Thursday, April 25, 2024

We complicate things for ourselves as we pursue happiness

St. Augustine once said, “Where your pleasure is, there is your treasure: where your treasure is, there is your heart; where your heart is, there is your happiness”.

If there is one thing that every human being desperately seeks in their lives, it is happiness. As much as some may want to disagree, happiness is one of our absolute rights and, in many cases, as we pursue that happiness, we at times go about it all wrong.

Happiness seems to have become a rare commodity among the general population. Some people, in their pursuit of happiness, are spending themselves into financial wrecks in an attempt to capture it. But it seems the harder they try, the more futile their quest. There is no guarantee that we will find it in our pursuit and most people do not even recognize it when they finally catch it.

In most cases, people never really sit down and think about what really makes them happy. They, in turn, look into their material wealth and see how much they have accumulated and regard that as a measure for their happiness. Then there are those who understand that material things are not part of the equation for producing happiness because materialism is toxic for happiness. One will spend more time worrying about materials even though it is evident rich materialists aren’t as happy as those who care less about getting and spending.

One most important thing people have to know is that our happiness has nothing to do with our possessions, our environment, or even our health for that matter.

A new study published by the American Psychological Association (APA) also revealed that needs that appear to bring happiness are autonomy (feeling that your activities are self-chosen and self-endorsed), competence (feeling that you are effective in your activities), relatedness (feeling a sense of closeness with others) and self-esteem. The study authors found these needs very important because once identified, “psychological needs can be targeted to enhance personal thriving, in the same way that the organic needs of plants, once identified, can be targeted to maximize thriving in the plant.”

Our happiness also comes from a source that is independent of all those influences. Genuine happiness is a state of contentment, a peace of mind and a sense of well being, regardless of outward circumstances going on in your life. The main ingredient to anyone’s happiness is contentment.

Furthermore, to be happy, add not to your possessions but subtract from your desires. The happiest people spend the least time alone. They pursue personal growth and intimacy; they judge themselves by their own yardsticks, never against what others do or have.

In addition, some things that tend to make most people happy are their family relationships, which are more important than any other single factor, financial situation or luxury. It is about how we stack up next to those around us and our work, when meaningful, can be more important than the money.

Being surrounded by the community and friends can also contribute to our level of happiness, feeling the love. Some people may also pursue their happiness through personal freedom and personal values, their inner self and attitudes and philosophy of life.
It isn’t your position that makes you happy or unhappy, it’s your disposition.


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