I know… Everyone has something to say on this. But we have something good to say on it.
Once upon a time someone decided that happiness was simply undefinable and, therefore, something that magically happens to the very rich or the very lucky. Normal people sometimes stumble into being happy, but there’s no way to control it.
That’s not happiness. I’ll even tell you a few aspects about happiness:
Happiness is not only definable, it’s obtainable by anyone. There isn’t some sort of limited quantity in the world only accessible to an allotted number of people: YOU can be happy. In fact, YOU deserve to be happy simply because you’re human and alive. The issue people run into is that happiness is an individual, personal issue you create or destroy for yourself.
What is happiness?
My definition of happiness is likely different from yours, which should come as no surprise, considering as we’re different people.
Want to be happier? The first step is to define it. Write down what would make you absolutely happy. Again, happiness is a personal thing.
For example, many of us may say our version of happiness boils down to a yacht filled with coolers of cash. But would that really make anyone happy? Coolers of cash can’t make you happy, but the freedom they represent can.
The things you write down are going to need to be intangible items or concepts like family, just like happiness. I know I am constraining you. But all the best recipes work that way, especially when it is your own personal recipe. When you find something that works, write it down and save it for use later.
Finding Your Aim and Take Risks
Decoding what you think might make you happy into what actually would is tricky, but you’re not going to be happy if you can’t figure out what it looks like. You need to know what to aim for.
But happiness isn’t going to seek you out: it’s not the IRS. We seem to all agree that a great career takes work and a great marriage takes work and a great body takes work, but when anyone suggests that lasting joy takes work, the agreement comes to a screeching halt.
But no, happiness isn’t something tripped upon in a blind stupor. You’ll need to take risks to grab it. In fact, you’ll have to take multiple risks, which means failing multiple times. Which means being supremely uncomfortable and having the foresight to realize that discomfort and failure can actually help make you happy.
So, in your quest for happiness, cherish the chances you get to experience unhappiness. Unhappiness provides you the context to fully appreciating joy when you achieve it.
Like any other worthy goal, happiness be achieved: define it, aim for it, and work towards it. The happiest people I know aren’t lucky; luck has nothing to do with it. The happiest people I know are happy because they’ve worked hard to have the happiness they want.