It is often said that satisfaction and contentedness lead to lasting happiness.
If anything, the opposite is necessary to be happy in life. The want – the drive – to be more, do more, facilitates the actualization of an exquisite state of passion.
The ‘state of passion’ defined as happiness.
Happiness isn’t in having more, rather is a by-product of the process, the effort, the work that one puts in to make oneself better. Happiness that comes from the realisation of a goal is short-lived, followed by an emptiness, a hunger, only to be satiated by the gratification of the self with the realisation of a new goal. An unstable loop that we often get stuck in.
Happiness isn’t in the realisation of the goal it’s is in the pursuit.
Happiness doesn’t come from owning things, it comes from the experiences they enable us to have.
Those who base their happiness on having more than others will never be happy because there will always be someone who will have something more than you. That something is often defined as money. The conundrum isn’t whether this hypothesis is right or wrong – for some, it is, for some it isn’t.
The conundrum is how that ‘something’ ended up being money in the universally accepted social framework.
Of all the things you can pay for happiness, money is by far the cheapest.
Probably, because as humans we tend to define everything in the lowest possible denominator and in this case (happiness) – it was money. It’s evident, easy to measure, compare, etc. But juxtaposing amplitude of wealth with well being is a very trivial/crude approach to decoding the human nature.
A deeper probe would reveal, however, that we human beings have complete control over defining this MacGuffin. Each person has the ability to define and pursue their own objective – one that will to a certain degree affect the perception of happiness they have erected around themselves.
So now the question is
How do we define the prime directive for our own happiness?
How do we assign values to the variables in our lives?
Chasing which goals will make us the happiest?
I believe there is no universal answer. Each of us has to define their own and then derive happiness from its pursuit.
Deriving this goal and defining the pursuit is something that will come from looking inward, empathising with the self and separating that one voice from the noise that is the humdrum of everyday life.
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