Happiness, “a state of well-being and contentment.”(Merriam-Webster, 2018) Happiness is the feeling of joy and it is one of the most pleasurable emotions of life. For many people happiness is something that is searched for and a goal that is set. To be happy there is an enormous number of specifics that can bring you happiness. Everyone is different therefor to achieve the feeling of happiness it varies on the person. Happiness is just a state of mind.
For most people happiness isn’t a permanent state of mind. It is a feeling that you really must take in when you feel it and appreciate it fully.
To achieve happiness may be difficult but all over the internet there is inspiration to live by in everyday life. After all, happiness is different to achieve for everyone, but it is a well worth it emotion to feel and make life that much more enjoyable. Is life really about name brands, having the newest technology, and having an expensive car? Or having a group of loving and caring friends and family? Today everyone defines and looks for happiness in a different way.
Many people usually search for happiness in money, material items, and meaningless relationships. None of the things mentioned solely leads to happiness. This is a problem in our society; everyone is on the “pursuit of happiness,” but what if we do not know the correct way on how to pursue it?
From early times, philosophers and researchers have questioned the meaning of happiness.
Aristotle suggested that happiness is the central purpose of human life, and a main goal of life itself (Burton). Since then various researchers have studied behaviors of a person after an action to determine a person’s level of happiness. Despite all the research done, there are very little studies, which examine the true meaning of happiness. Humans invest such a large amount of time on their “pursuit of happiness,” therefore the meaning of happiness needs to be researched more.
One of Aristotle’s most influential works is the Nicomachean Ethics, which is where he presents the well-studied theory of happiness. Throughout Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle asked, “What is the ultimate purpose of human existence?” (Aristotle) He realized that everyone has an end point or a main goal that we should direct some time towards. Aristotle argues that happiness is the end goal; he further explained how it’s easy to say we desire money, pleasure, and honor since we believe that these goods will make us happy. Therefore, when you feel happy for a short time it is not happiness at all; it a pleasurable moment.
If it isn’t ‘stuff’ that achieves happiness, then what can? Well, goals can. People need to have a sense of purpose. But people that have a sense of purpose in their life often have a feeling of satisfaction about them. To each person, this purpose can be different. Maybe they were meant to teach. Maybe they were meant to mother. Maybe they were meant to learn. And goals can be small things, like taking an extra moment each day to breathe. But having progress in life, a feeling of forward motion, can make people feel happy.
But taking that forward motion too far can be a bad thing. Success at the expense of everything else, for example, leads to the opposite of happiness. Life requires balance. And people that understand that there is a balance to work and play, strife and joy, are more in tune with the universe and, therefore, better able to achieve happiness. Life with a dose of humor is more pleasant. Comedians, compared to any other profession, live the longest because they understand that laughter adds the spice to life, and makes daily progress worth the minor tribulations.
So, people can be happy if they have something to strive for and something to laugh about. But is that it? Can people with goals and a sense of humor still be unhappy? Well, yes. After all, the final key to happiness is the decision to be happy. Human nature can see negative energy anywhere. People can fixate on problems instead of solutions. At the end of the day, “happiness depends upon us.” (Aristotle). Most people are as happy as the actually believe deep down inside.
Being happy with who you are and what you have, is a decision that has to be consciously made. Goals can help lead to happiness. Finding laughter in life is important. But at the end of the day, a person needs to make a choice about happiness. They need to agree they want it, deserve it, and have it.