Happiness is the friendliest state of being. When we are happy, the feeling is made evident in our joyous and peaceful expression. When we’re not, well, we pursue happiness. There are other feelings and expressions in between happiness and unhappiness; and we might find ourselves on that spectrum. Some of these conditions are more intense than happiness itself, and are most times very expensive. But, if happiness is the ultimate state, what exactly is the cost of it?
Whether you see it simply as “a warm puppy” or more exquisitely as the combination of “a table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin”, there’s no denying the universal allure of happiness. We all grow up in different circumstances, and may have different expectations and tastes. Thus, people will employ different means in the hope of arriving at happiness. And when people say they just want to be happy, it means they’re ready to do something to obtain it.
Sometimes, it involves money, but it mostly involves a transaction. Does money buy happiness? It is evident that the core of the matter is not money (and definitely not being rich); it is rather those things we exchange for happiness. But we’re also different in terms of possession (material and emotional), and you can expect to see people offer anything in return for happiness. But, do they always get what they pay for?
Because pain and disappointment are a part of everyday life, people would easily succumb to pleasurable activities just to numb their negative feelings. So, a person who just lost their job could take to drinking. One too many bottles, and carried on by the pleasure of drunkenness, they may even proclaim that they are happy.
Whereas they are only given to a passing pleasure, which could eventually drag them down the slope. If happiness is indeed a friendly state, it is hard to imagine that it could lead to more pain. It is true that happiness is not an everlasting state, but it definitely isn’t a flimsy state either. It is as stable as the values that uphold it. Hence, we can’t expect to find a friend in pleasures held together by questionable indulgences.
It is important to note that our thoughts are tightly knitted to our feelings and expressions. Therefore, happiness would definitely require of us a mindset free of negativity. Dale Carnegie said “it isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it”. Someone might say to this that we mostly think about those things like what we have, who we are and what we are doing. However, it is our thinking that firstly defines these things, and no matter how much we have, our mind is the ultimate pointer to happiness.
It is in our mind that the transaction takes place. That’s where we make compromises that could lead to happiness or not. It is through our thinking that we strike a balance between the past, present and future, in order to create room for happiness.
Thus, happiness would evolve from our ability to draw strength from past experiences (whether they’re good or bad), while striving in the moment to fulfil the purpose that’s defined by virtue. A purposeful and meaningful life that can withstand the hurdles of life. It would require of us to appreciate the meaning of life, as we offer the best of us to the world. We’ll discover, by having this mindset, that happiness is always within our grasp, no matter who we are, or what we have, or what we do.