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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Happiness Defined

Today's topic is one that has been pondered for centuries, the true meaning of happiness. Aristotle said "Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence". Do you agree?
Ok, in the big picture of things nearly everything we do on a daily basis is in one way or another related to obtaining happiness, or at the very least avoiding pain (some people work to not have their car repossessed!). But we all know there are different levels of happiness, many indeed. Some people may be happy because they were raised to be that way, having parents that always saw the best of any situation. Unfortunately, some people are miserable not matter how circumstances are treating them in life. Why?
I think there are several reasons for this, but mostly we are as happy as we make up our minds to be (Abraham Lincoln said that first, not me!) So why don't we all just make up our minds to be happy? Great question - I'll try to answer it.
It starts with our "version" of reality, our perceptions of what reality is to us as an individual.
Now, depending on your circumstances growing up, you literally had millions of different events that influenced your reality, so every person has a different version. The way you experience a trip to the beach may be totally different than my way, due to some incident that occurred to you as a child. Say you nearly were eaten by a shark once - that probably gave you "bad taste" in your mouth when trips to the beach are mentioned. See what I mean?
Yes! But I'm an adult now, I can believe anything I want to believe! True, but think about some of the things you believe in. What do you believe would make you happy? Do you have all of those things? If not, then why not? Ah-hah! That's what I thought - very few people actually have what they feel would make them happy! Do you even know, in great detail, what would make you happy? And don't say a million dollars, because that by itself rarely makes people happy. I know, at least you could try, right? Ok, make a list!
Find out what you believe in your heart would make you happy...
Ok, how about peace of mind? A totally perfect relationship with your spouse? A large home in the mountains with a beautiful view? How about a career that really makes you want to go to work every day? What would it take to have all of the things on your list, if you don't already have them? You probably need to change yourself. But what if you have all of those things and more, but still aren't happy? I believe many people achieve all they set out to achieve, yet true happiness still eludes them.
First, find your passion in life.Chances are if you haven't found your true passion in life, then you aren't happy. Or maybe you are "conditionally happy", in other words if all is going well then your happy for the moment. But I believe to be truly happy on very deep level on a daily basis, a happiness that is unbending and unwavering not matter what the circumstances, you must first find your passion in life. So what are you waiting for?