Happiness can mean many different things to different people. Generally, happiness is understood as a state of mind that is associated with feelings ranging from satisfaction and comfort to bliss and intense joy.
People often believe that they will become happy when a particular event occurs in their lives: when they make enough money, meet the right partner, or get the right job...
It cannot be denied that things can make our lives more pleasant and less stressful. They can give us some degree of satisfaction and we may derive pleasure from things that we wanted very much and finally received, but such pleasure is momentary and never really lasts long enough to keep us perpetually happy. As the joy and excitement wear out, we experience the need for something that would give us at least as much satisfaction. We are in a hurry to replace the old things with new. We search for a new gratifying experience. This process repeats itself over and over and we end up in a vicious cycle always wanting more, but never receiving enough.
Unless we realize that things do not really make us happy, we may never be able to achieve genuine happiness. It is a predicament to expect happiness "out there" or to bind it to conditions. Things come and go and with them, more often than not, our "constructed" happiness.
Genuine happiness depends on our attitude. It is the way we think about life, the way we interpret our world and what is happening to us. It is the way we value more profound aspects of our existence that sets us apart from those looking for happiness outside of their own being.
Genuine happiness can be realized when we commit ourselves to making it our priority. We can learn to change our patterns of thought and the behavior that prevents us from being genuinely happy. It takes courage to look inside one's heart and to define ourselves anew. But without a thorough introspection we will never know who we really are and what things really mean to us.
It is up to us to learn "control" our attitude to life, the way we see ourselves or interpret what is happening in our lives. And unless we understand that we are responsible for our own happiness, we may never experience the bliss and joy that come with it.
By Dominique Allmon
what is happiness by Dominique Allmon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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