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What does happiness mean?

Happiness…. everyone in the world is seeking for happiness. But what does happiness mean? If a seeker is unclear on what she is seeking, how can she possibly find it, and even if she did, would she even know that she has found what she wanted?

So back to the question, what does happiness mean?

Happiness is a state of being. A pleasurable emotion that can be exhilarating, delightful or peaceful. A simple definition that people generally unconsciously believe is happiness means having what you want, doing what you love and enjoying life.

But there is much more to happiness than that.

There are 2 types of happiness. The short term happiness gained from external things or circumstances, and the inner happiness that comes through acceptance of self and living congruently with ones life values and purpose. Obviously, we should focus on having long term inner happiness rather than short term, externally oriented happiness.

Here are some examples of what inner happiness is and what it is not

Inner happiness is….

Waking up every morning and feeling grateful that to be alive

Having a direction and meaning in your life

Knowing that what you are doing everyday is making a difference, either in your life or in the lives of others

Feeling at peace with yourself and with the world around you.

Feeling joy and bliss without having to rely on external things or circumstances.

Inner happiness is not about…

Having the latest gadgets and toys

Having no worries at all

Lazing around all day watching TV

Having all the money in the world

Being admired and loved by everyone

Happiness = Loving what you have OR having what you love?

Throughout the times, there have been many discussions on whether happiness is about having what you love or loving what you have.

To those more conservative and easily contented, they would believe in the latter while for the big dreamers and high achievers, they won’t be happy until they have got everything they wanted.

what does happiness mean The better answer though, would be somewhere in between the 2 extremes. A balance of both.

If you just try to love what you currently have, you may be happy in the short term, but it won’t last forever. Human beings we are always seeking to improve, it is within us to want to grow and develop. If everyone followed this philosophy, there will not be any advancement in the human race.

Secondly, sometimes we just cannot be happy with what we have no matter how you try. For example if you hate numbers but work as a statistician, it’s hard to be happy about going to work everyday.

For the other extreme of getting happiness from having what you love, the danger of it is that you may be caught up with continually chasing after achievements, things and experiences in order to feel happy.

You keep thinking to yourself “Once I have this…. I’ll be happy” or “Once I do this, I’ll be happy”. You may fall into the cycle of continually seeking new things and never be satisfied. The possibility of forgetting to enjoy what you achieved because you’re always busy looking for something else.

Strike a balance between the 2 extremes. Always strive for your dreams and desires, go for what your heart tells you, but still remember be happy and grateful for what you already have.

Hope this article answered your question on what does happiness mean. Don’t put off happiness for another day. Be happy now, and also strive for more happiness in the future.

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