What does it mean to be happy?

Everyone at some point or another has said that they are happy or unhappy. But, do we contemplate this? What does being happy actually mean? Does it even have a meaning?

It is a term everyone is familiar with, happy. But what does that mean? Surely it means different for different people. Some people believe they deserve to be happy, others don’t. What helps us to quantify this? Why do we put ourselves into a category? I think to be happy is a rather large statement, because what I decipher as making me happy and therefore being happy, others might not. I suppose it ultimately is an individual feeling that a lot of people do not know how to explain.

If you sit and think now, am I happy, your initial thought is more likely yes. You could have great things going in life for you, or direction in where you want to be and you know exactly how you will get there. But for others, this isn’t so easy. I hear and see so many people who are so quick to say they are not happy, but why? Do we actually know what makes us an internally happy or unhappy person? Some people will justify their happiness on wealth, family, friends, amenities and other tangible things. But what about the intangible things? What about the ‘deep stuff’ that we like to push out of our minds as it can become all too real for us? I believe that to be happy, I don’t need a million friends, a good income or an amazing career. To be happy for me is to be confident in who I am as a person. To be OK with who I am, my past, my present and my future. I have to be able to appreciate myself before I can even begin to appreciate others. This, I know, is so much more easier said than done.

We all go through experiences in our lives that we are all too quick to say, I wish that had never happened, or that made me unhappy. But why? Surely all these experiences shape us to who we are today. We can choose to be who we want to be, if there is something you don’t like from an experience, try and make every possible effort to change it. That is one of the reasons I started this blog, it is a space for me to openly express myself where I do not really mind who sees it. It is a place to spread positivism. I believe we should take all the ‘negative’ experiences in our life and not shove them back, but accept them, grow from them, then leave them in a sealed place in our minds. We can grow and learn so much from them and we do not have to let them define us in a ‘unhappy’ way. Yes, this is a difficult and long process, but ultimately the goal is to be ‘happy’ right? To be happy, you have to start with yourself and look at what can make you be the best possible you.

I have thought about this a lot recently and it is something I am actively trying to change in myself, I want to be able to say ‘I AM HAPPY’ and mean it. So I have to start off small and work my way up to the bigger picture. The path is long, twisting, turning and bloody scary, but I know that along the way, the positive parts of my life will help me, you just have to let it happen.

I have therefore complied small truths about happiness and what it actually means:

  1. Most people pretend to be happy when in reality, they are not, they do not even know what it means.
  2. There is no way to buy it, sell it, eat it or drink it.
  3. You have to go through the pain to realise the good it did and to appreciate the feeling of being a survivor.
  4. You have to be willing to look at yourself and change.
  5. It isn’t a feeling, it’s a way of life.
  6. You have to have a ready willingness to know the truth about yourself, others and anything else that happens in your life.
  7. You have to be ready to embrace it.
  8. Happiness starts within yourself, not others.
  9. It is what we felt when we are first born, before we are tainted by experiences and negativity.
  10. True happiness is personal and relative to the individual.

I know this is a topic some people find had to talk about, but sometimes, we have to open and expose ourselves before we can realise the growth we still have left to do or that we have already done. You have to surround yourself with supporting factors, whatever that might be for you, family, friends, work, children. To be happy is to be content with yourself, you could say it is like the age old saying. If you met yourself, would you think they are happy? Work from that standpoint and you might discover things you never knew about yourself. Life is one big journey and only you hold the map, as my mum has always told me “Life has a funny way of taking you on the path you least expect.” So run with it, be who you want and need to be, as at the end of the day, to be happy within yourself is to love yourself and everyone deserves that.

I will leave you with a quote that I found to be rather fitting to my life right now and I hope you appreciate it as much as I do.
“Most people would rather be certain they’re miserable, than risk being happy.”
– Dr. Robert Anthony
Until next time,
– Bobby

 

 

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