Maybe I’m starting to show my age, because lately I’ve been thinking about esoterically charged subjects like, well, happiness.
What is it? What causes it. Where does it come from? And, how can I get me some?
Happiness isn’t much easier to define than is love.
And, I’ve serious doubts if many of us would recognize them, if we stumbled and fell headlong into a moist puddle of either.
For us non-philosophers, both love and happiness are ‘things’ we feel, not intellectual riddles.
Mostly, I ‘think’ I’m happy. And, usually, I ‘feel’ happy.
I’m not certain if there’s a difference between a thought and a feeling.
More importantly, are either authentic?
Before you decide this is the ramblings of an old man with too much time on his hands, how about you – are you happy?
If you’re happy, and I hope you are, what exactly makes you so?
Is happiness caused by the absence of stress?
Or, does financial security cause it?
How about love?
Does being ‘in love’ or knowing you’re loved, bring on feelings of happiness?
Can knowing, and pursuing, your life’s purpose make you happy?
Or, does happiness come after you’ve accomplished goals you’ve striven for?
You’ve no doubt noticed I’m obliquely asking if fulfillment of Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs can make us happy.
Probably couldn’t hurt.
But, having seen how new knowledge can change accepted norms, I can’t come up with an encompassing final answer about what happiness is or how it’s captured.
The better question might be: is happiness a state of mind, or a state of being?
On the surface, that’s a dumb-ish question.
Yet, chasing happiness, doesn’t work.
And, thinking about it won’t get us anywhere.
I suspect happiness is, most likely, a state of mind.
Like pregnancy, you either is, or you ain’t…
Kinda disappointing, I know.
I’d love to publish a scholarly essay detailing fail-safe steps for achieving happiness.
I just don’t think I could come up with an argument that’s scientifically provable…
Here’s some ideas that couldn’t hurt:
- Stop crying over spilled milk. Stuff happens, move on so you can recognize your next opportunity.
- Become grateful for now. You’ve already come a long way.
- Don’t obsess over goals. Enjoy the process of striving.
- Become congruent with your thoughts, words and deeds.
- Don’t let others define you.
- Failures are life’s stepping stones toward fulfillment.
- Forgive yourself so you can forgive everyone else. We’re all doing the best we can.
- Mind your own business. And, let others live their own lives.
- Don’t take yourself seriously. Enjoy the irony life rolls on you.
- Be kind to those who can’t affect you.
- Eat natural foods. Sleep well and exercise regularly.
- Task your brain daily.
- R-E-L-A-X. Meditate. Breathe. Practice idleness.
- Embrace that you came into this world with nothing and will leave likewise.
I’m seasoned enough to understand there’s little absolutes in this life. So I’m not sure about happiness.
On the other hand, maybe we’re overthinking something that’s simple.
“There is no path to happiness; happiness is the path.” …Gautama Buddha
Cool Love Song:
Talk to you next time.