Pursuit of happiness is rated as THE most important part of life. The only difference – the definition of happiness!
Ask a hungry person their vision of happiness and they will tell you it is food. Ask a man standing out in the rain in a cold wintery night and his happiness is warmth and a roof over his head. Happiness, as we know it, is relative to our state of existence.
Happiness is not a moment of joy but is in fact the a state of existence! It is a state of mind! You cannot be happy one moment and unhappy the next because that is not how happiness works. It is not a short term thing!
A number of people tell you about the happiness they experienced when they got a pay rise or a new car or something else. To quantify happiness through a materialistic achievement diminishes the value of happiness. It makes happiness sound very shallow. Acquisition of a new car is a moment of joy. Finding out that you won the national lottery is a moment of joy, not happiness. Your state of happiness will be determined by the life you create despite the lottery win. The lottery win by itself will do nothing. It is no wonder that the lottery winners are quoted as saying that the lottery was the worst thing that ever happened to them. They foolishly thought that the money alone would bring them happiness.
In modern day society we all want more. More from life, more from our jobs, more from relationship, more from healthcare… more from everything. So each time we get more, we have a moment of joy. Once that moment has passed and the adrenaline rush the joy created in our body has calmed down, we come down from the highs. How far we fall is largely dependent on how high we were and what put us there in the first place. Wanting more is healthy and has been the motivation behind some great achievements in human history. But when the desire for more turns to greed then it begins to affect the state of our existence. It begins to cloud our judgement and we fail to see the misery it begins to create for us.
Perhaps the single most important factor in determining the state of happiness is the level of contentment. Being content in what you have. Relationship, life, money, job, etc. Does not matter what it is but just being content in it. That should be said tongue in cheek because there are exceptions to the rule. For example contentment is not an excuse for laziness or lack of motivation. You cannot use contentment as a blanket cover nor can you make it interchangeable with happiness. Simply that contentment is a factor!
Happiness can perhaps best be described as a state where you learn to draw a balance between the highs and lows in your life. Where the peaks and troughs become less noticeable and the state of your mind becomes a more straight line. Where you realise that joy and sadness are two contrasts of life like night and day. And like life itself, neither one of them will last. When that happens – you realise what happiness truly is. It is heaven on earth!