Today I am happy. Yesterday I had moments of so called ‘sadness’, but generally overcame them and remained happy. Perhaps my sub-conscious masks my inherent feelings and pastes a false sense of morality into my mind’s eye, consequently creating the illusion of happiness. Do I even know what happiness is?
This topic is highly deep and without boundaries, and will everlastingly be a slave to perception. Yet, I feel that there are certain aspects which are generic in nature, and can be used by anybody . As with everything, this has been thought of before. I am not the first mortal to question the theory of happiness, nor will I be the last one. Some of the great philosophers and thinkers of our time have dealt exclusively with this topic.
It is now believed that there are 2 main ‘views’ of happiness – namely hedonic and eudaimonic views. Now what these fancy sounding terms mean is this: Hedonic is generally the maximization of pleasure with minimization of pain, while eudaimonic focuses on meaning and the individual’s pursuit of self-actualization.
Is it true that if we only have pleasure in life while simultaneously achieving all our goals will end in in true happiness? Do we have to know pain to know pleasure? Is your perception your reality ? These are all questions which I feel need to be looked at in more astuteness to gain a better understanding of happiness. Since I am no philosopher, nor a regurgitating author, I will try and add my own spin to this really limitless question, and in the process raise a few questions of my own.
Ask somebody what the happiest moment of their life was. No doubt the classic options: birth of my child, graduation, making that financial milestone or wedding will be told with teary eyes and/or convicted gusto. Now these same people are in the pursuit of happiness, true happiness or whatsoever you want to call it. Why then, is their happiest moment not the full and complete realization that they are actually alive?
As soon as people understand that happiness is a series of moments, and not a full time thing, the happier they will be. Happiness is a condition of the mind ! Not an event! Without sadness, we won’t have a cornerstone to determine whether we are happy or not. Sadness is part of life, and must be taken for what it is.
Your thoughts and feelings dictate your state of mind and not the pleasures you add on your body. Are we just striving for virtue? Do we want the approval of our peers? Or will our happiness be complete once we have dominated all external forces acting upon us, an almost Friedrich Nietzsche ‘will to power’. To quote the great philosopher: “You great star, what would your happiness be had you not those for whom you shine?” and so, I believe that true happiness is with the sharing and interconnected presence of loved ones. There is nothing better than spending a Sunday afternoon with the family, chilling out and not worrying .
What is your true definition of happiness?