I remember something that a spiritual guru said in a YouTube video about happiness that completely changed my perspective.
He said that despite our countless activities and striving, all we really seek is happiness.
I think this will ring true for most people if not all.
Truly, no matter what you are doing in life, all you really want at the end of the day is true happiness.
What could be the Definition of True Happiness?
We all know what happiness feels like but what does the word “true” mean?
This definition can be different for each one of us. So, here is my very own definition, some would call it my little speech on true happiness.
Well, if you’re an adult, which I think you are, you have most probably thought about this before.
You see, when you grow up, so do your responsibilities.
Somehow, life becomes more serious as there are so many large and small things to take care of. And all of this can weigh on you and your ability to remain happy.
So, I’m sure you’ve considered in a moment of reflection what true happiness really is.
In my view, true happiness is the happiness that kids experience. If you take a look at a child who is laughing heartily, you just know that they are experiencing true happiness. There are no hidden stress and concerns for the future. They are just ecstatic, at that moment in time. This feeling is like an electric current that just radiates throughout your body and makes you feel totally alive.
So, knowing this, do you think it is possible for adults to find true happiness? The answer may depend on where you look for it.
Is True Happiness Internal or External?
There has been a long-running debate on this topic.
- Many people think that happiness is internal and that they can choose to be happy whenever they like.
- Others are of the opinion that happiness depends on external stimuli and factors and that the feeling of happiness is merely a reaction to these factors.
Each group of people makes some really great arguments and frankly, we just don’t know what the truth is. In situations like this, it’s best to understand both sides.
Let’s first talk about happiness being an internal force. In other words, true happiness comes from within.
If you are in control of your thoughts and emotions, it is said that you can feel happy from within even without any external factors.
Spiritual gurus have always stated that there is a state of being that if you tap into, you will be absolutely blissful all the time, even without needing a reason. But to reach this elusive state, you need to do a lot of intense meditation and master your thoughts and emotions. And for most of us, is it really realistic?
Another side of the coin states that happiness only ever happens in response to an external stimulus.
For instance, if you get promoted at your job, you feel happy. If a small child smiles at you, you feel happy. This is only natural. However, it becomes a problem when you only rely on external cues for your happiness. This can be seen in people of today who run after materialistic things hoping they’ll be happy once they have them.
Therefore, it’s important to understand that while external factors may play a huge role in your happiness, you should take steps to enhance this feeling from within.
Basically, you should try and achieve a “best of both worlds” situation.
The Importance of True Happiness
This might sound like a bizarre thing to think about. You might say that you already know about the importance of happiness and so, why do you even need to dwell on it!
But ask yourself, do you really know the importance of happiness? Do you?
If most people in the world did, they would be leading much happier lives or at least taking steps to ensure that they do.
So let’s take a deeper look into the role of happiness in our life.
Right off the bat, you can say that a life of happiness is a life of fulfillment.
If you’re able to live happily, every single area of your life will be greatly augmented. Your career will be better, your relationships will be better, you will be more likely to achieve your goals and dreams, and so much more.
The reason for this is simple. When you’re happy, you give your best. And when you give your best, the results are obviously going to be good.
Then there is the health aspect.
Being truly happy means experiencing much lower levels of stress and anxiety. These two are the silent killers in the modern-day world. They are huge contributors to several lifestyle diseases like heart diseases, neurological disorders, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.
So, by being happy, you avoid allowing these negative emotions to take root. The result is that you live a healthier life, which in turn enhances your happiness further.
Keys To Finding True Happiness
Now that we’ve established the role of happiness in our lives, let’s take a look at some of the keys to finding it.
Contrary to what most people believe, you don’t have to go out of your way to generate feelings of true happiness. Here are just 5 of the simple ways you can do it.
1. Enjoying The Little Moments
You can find happiness everywhere around you if you can only be a little more mindful.
Today’s humans have come to believe that happiness only lies in the larger things, be it a thrilling experience, expensive clothes, or any other materialistic things.
But it’s not like that at all.
Sometimes, you can find true happiness in the simplest things in life.
When there is heavy rainfall after a period of intense heat, I’m sure you feel happy from within. When you finally find your favorite brand of snacks at the grocery store after weeks of searching, I’m sure that gives you happiness.
When you meet your best friend after months, it’s sure to give you tears of joy. These are simple things, that don’t cost you an arm and a leg and yet make you happy.
2. Your Family
The importance of family in a person’s life cannot be stressed upon enough.
In movies, when they say, “family is all that we have”, they are absolutely right. In most cases, when you don’t have the support of anybody else in life, you have the support of your family members. This could be your parents, your siblings, your kids, or your spouse.
Those people who still have a family are really lucky. The time spent with them, the laughter shared with them, the pranks you play on each other are all moments of true happiness that you learn to cherish your entire life.
If you ever feel low, you can just spend a few hours with a loved one and you are bound to feel better. That’s the power of your own blood. The same would be true with true friends…..
In the daily hustle and bustle of life and the continuous striving to reach your goals, you might get tunnel vision.
You become so focused on a single thing that you totally forget about all the things and people that you already have in your life. When this happens, you could get upset when you fail at something.
This is where gratitude plays a critical role as a key to happiness.
When you sit down and make a list of all those things that you have and are important in your life, you realize just how lucky you are.
You realize that you are much better off than most people. Gratitude opens up your vision and expands your perspective. This makes you appreciate life more and all the things in it.
It is said that a human being is at their best in the state of giving.
When you help someone in need in a selfless manner, you experience strong positive emotions within yourself. It makes you happy knowing that you made a difference in someone’s life, even if it was small.
There is something about being in service that makes you feel complete or makes you experience fulfillment. ( It helps build resilience too…)
Maybe that’s the reason why so many people dedicate their entire lives to the selfless service of others.
Maybe they have realized that true happiness lies in helping other people.
Also, spiritual gurus have said since time immemorial, “you get exactly what you put out into the universe.” It’s only natural to think that people who help others receive all that love back.
5. Doing What You Love
Last but certainly not least is “doing what you love”. Each one of us has something that we simply love doing, without any reason.
If you can find a way to make that into a career, you can experience true happiness almost every single day of your life and I think that is something you should strive for.
In fact, Steve Jobs had put it beautifully when he said :
“You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”