What is happiness? Why does it seem like something only a chosen few get to enjoy? Why is it so important? Why does it seem to be at odds with any kind of success? Why do some people think that they can only be happy once they’ve attained certain things or are making a certain amount of money?
Is happiness all that important?
I know, I know, these are some very heavy questions for so early in the day and week. But this is what happens when I spend time with some very unhappy people. Why they’re unhappy I guess I can understand on the surface at least, but once I start whittling away at their problems I start to ask these questions.
During the course of any conversation, if you’re truly listening, you can usually figure out why the other person thinks their life sucks so bad.
- They couldn’t go on a fancy vacation.
- They couldn’t buy a new car.
- They couldn’t buy the *insert some unnecessary item here* someone else just bought.
But what it all boils down to is that they want more money. Why can’t they make more money like so-n-so? If they only had more money then they could be happy because they would get to do and buy and have more stuff.
But what I have to wonder is how much money does it take to really be happy? Because we all know people who have money who are the most miserable people we’ve ever met or they have issues or they just hate themselves.
Maybe instead of wishing we had what everyone else has or doing what everyone else is doing we stop and take a minute to figure out what we want. What it would take to get us out of bed every day with a sense of contentment and purpose. And while we won’t be happy of every minute of every day (not possible and we wouldn’t want it to be that way anyway) it is possible to not hate life.
Once we know what it would take to be happy not in the short-term, instant gratification kind of way, but in the deep, knowing you’re doing what is going to make a difference in your life and the lives of those close to you and possibly for the world, long-term kind of way it is surprising how little money that actually takes.
Once we strip away all the flash and unnecessary bull shit, what we’re left with is usuall a simple, uncomplicated, stress-free life. We stop striving for things just because other people have them. We stop feeling frustrated and angry and jealous over things that for the most part we don’t want anyway. At least not enough to work to get them.
But what if I want unnecessary bull shit?
Then figure out a way to pay for it and quit whining. You want to make more money then get the education, training, or switch jobs – whatever it takes to make that happen and quit whining.
Happiness was never guaranteed in this life and we sure as hell aren’t going to be happy all the time. There are always going to be people or circumstances that will threaten our happiness – if we let it.
There is one way to guarantee we will never be happy, though. If we are so focused on what other people have and do that we fail to see what we have and what we’re able to do then we will never be happy. Ever.
So that’s my question not only to you, but to me as well. What’s it gonna take to be happy? Could I be happy now if I just quit focusing on other people?
I’m thinking yes.