It is estimated that nearly $10 billion dollars are spent annually on self-help books in the elusive chase to find happiness.
Happiness is a Gift You Give to Yourself
If you ask most people what they want from life, the majority of answers would be "I just want to be happy". What most don't realize, is happiness happens when you create it. The word "happy" comes from the Middle English word "hap" meaning "good luck" rather than a feeling of joy. Happy on its own means an enjoyable or satisfied state of being, which indicates Happy is a choice. At any given moment of the day, no matter what is going on in, or on the peripheral of your life, you can choose to BE happy. Ultimately it's a gift you give to yourself. It is not another human's responsibility to make you happy. It is yours 100%.
What is this thing called Happiness?
Happiness is often defined by something you might be experiencing that is bringing you a sense of pleasure. Like eating your favorite meal, having fun at a social event or being in presence of people whose company you enjoy. I think we sometimes confuse happiness with pleasure. Whereas pleasure is based on something you might be engaged in, happiness is more about your state of being within that experience.
I like the definition Happiness International, ascribes to what happiness is, according to them, "happiness is when your life fulfills your needs". Others say happiness is directly linked to how satisfied you feel about the various areas of your life; for instance, the relationship you have with yourself, your relationship with others, your work, and all the other areas that are important to you. But at the end of the day, happiness is whatever you decide it is for you. It starts with you and ends with you.
Happiness is not something you chase, it is something you must choose.
How bad do you want it?
How much you want happiness depends on who you are willing be to have it. What would you be willing to do if there was only one thing you could do to experience the kind of happiness you want in your life; understanding that it would be based on something you have to do for yourself, not something you are expecting from someone else?
Do you even know what happiness looks like for you? It's important to know that. Why? Because if you do not know what it looks like, how will you know what it is when it shows up?
Even more important than knowing what happiness is for you, is knowing what it is not.
Here's a few ways to tell what happiness is not?
Happiness is not always about how you feel. You can feel happy one moment and completely sad the next because you may be associating how you feel in a particular moment with what you are doing. You can't base your happiness on what you feel; you will end up disappointed every time. Can you feel happy, yes of course you can, but feelings are like visitors, they come and go.
Happiness is not something on the outside of you - nothing on the outside of you can sustain your happiness. Everything in life is transient, and subject to change. You may be happy with what you have now, but what happens to your happiness when what is making you happy is gone?
Happiness is not a destination, it's a decision - happiness is not a place you need to get to. You won't find the route to it on any map or GPS system. Why, because you must decide to be happy.
Happiness is not an experiment, you can't try to be happy, you either are or you are not.
Happiness is not enough. You also need joy. Joy is a divine fruit of your spirit. It is like a pillar that anchors your happiness but it cannot sustain it if you don't. Joy is perpetual, happiness is not.
How do you know you are not happy?
Have you asked yourself "am I happy"? Asking yourself whether you are happy presupposes that you actually know what that means for you. You could be confusing not being happy with how you are feeling about a particular situation or circumstance. It is entirely possible to be completely happy within yourself and completely unhappy about a situation in your life all at the same time. That doesn't make you unhappy, that just means you're human.
Life is not always better or happier around the corner. or wherever the grass is greener. The open secret about life is that Life. Is. You get to decide what comes after "is". If you are unhappy in your relationship, you have a decision to make. You can decide to be unhappy with the person or you can decide to be unhappy without them. If you believe you will be happier without them, you won't be. Because you are saying "you are unhappy" which means there is something YOU have to do to change that.
We will always end up back at the same place, IT. IS. UP. TO. YOU. So let's get back to the initial question. Why are you not happy? Simply stated, because you are not. You can be happy whenever you choose to be. It doesn't matter how many scientific theories are promoted or what you might hear from your therapist or happiness counselor. At the end of the day, at the end of the week, at the end of the month and year, if you are unhappy, it is because that is what you have decided to be. That's a hard truth, but it is the truth.
Be who you need to be to create happiness in your life?
Stop comparing yourself to other people. You are more than likely basing your unhappiness on someone's life who is just as unhappy as you are.
Have the courage to be who you are as you are. Go treasure hunting inside yourself. If you don't go within, you will go without.
Own your inaction. What are you not giving to yourself that you are expecting others to give to you to? . . .Uhmm make you happy? I don't think so.
Take accountability for investing in yourself. Haven't you given enough of yourself away? Where did that get you? Exactly, UNHAPPY!
Stop waiting on happiness, happiness is waiting on you. It's not about what you are going to do, it's about who you decide you are going to be and if that is happy, then happy you will be.