“Happiness is a journey not a destination, work like you don’t need money, love like you’ve never been hurt, and dance like no one’s looking.” — Buddha
What guarantees happiness? Is it money? Is it helping the poor/needy? Is it love? Is it family? Is it self-care?
I recently stumbled on a site that talks about life hacks, I decided to click on an article that was dishing out the recipe on how to guarantee your happiness in life through the hacks they listed. And the way they listed it so simply, you’d think it was as easy as ABC, -which by the way, kindergarteners will beg to differ- you would think perhaps there was something wrong with you for not being able to follow these simple steps and automatically attain happiness. But the truth is; nothing guarantees happiness in life. In fact, nothing in life is guaranteed because nothing can last forever, everything loses its shine someday. Happiness is not an equation that you need to solve with a particular formula -or in the case the article, a recipe- to get an ultimate result.
Instead of seeking a formula for happiness, one must learn to accept unhappiness as part of life. As humans, we are wired to constantly crave things, we are insatiable and there is no end to seeking happiness, comfort or freedom. We are constantly in pursuit of happiness, everything we do, every action we take, is in a bid to attain the ultimate happiness that we can hold on to forever. But we will never really attain the height of happiness we seek because we will always keep craving more and more and more until the day we leave the Earth.
You know why? Let’s say for instance; at the point you are right now, you believe buying a new car is what will ultimately make you happy, immediately that becomes your utmost want. You begin working hard and putting all your resources towards acquiring that car, because there is a purpose fueling you. And finally, you are able to afford the car, and you feel the bubbling of your heart and you are content. Fast forward to some months later, you still love the car but the sheen it had in the beginning has begun to diminish. Now, you want more. Perhaps a bigger car with more specifications than the one you currently own.
On and on it goes, more and more wants. So, can we truly guarantee happiness? And if we can’t guarantee it, how then can we maintain the little bouts of happiness we get?
For you to enjoy happiness, you must embrace all the joys and sorrows that come your way. You must understand that unhappiness, suffering and pain are a part of human existence and this might seem pessimistic to you because you prefer to hold onto the positive aspect of life and turn a blind eye to the negative side of existence. But it is a truth you must be willing to accept. Life is a wheel of opposing concepts, everything exists in positives and negatives, light and darkness, masculine and feminine, etc.
You must understand that this is a constant journey and therefore, you need to find your happiness from within you. Through how you handle everything that comes your way, either good or otherwise. Learn to live in each moment and create memories in your unconscious, that is exactly where happiness lives. Enjoying the passing of life, in each moment you find yourself. We must stop thinking happiness is a thing that exists in the future, but rather see it is a thing that exists in each day that we can access in little doses in the pockets of our existence.
Children are the best role models on the journey through happiness; why? They embrace everything that comes at them, they don’t dwell on their unhappiness for too long and at the same time, they embrace every opportunity of happiness that comes their way. They live life and enjoy every moment. Embrace your inner child once more.
Learn not to put what makes you happy in fleeting things, people or material objects. This will only serve in making you miserable. Albert Einstein once said,
“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” ― Albert Einstein
The best chance you have at curating happiness for yourself is by finding things you are passionate about, things that inspire and motivate you. In doing that, every achievement and milestone crossed brings you joy
Yes, money, power and love can add to one’s life, but without something to do that motivate you or that bring contentment to you when you do it, they are impotent in creating/generating happiness. They are but fleetingly available and can only bring external joy. Think of this way; if money, love or power were the determinants of happiness, does that mean a person with all this is unhappy? If so, why then do the rich cry? Why are those who wield power often lonely? Why are some who claim to be in love constantly miserable?
The answer to these questions is simple; they are superficial and the joy they bring sometimes do not last long enough. Practice contentment also. Reveling in your accomplishments no matter how little, and in everything you have can bring contentment, so focusing on what you have is a great way to stay content.
Remember happiness is not in tomorrow/in the future, it is in today and it exists in the little things around and within us but we fail to notice because we too busy looking for it far into the future. So, be intentional and live like tomorrow may not exist -because it may not-