Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What is Happiness to You?

Are you happy?

Seems like a simple enough question, right?

Before I would answer that question, I would think of all the things I don't have, which I think would MAKE me happy and then land on a middle ground somewhere. I might say something like, "I'm not UNhappy." But the person didn't ask what I wasn't, did they?

I would ponder it, and probably be obliged to say "yes" because I wouldn't want anyone to know that I wasn't completely happy.

But what would make YOU completely happy? Wow, now that's a great question.

What I THINK would make me really happy would be an endless supply of money, of course. I'm one of those people who believe that money doesn't buy you happiness, but it can buy you choices. I would like to think that I am a very grounded person, and would be morally and ethically responsible if I were to get a big pile of money. Yet, that money would not make me happy.

I would need to contribute something really great with that money in order for me to feel good about receiving it. So while I am building all of this, I would have the money, but I wouldn't be completely happy. When I achieved all that I wanted with the money, and it helped a million people, I would want to travel. I have been to about 40 countries in the world so far, so I would like to see a few places I've always dreamed about. But until I did all that, I wouldn't be completely happy.

I would want to see my daughter grow up and guide her along her journey and make her into the kind of woman that would make any parent proud. But that's a lifetime process, so it wouldn't make me happy in the moment either.

To tell you the truth, I think that Happiness is a process, and not a destination because you never "really" get there. Sure, you have moments of it but it doesn't land fully and completely, like we think it should. True happiness is a lifetime achievement that if you got completely and then nothing changed, would be the loneliest place in the world. It would strip you of your contribution in life because you were fully satisfied in every area of your life that you wouldn't want anything to change.

So the word, "Happiness"? It's just a made up word. The kind of illusion of chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The trick about it is, that it makes you take action and move constantly from where you are with the illusion that it can be found. And along your path, you find snippets of happiness, but they are the appetizers of life appeasing you for the real meal at the end of the journey so that you can look back and think, "What a wonderful life I've had. It wasn't perfect, but I'm happy that I did it."

And then, I imagine in the last moments of life, we are rewarded with complete happiness. I would guess that it has nothing to do with money, houses, cars, or wealth. It was the experience that life gave us, and in that moment, I hope we have true happiness.

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