Searching for Happiness - Do we really find what we are looking for?
Everyone wants to be happy. No one will ever trade happiness for anything else in the world. But happiness means different things to different people. We go searching for happiness at every chance we get. Because, face it, who would want to lose an opportunity like that. But what does happiness really mean? What does it look like? How does it feel?
Before we begin our expedition of searching for happiness, let us first understand what it means
Happiness is not a temporary state; it is meant to be and is a permanent state of being. If you’ve found happiness for a small period of time, be rest assured that it wasn’t genuine happiness. It may have simply been a momentary pleasure, a distraction from reality or a materialistic desire come true.
True genuine happiness is far from all of the above-mentioned reasons. Pleasure, distractions, and materialistic desires are dependent on external factors. We go searching for happiness in the wrong place. We get lost in the maze and mistake temporary feelings as real happiness. We make presumptions that nothing lasts forever and so does happiness.
However, the fact that nothing lasts forever is absolutely true in the context of the material world. Nothing in life is permanent; everything is constantly changing in the outside world. But happiness is not a byproduct of the outside, external or material world. The fact that we accept reality the way it is and believe in the transitory nature of things itseff should give us happiness.
Happiness is primarily generated within. True genuine happiness lies inside all of us. It is lost and hidden deep inside layers of desires and expectations that we have from life in general. Once we realize that no amount of external factors can contribute to our happiness, we can stop searching for happiness. This realization itself has sown the seeds for uncovering true, genuine, and long-lasting happiness.
Searching for Happiness is not running after it, on the contrary, it is quite the opposite
The moment we start chasing or searching for happiness we tend to get caught up in a maze. A maze of confusion, chaos perhaps. Happiness should be capable of generating a feeling of calm and tranquility within. The peace in not knowing it all and not having it all. The search is not a race, it is merely a walk in the park.
We find answers when we are in a place of absolute bliss and comfort. Not while we are constantly running after things. The key to happiness is already with us. We just go about unlocking the wrong doors. The doors that lead to moments of pleasurable experiences. Such pleasurable experiences would definitely cause pain sooner or later.
Buy an expensive car or gadget, get instant pleasure. One small mishap to our possession and the cycle of pain begins. In another example, overeat an absolutely delicious treat out of pure gluttony, instant gratification. The after effect on our overall health, classic example of pain.
The aforementioned examples may just be a very gross level attempt in explaining the real difference between happiness and pleasure. True happiness comes from looking after yourself. Knowing fully that this body is your medium of fulfilling your goals, not your desires.
Searching for Happiness ends once we experience a feeling of calm, amid the chaos
It is easy to experience happiness when everything around us is peaceful and tranquil. However, in order to judge if we have indeed found true genuine happiness is during challenging times.
We are put to test during the difficult, challenging, and so-called complicated periods of life. It may not be easy to sail through such events with a smile on our face all the time, but it may not entirely be a bad idea after all. Ask yourself what is the worse that could happen, if I still chose to be happy and smile no matter what my circumstance?
No amount of success, fame, or money can buy us true genuine happiness. True happiness is experienced even without all of these things. Temporary possessions of life will eventually fade away. In fact, even while are in possession of these ‘possessions’, we may not be able to fully enjoy it while it lasts.
The ability to enjoy life just the way it is is happiness. The peace in the midst of chaos is happiness. The contentment in not having it all is happiness. The satisfaction in not knowing it all is happiness. If we ever find the means to achieve all of these genuine feelings from within we can safely end our quest of searching for happiness. Because we would have finally found it after all.
About the Author
Karen Rego is a content contributor at Life Positive. She has completed her advanced teachers' training in yoga education from The Yoga Institute. A part of yoga education also includes philosophy studies that are aimed at personal development. A major part of personal development includes inculcating life principles to be happy and content. She is also a law graduate and has previously worked in corporate law for 10 years.