What is Happiness?
What is this elusive ideology? We hear about it from governments, from people on the ground, from spiritual leaders, from religious leaders. It seems everyone wants to be happy. There has been research and discussions and workshops and events, and organized groups that promise to teach us all how to achieve this special state of happiness.
Happiness we are told, promotes mental, emotional and physical health. We know by now that it is good for us and it should be our goal in life.
How does one really achieve happiness? Studies abound that tell us the happiness can be achieved through giving, so charity events and occasions are set up. Studies tell us happiness can be achieved through having meaningful relationships, so we all try to reach out to each other and focus on the families we have. Studies tell us happiness can be achieved through love, so we try to grab what we can and give as much as our respective egos allow us.
Happiness, we are told cannot be achieved through the materialistic, collecting things, or even power and money, so we have tried to shift our goals to become more focused on emotional, mental well-being.
And yet with all this research and all of us scrambling to achieve happiness how many can actually say with confidence that they have a strong hold on their happiness?
But, happiness can be achieved. It is a constant work of life. The first step is to accept that no one can be happy all the time, as humans with emotions and drive this is simply not possible, not to mention that physiology and shifting hormones in the body don’t allow for it. Yes, happiness is an emotional and mental state, but the human body operates in such a manner to influence those states from time to time.
Happiness is achieved simply through focusing on the inner self. It cannot be found in the external. In this case the external means trying to find happiness in another person, thing or place. This becomes a selfish search for happiness, allowing wants and desire to rule behaviour. And this search becomes a never ending restlessness that causes a person to constantly be seeking happiness but never realizing it.
Developing the inner qualities that relate to truth, right conduct, making sure to not cause harm to others, keeping peace and giving love is what leads to happiness. It is consciously recognizing the world around seeing the good, appreciating the small and truly allowing oneself to feel joy in the current experience that leads to happiness. It is letting go of the ego and monkey mind and accepting the value of what is now.
Love, we are told brings happiness. And yes, it does, but it is the giving of love, not the receiving or taking that allows happiness. Taking love while causing harm will certainly not help achieve happiness. Again it is the ego and selfish desire that rules when the focus is on taking love for happiness.
Happiness is a journey, it is not the end goal. It is the state of mind that comes when one acts through selflessness and compassion. Giving only until the ego allows is not enough in this case, it is the act of true giving, purely to see the smile on the others’ face. This is what brings happiness. It is a state of being that slides into a person, without the individual realizing, as a wave of energy and peace and builds until the individual no longer knows any other way to be. It is a state of being that causes a person to walk with their head held up high.