Everyone is looking for happiness or a way to reach a state of happiness. People are trying to define this emotion and has sparked debates about it for a long time. Philosophers, theologians, psychologists, economists, religions, and every person living in the world wants to be happy. Some say you need to have money, some say you do not, some say family makes you happy, some say solitude, some say you need to be in a state of discomfort in order to be happy, some say all you need is comfort to be happy and so on. Everyone wants to be happy. Everyone is listening to psychologists, youtubers, reading articles and buying books about happiness. It is one of the mental states that people want to be in. Someone gave me a book called “The Art Of Happiness”. It is very psychological. I have not read it actually. I’ve only read it the first 2 chapters because happiness is not really a state of being that I was looking for before. So I was not motivated to read it. Anyway, I did agree with the first 2 chapters where it did state that happiness is a state of the mind.
Anyway, I think people make this way too complicated. It is actually rather easy. To me, people think too much. We want to define everything. We want to give everything a name and a range. We say that happiness is a state of feeling ranging from contentment to joy. Then we ask what is the range of contentment and what is the range of joy? How do we define contentment and joy? It becomes so complicated. I am certain that this emotion is rather easy.
What Makes You Happy?
When I asked this question, I literally mean “what makes you happy?” It was not rhetoric and it definitely was not a question that I asked so that I can give you the answer. Think about it, how am I going to know what makes you happy? You can be from the other side of the world and I have no idea who you are. So how am I going to be able to tell you what makes you happy. The reality is that we are all different. We all have different bodies, different souls, different minds, different hearts and so on. We are all very unique. We all have different wants and needs and at the same time we are all human beings so we all have an understanding on what makes us all the same. The only thing other people can do is give you hints or give you their experiences on happiness but ultimately, you have to decide what makes you happy.
Recognize And Be Proud Of Your Own Happiness
I was drinking matcha bubble tea and it was so good. It was creamy, milky, and delicious. It was heaven for my taste buds. Guess what? I was so happy I was drinking green tea matcha bubble tea. Society (like your parents, friends, television and so on) is going to tell you that you should be happy when you achieve this or that. You should be happy when you accomplish this or that. You should be happy when you have this or you have that. What does society know what you are happy with? I was happy drinking matcha bubble tea and society cannot tell me that I was not happy at all.
Recognize the actions or events in your life that makes you happy no matter how small they are. You have your own inner voice and this inner voice will tell you which events in your life make you happy. Society can tell you that you need to accomplish this to be happy and so you do that. At the end, you realize that this accomplishment does not satisfy you at all. Society has no idea what your inner voice is telling you. They have an idea of their own happiness. Everyone has an idea of their own happiness so they push this idea on other people also. Some are afraid to go for their happiness so they want to live their idea of happiness through their children, lovers, and relatives.
The things and events that make you happy in your life belong to you. They do not belong to anyone else. So recognize what makes you happy. Be proud of it because that is your own happiness. No one can take those experiences away from you. You have your own internal compass that points to the direction of your own happiness. You do not need to rely on other people to tell you what makes you happy.
When Can You Be Happy?
In my language, we have this statement “ang babaw ng kaligayahan mo.” It is a derogatory term and what it means is that your happiness is very shallow. It is like saying achieve something so you can be happy. It is like saying aim higher then when you achieve something higher then you can become happy. It gives this indication that you have to work hard, you have to study, and go through pain and tribulations to achieve something and then you can be happy. It is like we are only allowed to be happy when we achieve something like when we graduate, we get married, we make money and so on.
It is really a stupid idea because no one gets to tell you when you can be happy. Like I said, I am drinking bubble tea and that makes me happy. No one can tell me that I am not happy. It maybe small, and it maybe normal for a lot of people but to me, this moment makes me happy. Maybe I will go make a lot of money, achieve something, and make people look up to me in the future. I am sure that will make me happy also. But guess what? It maybe small but this bubble tea is making me happy.
You have your own ego, you have your own mind and you can tell what things and events make you happy. No one can take that away from you. So you should recognize the things in life that make you happy. Recognize the actions that you do that make you happy. Maybe your lunch today makes you happy, maybe kissing a girl makes you happy, maybe working makes you happy and etc. Find out what makes you happy and be proud of it because that is who you are. It is like you are in a local beach and you are feeling very relaxed. You feel happy but then you try to stop yourself because someone told you that you have to be in Hawaii to be happy. Some people do that. They stop their own happiness and they refuse to recognize it. They deny themselves.
Can Money Buy Happiness?
Whenever people talk about happiness then they talk about money. Let’s say there is this guy that made a 20 million dollars by selling his Internet company. He does not need to work anymore and he spends his life on the beach. One day, he felt empty and he decided to go back to the city and make another company because being rich and not doing anything is not making him happy. He realizes that money does not buy happiness. Another story is that there are people that live in tribes in the forest with no electricity but the people that live there are very happy. If you compare their happiness to the people who work 9-5 then there is no contest. The people that live in the tribe are very happy especially on Monday, the gap will be very big. Another proof that money does not buy happiness.
We have other stories. We have a father, he bought a house for his wife and kids. This made him very happy. Someone won the lotto and he no longer has to work. This made him very happy. There is a guy, he was walking on the streets and he found $100. This made him very happy. Some rich guy bought a yacht with 2 Lamborghini in one day. This made him very happy.
So which group is correct? Does money buy happiness or not? The answer to this is very simple. I already talked about this. It depends on the person. If money makes a certain person happy then who can tell him that he is not happy. It is so simple. The question is “does money make you happy?” This is the question that you have to find out for yourself. You are responsible for your own happiness. Figure out whether money makes you happy or not. There will be people who are not happy with money since money brought them more problems and there will be people who will be happy with money. It all depends on the person.
You have your own internal voice. You have your own self or identity or ego. You have to find out what makes you happy because that is the only thing you can do. Your life is unique and will not be the same for others. You cannot force your own definition of happiness on other people and other people cannot force their own definition of happiness to you. We all have a life and we all have to figure things out on our own.
What If The Views Of Society Make Me Happy?
If you are happy when you gain validation from your friends and parents then good for you. You found out what makes you happy. If you are not hurting anyone or hurting the environment then go for it. No one gets to tell you which experiences does or does not make you happy. Go achieve something amazing. Go for World Peace which will make everyone you know proud. Cure all diseases or world hunger. Give every single person clean water or win the Nobel Peace Prize. Make your parents, friends, family and everyone proud to have known you. Who am I to tell you what makes you happy and what makes you not happy?
So What Is The Secret To Happiness?
You can know the secret to happiness if you listen to your self or your inner voice. You will have your own opinion of what makes you happy and what does not make you happy. Find out what hobbies that you like, find out what events you like, find out what you want to spend your time with and so on. If you find those things then keep doing them to make yourself happy. If they change then keep finding and searching for more things that make you happy. Society, books and other external information can give you ideas but ultimately it is you who gets to decide what makes you happy.
Diary Of Yourself
Keep a diary of yourself for the whole day and write about yourself in third person view. For example, this guy woke up and he felt annoyed when the alarm went off. He turned it off and drifted to sleep for a few minutes. He woke up 10 minutes later. He enjoys his time when he is half awake and half asleep. He started thinking about what he is going to do today. This guy is going to write about the ideas he learned about happiness and work to make more money. He got out of bed. He greeted his dog and felt good for the day. He made some boiled eggs to go with some ramen and so on……
If you keep doing this then you can read it. It is like a story of your life. It is your book and you are writing it. You are the main character. You can see what you are doing everyday. What are the things that you hate and what are the things that you like or enjoy. Maybe you can allow your lover to read it also. You can see whether you are a happy person, you feel gloomy, or you feel powerless, or you are grateful and so on. You can make small or big adjustments to your life.
Permission To Be Happy
You have permission to be happy. You have permission to be loved. You have permission to experience whatever emotion you want to experience. You have all of these permissions and more when you came here on Earth or when you were born. So enjoy your life and discovering things about yourself that you did not know before is actually fun.