Inspiration for this post actually came from a good friend and work colleague of mine. I’m known at work as Positive Polly and a couple of days ago my work colleague came into my office and made a suggestion for a blog post, saying something along the lines of “you’re always so happy, why don’t you write about it”. This got me thinking and now here I am writing about what happiness is and how do we achieve it.
How often in your life have you thought ‘I just want to be happy’ or how often have you said to someone ‘I want you to be happy’? I’m asking this because have you ever actually taken the time to think about what this means? I think it’s important we question this because without knowing what the word ‘happiness’ really means how will we ever truly feel it?
What is happiness?
So many people think happiness is buying the new shoes you’ve wanted for ages, having fun on a night out, enjoying a swanky meal at your favourite restaurant or travelling to an exotic country. Things like these are all amazing experiences that will leave you with life long memories, but they aren’t actually happiness. Experiences like these are definitions of pleasure, often mistook for the meaning of happiness. The feeling of pleasure should come and go because if we constantly seek happiness through our experiences we will start to need more and more each time to make us feel good. Chasing pleasure is certainly not happiness. This is why the well known saying goes ‘Money cannot buy happiness.’
So if the above isn’t happiness, then what is? It’s a hard question to answer because everyone’s happiness will come in different forms. However, as a sweeping statement, I genuinely believe happiness comes when your feel satisfied, fulfilled and content within yourself.
How do we find happiness?
I am pretty sure it is impossible to be happy 24/7 and there are a million and one different levels of happiness but for me, my happiness came when I began focusing on the things I have rather than the things that are missing. For example, I am lucky enough to love and to be loved – For me, this is something I have wanted all my life and is something extremely important to me. This feeling contributes to my happiness. For someone else, the feeling of achievement at work may contribute to their happiness. This doesn’t mean they are any more or any less happy than I am, we are all just different human beings with different outlooks on life.
It would be wrong of me to write a list of the ‘Top 10 Ways To Be Happy’ (which in all honesty was what I set out to do) because the things that provide me with happiness could be completely different to the things that make my next door neighbor happy. However, if I could give one piece of advice it would be to not dwell on the things you don’t have in life but rather celebrate and focus on the amazing things you do have – whatever they may be.
I realise maybe I haven’t exactly answered the question of What Is Happiness and Where Can We Find It? But it wasn’t until I started writing this post that I realised just how complex and unknown those answers really are.