Happiness is a simple word, which denotes a complicated feeling that plays a crucial role in people’s lives. Everyone is seeking happiness, because without happiness life is meaningless. However, it is impossible to find something when you do not know what you are looking for, so it is important to understand what ‘happiness’ means. Even though happiness can mean different things to different people, it is a positive state of mind, during which a person feels satisfied with himself/herself and his/her life, and perceives the things which he/she experiences as pleasurable and satisfying.
People do everything they can to achieve happiness. Happiness is the main goal of people’s lives (Chittister, 2011, p. 55). Therefore, they build relationships, go to work, and find hobbies in order to be happy. However, if people do not know how to achieve the state of happiness, they might not be happy, even though they pursue happiness for their whole life.
Happiness is a feeling, which is impossible to achieve through material wealth. Many people in human history misunderstood the meaning of happiness, and thought that they would be happy only when they would be rich. As a result, they spent all their lives earning money, but even when they became enormously rich, achieved huge success, became famous, bought their own planes and their own islands, they were still unhappy. These people serve as a proof to the claim that happiness is not a result of material wealth.
Happiness is brought to people by different things. Happiness depends on the personal values of a person (Pliskin, 1999, p. 78). It means that a person achieves happiness according to his/her own perception of what things make him/her happy. For example, happiness is when the person whom you love brings you a cup of hot chocolate in the morning, kisses you on a cheek, and hugs you. Happiness is reading a favorite book. Happiness is riding a horse. Happiness is when people, who love each other, are walking and holding hands. Happiness is watching how your child learns to ride a bicycle and how your parents smile. Happiness is lying on the green grass on the sunny summer day. To achieve happiness, the person has to do more of those things which make him/her happy. For example, if a person enjoys dancing, then he/she should dance a lot. If a person enjoys singing, then he/she should sing whenever there is a possibility. If a person enjoys visiting different countries, then he/she should travel as much as he/she can.
Happiness can be brought to people even by the simplest things. For example, a person might think that he/she will be happy only if he/she wins an Oscar for a new movie. However, even if he/she wins an Oscar, he/she might still be unhappy. At the same time, he/she might be happy even if he/she does not win an Oscar. For example, he/she might be happy because he/she did not forget to take his/her umbrella with him/her on a rainy day, or because a stranger smiled at him/her at the coffee shop, or because his/her dog is happy to see him/her, when he/she comes home from work.
Happiness is a state of mind, over which a person can gain control. Happiness is dependent on the way a person perceives the situation he/she is in (Chittister, 2011, p. 67). It means that two different people can perceive the same event differently. One person can be happy about it, and another person can be sad about it. Even the same person can feel differently about the same event in his/her life in different periods. People often feel sad because of insignificant things. In order to be happy, each person must gain control over his/her own emotions, and it will enable this person to control his/her own mood and feelings.
Due to the fact that happiness is the perception of the situation as being positive and pleasurable, people must find positive and pleasurable things for them in every situation, if they want to be happy. For example, if a person was fired, he/she should ask himself/herself, what positive sides are there for him/her in this situation, instead of getting depressed over the fact that he/she lost her job. After analyzing the situation, the person will find out that being fired can be a good thing, because after losing the job, he/she is open to new professional opportunities. It means that he/she might find an even better job now, with which he/she would be even more satisfied than with the one he/she lost, and he/she might get a higher salary at a future job. This person might also find a positive side of losing a job in having more free time for himself/herself and his/her hobbies during the process of seeking a new job. Thus, the same person might feel happy or sad about the same situation, depending on whether he/she perceives this situation as a positive or a negative one.
Happiness is achieved by making a decision, and not by chance. When a person is in harmony with him-/herself, and when he/she decides that he/she is happy, that person achieves the state of happiness. In order to be happy, a person has to perceive things, which happen to him/her as pleasurable. For example, one can be happy because the sun is shining, because it is raining, or because it is snowing. Happiness is achieved through a positive state of mind. Positive state of mind enables person to find happiness in every situation (Pliskin, 1999, p. 77). It happens in this way because only the positive state of mind encourages a person to perceive his/her life from a positive point of view.
Happiness is looking back at the years which have passed and being satisfied with them. Whenever a person looks back at his/her life and remembers all the good things which he/she had in his/her life, he/she instantly begins to feel happier and more satisfied with life.
To conclude, happiness is a positive state of mind, when a person perceives things that happen to him/her as positive and pleasurable, and when this person is satisfied with himself/herself, and his/her life. Happiness is a feeling over which a person can gain control and feel happy whenever he/she wants to. Happiness is a decision, not a chance. When a person decides to be happy about something, he/she can be happy. Happiness is not brought to a person through the material wealth. Even if a person can afford to buy an island or the newest model of a plane, this person can still be unhappy, while a person who does not have a lot of money but who is sitting in her bed and drinking hot chocolate can be the happiest person in the world. To be happy, people have to look at their lives from a positive side and try to find positive things in every situation, even if this situation seems negative at first glance. It was important to define the term ‘happiness’ because all people in the world are searching for happiness, and in order to find something, people must know what they are looking for.
Chittister, J. (2011). Happiness. Michigan, MI: Eerdmans Publishing.
Pliskin, Z. (1999). Happiness: Formulas, stories, and insights. New York, NY: Mesorah Publications.