Day 47/365 - On active happiness

Day 47

If you ask anyone what they want most in life, the most common response would be “to be happy.” But who defines happiness? Does the definition vary from person to person? Is there a common theme of ‘picture perfect’ happiness among all the vastly different personalities we have and lifestyles we lead? Or perhaps we take for inspiration the values of our parents, friends, communities, religious organizations - or maybe even dictated to us from some higher puppet masters that eventually trickle down through the media?

Whatever it is that we think we want, for whatever reason, happiness always seems to be more than that. No matter how many achievements we have behind our backs, or objects we have affectionately attained to improve our lives, it seems that happiness is lurking just ahead of the next corner. 

It turns out, that happiness is a more elusive concept than just a tangible entity. It is something that money can’t buy, and stems from the inside out. Studies show that some people are just inherently more happy than others. Circumstances have less of an impact on happiness than that intrinsic happy disposition. When our compass is set to gratitude and we see the bright side of things, we feel our best. This can be called happiness.

It’s by no means an easy process to get the happy wiring. It comes easier to some lucky people, while most of us have to work for it. Yes, even happiness needs work. The work is done on yourself, though. Achieving happiness is an active process, and a daily repetitive task. You have to concentrate all of your energy and power into building yourself up, feeling good about what you already have and leaving plenty of hope for what’s in store. You have to smile until it feels real, and accept life’s challenges with grace. You have to remind yourself that happiness is in the eye of the beholder. You get to choose what happens next, and that liberty is in itself happiness.