HAPPINESS DOESN'T MATTER
Happiness. The one single obsession that has obsessed humans since we stopped worrying about our day by day survivor. How many times have we heard: you came to this world to be happy. Whoever said that, has clearly never been married. But what is happiness? And who is truly happy?
To be frank, I’m not qualified to talk about happiness, since I don’t consider myself a happy person. However, the thing I’ve always been is inquisitive so I’m going to try to figure out what happiness is and if I do, I might even become better at it.
First, I think happiness is absolutely subjective. It doesn’t mean the same thing for everyone and it also changes meaning for people at different points of their lives. What made you happy 10 years ago is not the same that makes you happy now. So how can you define something so inconsistent? How can you reach a goal that might have changed since you started chasing it?
Secondly what is happiness actually? Is it a feeling? An emotion? A state of mind? A philosophy? The sum of all parts that makes one life? It can’t just be an emotion because we experience a lot of emotions on a given day depending on our mood, traffic, LTE reception and hundreds of other outside factors. You can be all happy and then suddenly the world comes crashing down because you only got one "like" on your best selfie yet.
Maybe happiness is a state of mind. A mix of the way we see the world, our attitude, our values, our expectations and the number of followers we have on instagram. If this is the case, then we have total control about whether we’re happy or not. Our status and achievements, along with our possessions don’t matter when it comes to making one happy if happiness itself comes from within. And like any other behavior, it can be learned and there’s tons of books and podcasts about this mindset change.
I do think that happiness is more about the way we see the world than just fleeting emotions, but I want to make a case for something more radical: happiness doesn’t matter.
Regardless of how you achieve happiness, it never lasts. There’s loss and tragedy and frustrations and loneliness in life. You can have a great period where you have it all and you can lose it all overnight, along with your happiness. Shit happens all the time.
I think there are more important and enduring things we could achieve and maintain to live a better life. Things like inner peace for example. Inner peace gives you the ability to endure any loss. It gives you the ability to stay focused when things aren't great. It allows you to enjoy the good, the bad and most importantly, it allows you to be content with yourself. Once you’re at peace with yourself it doesn’t matter if you’re alone or with people you love, you enjoy your time all the same. It doesn’t matter what you own and how much you make. You have nothing to prove to anyone. Once you reach that level of piece, you can finally live your life with a purpose instead of a goal.