“Money can’t buy happiness” is one of the most popular phrases used and understood only by individuals who live a transcended life. Meaning is added when one understands that attaining happiness is not a difficult task, but it is a very difficult task. Happiness cannot be bought from a store nor can it be harvested and reaped from the earth. Happiness has to be found within and looking within for happiness is a difficult task.
Happiness As A Life Goal
For many, there is a long list of life goals. From good performance at school, to an affluent job, to a healthy and satisfying relationship, everyone has set realistic and achievable goals for themselves. Setting goals has no age limit. However, for many others, life goals are not in a tangible form rather they are abstract concepts that have personalized operational definitions. One of the concepts that easily reach the life goals list is that of ‘Being Happy.”
Happiness And How You Define It
Operational Definition indicates how one measures a particular concept. So for instance, if your aim was to attain happiness, it is also important to define what happiness is for you. For you it might be feeling content with what you have, for others it might be enveloped in a healthy lifestyle or for someone else it might be related to aging gracefully.
If you notice the aforementioned examples, all of them include ideas that are not based in an item or an object. In reality as well, happiness will be limited if one does not separate it from materialistic endeavors. For instance, if your definition of being happy is based in buying an expensive car, your mood will be tied to an object. As soon as you own a car, you will grow habituated to it and it will stop giving you that happiness over time. This is the point where you would have to edit your definition of happiness.
When happiness has more meaning to it and attaining and maintaining it becomes a lifelong affair, you are likely to be a happier individual. When your definition is not tied to an object, rather it is a practice or a behavior, happiness will appear to be achievable and out of reach at the same time. You will work towards attaining it all your life, yet you will also feel spurts of happiness while you are at it.
What Makes You Happy?
Take out time and do this little activity. This is specifically for those who are socially well connected and their happiness is based in their relationship with others. These individuals will be happy when they are surrounded by people they love and care for.
For the activity and to discover who your source of happiness is, take a moment and close your eyes. Take a deep breath and relax yourself. Now imagine yourself and only yourself in a peaceful place. This is your favorite place and has great serenity. Now, there is only one person who can be there with you. Bring that individual to mind and include them in your place of solace. This particular person that shares your peace of mind, if your source of happiness.
Note: in case the individual who comes to your mind has departed from the world, know that you can rewind and play many memories and feel true happiness.
What Are You Passionate About?
There must be some activity you enjoy thoroughly. Some activity you are skilled at knowing it is your forte. Well, there are many of us who do not adopt a hobby because we feel we cannot dig out time for it. Keeping a hobby alive alongside work is essential as it is a great source of happiness and provides a sense of accomplishment.
So for example, you are passionate about photography. We have seen that amateur photographers have added many visual wonders to the field. All an amateur photographer trusts is their aesthetic sense and the perspective of their personal lens. A click here, and a click there and when one gets the desired shot, it can result in overwhelming pride and happiness.
Key idea to appreciate here is that the medium you use, as a hobby, remains the same but it continues the inflow of a great deal of happiness and feelings of content. Therefore, seek your passion and work toward it and attain the goal of ‘Being Happy’ becomes a tad bit easier and fun.
Why Do Many Still Seek Happiness?
One of the main reasons why many fail to discover their den of happiness is that they do not grasp the feeling right. It is a pre requisite to be emotionally unshackled to welcome happiness. There are many who do not truly understand what makes them happy. They fail to link the antecedent, the cause and the consequence. Do the following exercise to understand what makes you happy.
Let’s take another popular phrase ‘throw someone’s trash to feel happy’ as an example. Head out and look for trash that needs disposal. Once you are done disposing off the trash properly, identify your feelings. How exactly do you feel? Is your feeling directly related to your behavior or can you pin point some other reason for it? Once you understand how you feel, it will be easier to pick on events, acts, behaviors and the like that make you feel happy.
Looking For Happiness Within
Once you understand your feelings better, you will connect with yourself at a higher level. As stated at the beginning, you find happiness within. To find happiness within, connect with yourself. Dual purpose of connecting with your inner self is that you will start to step away from people, events etc that cause unhappiness or disappointment.
To connect better with yourself, engage in a self talk session. In this session you will need two seats, facing each other. Make sure that the room where you are conducting this activity is secluded. Now engage in a role play, where in one seat is settled your true self and the other seat is occupied by your nurturing self. The nurturing self will gently throw in question that the true self will be required to answer. Switch between the two seats to play both the roles and engage in a conversation with yourself. After a few practices, you are likely to understand yourself and have many answers about your own personality and thought process. In psychology, this is known as the ‘two chair technique’; the only difference here is that you are your own therapist.