“I want to be happy.”
“Happiness is all I want.”
“Why can’t I become happy?”
Those are very common thoughts and sentences we can here in our life. So why is it that it looks like nobody can reach it?
In itself, it is such a simple goal to have. You will never find anybody telling you happiness is pointless and you don’t need to be happy.
We all realize how important happiness is and yet it rarely becomes a goal per se. Does that mean there is nothing we can do to obtain it?
I believe we can act towards happiness and it should be among everyone’s goals.
However, unfortunately, there are no actionable steps we can take to get closer to being happy. Indeed what makes one happy most probably won’t be the same as the next person.
Still, that actually makes this common to everybody: Your happiness is just yours. It cannot be shared.
Of course, this doesn’t mean it cannot impact positively people around you but that’s pretty much how far it goes in that sense.
But now there’s one trick to realize.
Happiness is a side hustle.
If there are no actionable steps towards happiness and it cannot be shared fully, this simply means it is a byproduct of our actions and thoughts.
What you do makes you. What information you assimilate, you become.
It’s just that simple. Your actions should impact you in a positive manner regularly enough for your life to become overall good and thus make you become happy.
Now, have you ever been jealous of someone who said they “couldn’t be happier”? While very self-centered, this thought has crossed every mind in the world at one point or another.
You then start to analyze why and how that person got so happy. Is there anything I can copy to become as happy? How did (s)he do it? Why can’t I get the same level of happiness?
The truth is simple.
Demonstrated Happiness is not Real Happiness.
Yes, this seems counter-intuitive. And yet, it also makes sense in a way.
People who live a generally “happy life” barely mention their happiness so others. It’s hidden from the rest of the world.
As implied above, happiness is intrinsic to each of us. The reason we cannot share our happiness is also what makes it so beautiful.
Each and every single one of us needs to find his own definition for it and this means we need to become self-aware.
While the concept of happiness is extremely vague, self-awareness isn’t. It simply means to know thyself. That’s it. Knowing what you like or don’t, what you are good and aren’t, what excites you and what doesn’t, what scares you and what doesn’t.
True self-awareness needs to be cultivated almost daily by listening to your rambling thoughts, analyzing your lifestyle, your surroundings, and so on.
I recently watched again the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness” and one quote from Will Smith really stuck with me:
It was right then that I started thinking about Thomas Jefferson on the Declaration of Independence and the part about our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And I remember thinking how did he know to put the pursuit part in there? That maybe happiness is something that we can only pursue and maybe we can actually never have it.
He actually isn’t too far from the truth. The concept of happiness was never meant to be reached. It is an overall state that we access to by ignoring it in the first place.
By knowing oneself better, you can shape your life so the positive outweights the negative.
This simple result is happiness. Yes. That’s it.
That’s a lot of rambling but in the end, happiness hidden within all of us. It is there all along and we just need to realize its presence.
Our society of consumption has been telling us for decades we need to show our happiness, whether through things or actions. Being happy inside was never considered as valid. It simply doesn’t count.
Look within yourself, learn to know yourself for better and worse. The combination of all your introspection and the actions you will take in your life may not look like happiness.
But somehow, somewhere inside, you will feel your self-awareness making you “happy ”by making you become a better person.