Does Happiness Exist and Is True Happiness Possible?
Many people who have struggles in life often pooh-pooh happiness and like to claim that true happiness is not even possible.
The truth is there are different levels of experiencing happiness in your life. It’s not a straight line.
There are ups and downs that you will experience all throughout life but whether you are happy or not is all about your thoughts first, not your feelings.
In this article on happiness, we ask if happiness exists and if so we ask: “is true happiness possible?”
Does Happiness Exist?
Let’s look at a few plausible arguments that support the existence of happiness:
You Have It in You
Just by virtue of the fact that you’re a human being and you can experience feelings, happiness being one of them, you know that true happiness does exist.
You can probably write down many days and things that have brought happiness to your life over the years since you were born up until today.
Look Around You
It’s amazing – but while it’s easy to say that people cannot be happy unless they have their basic needs met.
On the contrary, you’ll find that there are people all around you who do not have their needs met but who are very happy.
That often shows up as true when you study rich people and realize they are not happier than poor people overall.
It’s Not About Stuff
If you look at a list of the happiest countries in the world, you will realize that being happy isn’t about the stuff you have.
According to the 2020 World Happiness Report, the happiest people right now happen to live in Finland. Most people who live there pay high taxes, live in small homes and tend to not be as consumer-driven as people in the USA. But the first USA city ranking is number 18 on the list. That shows that happiness is not about stuff.
(I live in South Africa – ranked 120!!!! But I’m happy lol)
It’s Not Even About Goals
You may think that happiness is about reaching your goals too. But, it’s not.
If you often say things like “I’ll be happy when…” then it’s not likely you will be happy. You can be happy today, before you reach your goals, while you’re on the path to reach those goals.
It’s honestly more about day-to-day living and not just the big moments.
It’s Not About Your Circumstances
Now, of course, some things in life can really get you down.
However, for happy people, even the worst events will not make them unhappy, at least not permanently. A happy person usually has the skills to navigate things about their circumstances. Dr. Gillian Mandich, a happiness expert, states that our circumstances account for only 10 percent of our happiness.
True happiness is about accepting that you can experience it, plus understanding what it really means. A happy person isn’t going to be the same level of happy 24/7, 365 days a year.
When you observe that people who are sick with cancer are happy, that children who aren’t getting enough to eat are happy, and that people living in huts in Africa are also happy it makes you realize that you can be happy too.
What is True Happiness and Is True Happiness Possible in Life?
While the Oxford dictionary defines happiness as “the state of being happy” which gives you very little information about the idea or feeling of, or state of happiness.
Let’s look at some different things that happiness can be, but realize that in truth, happiness is a chosen state in the mind of the beholder.
• Your Needs are Met
When a person is happy, they usually don’t even have any needs that aren’t being met to the level they want them to be met. It doesn’t mean that someone is not having a hard time.
It’s all about how you make what you have fit your needs.
• You Feel Satisfied
When you are happy you tend to feel simply satisfied with your life. You think about your life and feel good about it.
You feel very satisfied when you look around your life and see all the blessings you have whether it’s where you live, who you live with, or just about yourself in general.
• You Feel Content
A happy person tends to feel really content in each moment about the things in their life.
They feel content about their job, their home, their things, and their health – nothing is constantly nagging at their mind that is detracting from the present moment.
So happy people do have setbacks and stress, they’re just better at feeling content even when things aren’t perfect.
• You Are at Peace
A happy person often feels a lot of peace surrounding their life and family.
They tend to know that everything will turn out okay and are good at turning negativity around into positivity. Their lives are lived from a place of hopeful expectation.
• Your Definition
The truth is, happiness is how you define it personally for you.
It’s not about getting tons of stuff unless you want that; neither is it about finding a spouse unless you want that.
It’s all up to you and what you value that will define your happiness.
• It’s a Journey
Is true happiness about being happy all the time?
Happiness is not a destination that you get to one day and stay at. It’s a lifelong journey that will have many ups and downs and struggles.
It’s when you accept the overall ups and downs of life, and you still manage to feel good about it.
In the 1989 movie, “Parenthood” one of the main characters, a mother, who is struggling states that she loves “the rollercoaster” of life while her husband is struggling and not as happy because he focuses on the downs instead of the ups.
• It’s How You Act
When you are happy you tend to act in more positive ways overall.
When happy, you eat better, you move more, and you think differently. You kind. You empathize with and help others.
• It’s Revering All life
Happiness is more than just the absence of sadness or the thinking of positive thoughts.
Happiness is about having your needs met, but it’s not about having everything, or even the best, it’s about being satisfied with what you have while also being able to work for the things you want.
It’s a general sense of well-being, belonging, and gratefulness for your life in your current circumstances.
Just as important it is also genuinely empathizing, caring, and wanting the same for all living things.
Happiness is, therefore, a state of mind, a peaceful mind. It is something you choose to be – no matter what is going on outside of you.
So if you ever find yourself wondering, “is true happiness possible?”, remember you have it in your power to be happy where you are in your life right now.
Watch this short clip from one of the greatest minds of the 20th century – Albert Einstein’s Theory of Happiness and you need not ask: “is true happiness attainable” anymore.
As a matter of interest, the International Day of Happiness is officially celebrated on the 20th of March each year. I ask why not celebrate your happiness every day?
What are your thoughts on happiness? Leave a comment
Does Happiness Exist and Is True Happiness Possible?