What is happiness? I don’t think it is the same for everyone. I think it’s more like the common cold. It has too many causes to pin it down. I know it’s weird to compare happiness to a disease, but I think the comparison is valid. We can’t cure the common cold because it has too many causes. The same is true for defining happiness, not that we want to cure happiness. There are too many causes to list. All you can do is list some of the things that make you happy. That’s a start.
Most people are happy and don’t even know it. If you aren’t obsessing about something, chances are you are happy with your life. There are parts of it that you may want to change, everyone has parts of their lives that they want to change. There’s nothing unusual about that. Happiness is often a balancing act between the things that are good and those that are bad in our lives. You have to define what makes you happy before you can determine if you are happy.
How do you know if you are happy, or if you are just content? Is contentment also happiness? I have no idea. Happiness is subjective. That much I know. What makes me happy may not make you happy. What makes me happy may horrify you. I can’t imagine why that would be, but I can imagine the possibility of it. We have to make allowances for our differences. That is the key to it all. Set your definition of what happiness is and you will find that overall, you are happy.
I think happiness defies definition because as soon as you start trying to define it, you lose it. That’s just how nebulous happiness is. It really doesn’t matter what happiness is. Defining it isn’t the point. You can’t pin it down and you shouldn’t try. I think that you won’t be happy if you focus all your energy on the things that are wrong with your life. It can be hard, but you should try to focus on the things that are right with your life.
I think I am an optimist because I look at the bad things and look for something good that can come from it. A lot of people only notice the bad side of life. I guess that’s the real difference between optimists and pessimists. The pessimists focus on the bad while the optimists focus on the good. There are two sides to everything. So if all you see is the bad, you should should try to turn it around to see the good side of it. That’s over simplistic of course, but happiness is so indefinable, that it makes it hard to write about. So the next time you have some time to kill, just sit down and just make a list of the things in your life that make you happy. Then list the bad things and try to figure out how it could twisted to be good. You just might find that you are happier than you think you are. Wouldn’t that be cool?