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Forget about defining happiness and let’s just be happy.
What is happiness, truly?
We seek so hard to define happiness, round the clock, trying to make sense and logic out of a feeling, trying to define it, to quantify it, to understand it, to unify it, but is that even possible?
Happiness is defined in the dictionary as the state of feeling contentment and showing pleasure.
Well, thank you, Merriam-Webster—you just made it even harder to understand what happiness is, how to have it, and how to keep it.
Many have tried to write about happiness and how to attain it, but I modestly and honestly believe this cannot be done, as happiness cannot be quantified, qualified, nor (more importantly) unified.
I went around asking my friends, family members, and surroundings what happiness is for them.
Here are some of their answers:
>> Happiness is peaking in my career, having the power at work, and enjoying my time with that power.
>> Happiness is having a family and raising my kids in a good environment.
>> Happiness is getting out of where I am and finding where I will blossom and peak in my life.
>> Happiness is having a cup of coffee in the garden in the morning with a fresh breeze blowing.
>> Happiness is sharing all my life’s big events and accomplishments with someone like me, someone who gets me.
>> Happiness is traveling around the world.
Let me tell you, friends, the list goes on and on, and I got a substantial amount of replies with, “I have no clue how to be happy.”
It is much harder to define what we think and the efforts we are employing to make than gradually enjoying whatever makes us feel good in life—no matter how small and simple it is.
Letting go of our emotional and logical roller coasters of analysing the X and the Y can lead us to actually see and feel happy, satisfied, and fulfilled.
And as we progress in our lives, we start to know what makes us feel “happy,” “home,” “effortlessly smiling,” and we hold on to them like a clingy girlfriend who never gives up.
I, myself, have three essential questions that made happiness seem simpler and more attainable to me:
- Does it/he/she give you peace of mind, make life feel lighter, easier to go by?
- Do you consider its/their presence essential to your sanity, smile, and does that presence make everyday problems more bearable?
- Does it/they feel like the plug to a one percent dying phone to your energy and well-being?
Having traits of OCPD, I like numbers and lists, and to avoid the vicious cycle of overthinking, I always ask myself those three questions before keeping/ditching anything, anyone, or any situation that brings my happiness scale down.
It is not doable to quantify something as huge as happiness, and we shouldn’t even try, but as we grow up and mature, we know what we want based on our own needs and wants without being affected by societal norms or whatever someone else wants us to do. And this is definitely a step closer to the previously undefined, unattainable state of happiness.
So be the unbearable, clingy girlfriend with whatever gives you a simple, good feeling. Be the warrior who never gives up to find that feeling, to keep it, and to develop it even more. Simply and complicatedly, all at once, be happy.