, we learn how to live. It’s an amazing thing that happens. That selflessness will lead us to our greatest impact. When we find common humanity with others, we find ourselves. The ripple effect is endless and unseen. We do not know how far it goes, only that it eventually comes back and reaches our own hearts.

And more importantly, it is about deciding to be happy.

Decide to be happy because you’re alive. Look to gratitude. We may not know what we’re going to do in the next moment to bring us joy, but we do know that life’s given us an opportunity. We don’t have to worry constantly about what we’re going to do. Feel it through and live, really live, as though you are worth it.

We are worth fighting for. We are worth finding what it means to live our life for ourselves. We are worth the purpose our actions bring us. We are worth the glory in life, as well as the happiness, the hope, the desire to keep going.

That doesn’t mean everything is going to be easy or go our way. In fact, many times it won’t. That’s life. Life is not about what we achieve; it’s about how we live it.

Look to the good. Look to the good in you, in your situation, in the people around you, in the hope you have for a better life, and look for the good in what you’ve accomplished. Write a list of it and replay that gratitude list daily. That’s how we hold onto happiness. That’s how we hold on.

If we’ve survived something before, we can do it again. We just have to see that happiness has always been the way to get through it. It is enough just to be happy. We don’t have to try to get the whole world to love us, follow us, or even know us. If we can find happiness in being present and mindful, it is enough. Don’t gain the world to lose your soul.

“If you want to be happy, be.” ~ Leo Tolstoy

Just be. Just become happy. Don’t worry about getting your ducks in order before deciding to live your life. Don’t worry about how you are going to work through things or work everything out. You are worth being here, and you deserve to know that.

Happiness will come to us once we open the door. It’s not a particular path we have to be on—it’s subjective to each individual.

Let’s live our values, help people, and provide what we can.

It’s all about what we bring to the table rather than what we are waiting for to happen. Happiness does not just happen. It’s a pursuit, and it’s up to us to find it.



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