The End of Happiness
Photo By E. Rachel Thompson
Please don’t be alarmed. Happiness has not somehow escaped us. This is simply the third in a series of articles which included thoughts and ideas about happiness. In the first two, (click here to read the first and here for the second) the aim was to touch on its definition and how it may be pursued. As promised, I wanted to give my thoughts on the subject and welcome yours below.
While consulting with my clients, the topic of happiness is frequently discussed because not only is it something which we all seek, its pursuit, as Thomas Jefferson penned, is one of our “certain unalienable rights”. The human species has been gifted with the ability to elevate ourselves by striving to be happy, joyful, peaceful, or any other adjective which defines your idea of contentment.
Because there are a myriad of ways to define it, this is what can create the difficulty and confusion. Some who believe they have found it and were so moved by its discovery, may want others to experience it in the exact same ways which truthfully, will do more to defeat their intent rather than nurture it.
If happiness truly is different for each person, then we MUST allow everyone to decide its own genuine meaning. However, I believe there is even a more straightforward way to achieve it. Happiness very well may be as simple as a choice. Yes, something as unassuming as deciding “I want to be happy” even when our circumstances and surroundings influence and seemingly contribute otherwise.
This may sound ludicrous but please take a few moments to think about it. Have there not been times in your life when a difficulty has arisen and you chose to have a good attitude about it? I am not naïve to think that happiness is a total state of complete bliss in which nothing can shake us from it. Life is filled with troubles and many times on a daily basis. Ultimately we do have a choice as to how we will react. By no means am I saying that this is easy and the patience of a saint is a requirement. But our emotions can and most certainly have changed in an instant. Have you ever been driving along in a car when suddenly another driver cuts you off and your cheerful mood swiftly switches gears? Was there ever a time you were in a sad mood and a favorite song came on the radio which made you feel much better? These are not meant to be good examples of happiness but rather to demonstrate one’s control over your emotions. While there are countless factors which contribute to your emotional state, I believe that choosing is the crucial first step to finding our own happiness.
No amount of money, victories, triumphs, or successes will guarantee or ensure happiness. While they may provide momentary periods or be a contributing factor, I believe our own ability to choose to be happy, in whatever circumstance we may find ourselves, is the best way in which it can be pursued and ultimately discovered.
I sincerely wish everyone the greatest success in their own personal journey. If you have other, more personal thoughts which you would like to share in private, please feel free to message or send me a connection request. There are many difficulties and obstacles which can be overwhelming and it is a great privilege for me to help. Thanks again to E. Rachel Thompson for the beautiful photograph. Find out more about her on LinkedIn by clicking here and I look forward to your comments.
My articles are now being published in Arabic by Rana Khaled. The link will be posted very soon. If you would like to publish my articles in other languages, please contact me.