What is happiness? How do you achieve said happiness? Will I even know when I am happy? Will it last?
My brain has always thought that if I could just get an undetermined monetary amount in my bank account, I would have to be happy. When I am not feeling well, being healthy would bring me happiness. I thought being able to sing, paint or play the guitar would definitely open up my happiness quotient. A clean house. A great meal. A new shiny something. I used to believe any or all these things would make me forever happy.
I was in constant pursuit of those things to the exclusion of actually being happy. Moments of superficial happy happened but nothing that lasted. I was always sad that I could not find that one thing that would bring me sustained happiness.
On my journey I have been to hundreds of places both literally and figuratively. I spend a lot of time inside my own head, so that is why I say figuratively. I have been happy, please do not misunderstand my meaning here. I am talking momentary happiness versus long haul happiness.
Today I was texting a friend and when asked how I was, I replied that I was almost happy. That struck me as an odd thing to say, so I started to over think why I said that.
I grew up like most people with parents who wanted me to do well but peppered the “be all you can be” with a healthy dose of “but don’t expect too much and you won’t be disappointed.” It was unconsciously ingrained that just to be safe, set the bar pretty low.
Believe me, the bar I set for myself was plenty low. After I grew up a bit more, I started hunting for happiness. I thought it was in a library of books I hardly read or matching bath towels or the newest thing. I set my happiness meter to read the joy brought from things.
It took a long time to learn happiness does not live in material things, they can supply a temporary happiness but not sustained.
Today I base my happiness on my relationships with real people and with experiences. Laughing, hugs, sharing, and other tactile things bring that true sense of happiness and joy.
As of late, I have been learning what doesn’t bring happiness. Those lessons are just as important. Removing yourself from a situation that is just not a happy one can be a huge step forward.
So today I am going to stop looking for that never-ending pot of extreme happiness and learn to be almost always happy.