“Listen with your heart… for it houses the secret whispers of your Soul.”
What is happiness anyway?
If you consult a dictionary, you’ll get answers such as, “a feeling of pleasure, contentment, or joy,” “a state of well-being.” PositivePsychology.com says it’s a “changeable state… not a long-lasting, permanent feature or personality trait.”
We often believe that getting more of the status quo “good things” in life will make us happy – a new car, a bigger house, the perfect relationship, a better job, more money. But these elusive objects more often keep us in a state of dissatisfaction because our focus is on getting more and more or bigger and better.
We can also get caught up in more immediate pleasures like successfully losing a few pounds, eating a double-scoop ice cream cone, or the relief of feeling healthy after getting over a head cold. But these transient satisfactions disappear if the pounds come back, after the ice cream’s gone, or when the sniffles return. If our happiness is determined by such fleeting items, we must always be on the lookout for new things to keep us happy.
There is, however, another form of happiness that is available to all of us – a deeper happiness that renews and sustains us. It’s the happiness that comes from within when we are aligned with whatever it is in life that we find personally fulfilling and meaningful. This internally based happiness is not dependent on outer circumstances or things – it depends on ourselves.
This deep inner happiness is a natural by-product when our thoughts, our words, and our actions are in complete harmony with each other. But that means spending some time alone with ourselves, examining our values and our beliefs, and answering questions like: “Who am I?” and “What’s really important to me?”
These are the first steps toward building an individualized life of meaning and purpose. They create a road map for our lives giving us direction, much like a mission statement gives direction to a company. With this self-knowledge in hand, we are free to dream, set goals and make daily decisions that are in line with our ultimate desire – to live an authentic, meaningful, happy life.
“Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling.”– Margaret Lee Runbeck
So, tell me, are you happy? Really?