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What does happiness truly mean to you?


 

What does happiness truly mean to you? We, as humans, constantly seek happiness, but will we ever find the answer to true happiness? Would we ever find a path to happiness? The Buddha said, “There is no path to happiness. Happiness is the path”. I believe that everyone defines their own happiness in a unique way. For some, being in a fulfilling relationship brings them life satisfaction, while others believe that good health or financial security contributes to finding happiness. There are those who hold the belief that the expression of positive emotions is the pathway to enduring happiness, whereas others prioritize overall life satisfaction as the fundamental element of their self-fulfillment. External factors in the world around us cannot bring true happiness. True happiness resides within us. Once we understand what happiness truly is and how it makes us feel, we have the power to choose it. Some individuals may not be aware of what brings them happiness, and I believe it is valuable for them to identify the things that make them unhappy and try to eliminate them.


Happiness is an emotion, a feeling that a person experiences in a fleeting moment. It can be elusive and hard to maintain, especially when a person faces struggles and unfulfilled aspirations in life. However, trusting the journey and being open to the unknown by allowing the unseen to come to your life can help you cultivate a sense of joy amidst challenges. While it may not be possible to constantly experience happiness, it is important to acknowledge and accept the range of emotions that arise in each moment, whether it is sadness, joy, or gratitude. Although happiness may come and go, a positive mindset remains steadfast in the face of life's obstacles. Through my continuous personal growth and self-improvement, I have discovered that cultivating a calm mind, fostering confidence, and practicing emotional detachment contribute to a profound sense of happiness and well-being. Ultimately, true happiness is not solely derived from external experiences, but rather from within oneself.



One thing I am certain of is that you cannot find happiness, success, self-fulfillment, or the best version of yourself if you are not connected to your spirit. At some point in your life, you must embrace your spirituality, whether through religion or personal beliefs.


Numerous studies have been conducted about happiness, and various books have been written. Recently, I re-read the renowned book “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose” authored by the German spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle. While many may say it is not an easy read, I find it to be a fascinating book that should be read by everyone, especially at the onset of their spiritual journey.  This remarkable piece gives you a fresh perspective on how to open your mind and learn to be in control of your mind as opposed to your mind dictating your life. Serving as a psychological guide, this book aims to liberate individuals from behaviors that cause pain and suffering, emphasizing the importance of awakening and breaking free from the confines of thoughts and emotions.


Most of us live in our thoughts, however, thoughts do not define who we are, our true essence.  We are not our thoughts or emotions, however, oftentimes we create illusion that arises from past experiences or negative emotions that cause us suffering.  This book provides a comprehensive guide on how to avoid dwelling in the past, refrain from re-creating our future based on past negative events, detach from our ego, and embrace the art of living in the present moment. There is no past or the future, all we have is the present moment.

  

As Eckhart says, “Accept this moment as it is”, by accepting the ups and downs and becoming aware of what a present moment offers us. Instead of seeking happiness, we can cultivate a deep appreciation for many beautiful things that surround us in the present moment. By doing so, we gradually become more aware of our own presence and the happiness that already exists and is available to us now. The act of constantly searching for happiness implies that we are not fully living in the present, but rather fixated on a future state of happiness.


The Indian spiritual teacher from the 1940s, Ramana Maharshi redefined the concept of happiness in an unconventional manner. According to him, happiness is synonymous with one's true nature. By discovering your true nature, you unlock the key to genuine happiness. Maharshi's teachings suggest that understanding the core of your being leads to a state of profound joy, vitality, and inner tranquility.


 


Think about your answer. How do you define happiness in your life? Is it derived from small, everyday moments? Does it stem from meaningful relationships with others or with nature? Perhaps it involves embracing your current circumstances, even if they are not exactly where you desire to be. Take a moment to jot down the initial thought that comes to mind now and make a conscious effort to prioritize your own happiness, whatever that means to you.

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Guest
Dec 26, 2023

My personal path to happiness starts with being more self aware. In doing so, with consistency, I am able to inventory my life’s many good fortunes. The more I take an account of my many blessings, the more grateful I become. With gratitude, my personal appreciation for many things becomes more granular, I become more grateful and that defines my happiness. I believe happiness is a result of gratitude.

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