Some people think that happiness comes free as a gift brought by life and this is not far from the truth, happiness is our natural state of being, you can easily see it in the children, they are happy almost all the time, unless they have a basic need to cover. If they’re hungry they cry, if they’re sleepy they cry, and so on.
The matter of happiness and the cost that comes with it, lies in the idea of happiness that we’ve created in our society and culture. We’ve attached happiness to certain concepts, items and ways of living and we believe that by having them we will be happy. So, in a way, we think we will only be happy when we achieve certain things or specific situations in our life. We need a better job to be happy, we need a partner to be happy, we need a car to be happy, we need to finish school, then a career, then a course and another, and with this I could keep on forever.
Because we put our happiness in things we don’t have and the list is infinite
This idea is completely tied up to the consumerist occidental lifestyle we’re living, but happiness has nothing to do with it, there is no need to add more things to be happy, but in order to reach true happiness there’s a need to remove and detach from all these things, concepts and ideas that are surrounding this fake happiness we’ve created.
Maybe you don’t need a new car, maybe you need to learn to enjoy the journey in your public transportation. Maybe you don’t need to be fit to be happy, what you might need is to feel good with your way of eating and lifestyle. Or maybe you don’t need to get that other certification to be happy, but looking for ways to share with others what you already know.
These are just examples, and I’m not saying certain accomplishments won’t really help us develop and bring us joy, but I’m talking here about the incessant desire machine we’ve become, creating one desire after the other and trying to fulfill them won’t make us happy or if it does, this happiness will last the time it last a thought crossing our minds, because its not real.
Being happy is simple
Real happiness doesn’t need anything else, but it does require removing what is not happiness: attachments, desires, ego, belief systems; deconstructing that unreliable structure that was built in order to go back to simplicity, because being happy is simple. It’s about enjoying a good laugh, observing a sunset, having a delicious meal and not thinking about the next, because if you do, you’re missing it.
The journey of happiness comes with a cost and the first step is taking responsibility for it. No one and nothing will make you happy but yourself, and you are the one who needs to take the decisions that will remove unhappy situations and ideas from your life and bring true joy and peace.
Instead of adding more, take a moment to reflect and think about the unnecessary and how you can remove it from your life, take responsibility for your decisions and be brave to challenge yourself and others to act differently, stepping away from those situations that are no longer serving you.
We came to this world without anything and we were so happy back then, going back to basics will take us back to that state, the true essence of happiness.
I dare you to start your own journey, back to happiness.
True happiness is just being in peace with what is.
I also encourage you to listen to this podcast that was part of my inspiration for writing this today.
Photo: Ponte da Arrábida, Porto, Portugal