To Be In Pursuit Of Your Own Happiness- Motivation
Updated: Aug 25, 2019
"The man who says he can and the man who says he can't are both right"- Confucius
Adulthood was a real shocker for me (and still is)! I thought I knew what to expect, in fact, I thought I'd have all the answers. The funny part is, no one can really tell you what to expect. We all lead different lives! Our experiences differ, so there isn't a manual that everyone can follow exactly. Thankfully, there's one lesson that I believe we all should learn at some point in time and that is RESPONSIBILITY. Living a blameless life is very easy. Every unfruitful situation, failure or mistake has the same explanation, it's his or her fault, never mine. This mindset is a death trap because it gives this false sense of HAPPINESS and contentment.
The reality is, the moment you recognize that you are 100 % responsible for your life and your actions, a shift happens in your mind. You will have to decide whether you want to badger yourself for the decisions that you have made, or if you want to learn and grow from them. Obviously, the latter is the better option, but not everyone takes that route. Let's look at this simple,yet powerful statement:
Being 100% responsible for your actions means that you are 100% responsible for your happiness. In other words, happiness is a choice.
What is happiness?
According to the Oxford dictionary, happiness is the state of being happy.
'Happy' on the other hand is defined as a state of feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.
Now that we have an understanding of the definition of happiness lets assess what makes people happy.
Multiple factors can contribute to happiness. Let's take a look at 5 of the most common happiness determinants.
A stable income- People generally experience happiness when they have a stable stream or access to different ways to make money.
Healthy relationships- Healthy non-toxic relationships generate feelings of contentment and pleasure. People experience true happiness when they have the support of family members and their partners.
Freedom- The freedom to decide what you will or will not do generates happiness for some individuals. Look at this way, if you were enslaved or oppressed in any way, when you are freed it will be a blissful experience.
Health and Wellness- One of the major woes of the 21st century is the outbreak of all types of diseases. A person in good health will experience more instances of happiness than a person who is suffering from an illness.
Friendships- Great friendships teach you how to live in the moment.
Happiness can be split into two major categories:
According to Positive Psychology Program, it is possible to look at happiness from two major categories:
1. The Hedonic- This looks at happiness from the point of pleasure and minimal pain and it has two components.
-Affective (high positive affect and low negative affect)
-Cognitive (how satisfied someone is with their life).
2. The Eudaimonic- This approach, according to NCBI "focuses on meaning and self-realization and defines well-being in terms of the degree to which a person is fully functioning."
What is the secret to happiness?
There is no secret formula for happiness. Everyone has their own idea of what happiness. Take a look at these scenarios:
1. A man lying on his death bed surrounded by his grand-kids and other members of his family.
2. A woman who lost both her legs in a car accident whose husband ensures that she has everything that she needs.
3. A student who finally scored a C+ on a mid-term examination after failing multiple times.
4. A woman who lives alone with her cats and dogs.
5. A girl who finally found out the name of her father but was also told that he had died years before she found him.
All these scenarios can be defined as instances of happiness through someone's eyes. It is easy for another person's happiness to be classified as sadness or distress by on onlooker because we process things differently. So, the secret to happiness lies in unlocking what makes you happy as an individual.
One of the best pieces of advice that I have ever received is live in the moment. There are people in this world who have the material things that we yearn for, but they're unhappy. So, what am I saying? Your happiness is dependent on you, not the external. You can get up every day and say, 'if I had this, I'd be happy,' (hard truth-that's probably a lie). You can't make a checklist for happiness because material things will not fill the void. You have to decide to be happy! Just like love (we can agree to disagree), happiness is a decision. This has been said a plethora of times, as a people, we have goals, dreams, and aspirations. I advise that you pursue them; however, do not believe that without them happiness is impossible.
Pursuing your own happiness requires you to assess your outlook on life. Once you realize how abstract happiness is, you will wonder why you wasted all that time. But you are in luck because it's not too late to start now. Take control of your actions and get to that place where you can experience the beauty of happiness.
Remember that some of the best things in life are free. Cherish those things in the present when you have the chance because you have no direct control over what will happen in the future.
"If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough." —Oprah Winfrey