Would it bring me happiness if they did?
Another few million dollars . . . To them a paltry sum, to me a lot of coin! That brings me to the way that many of us more impoverished mortals comfort ourselves, and each other. We tell ourselves that money really doesn't count towards happiness, that it's useless without having your health. And indeed, that's indisputably true, if you think about the many unhappy millionaires who have fallen by the wayside.
So, it seems money can be discounted as a necessary factor, although, maybe too little of the stuff can actually bring great unhappiness to those affected by this! Where can you go to find happiness then? Taking this further, what is happiness? Would you know if you have it? It seems to be different for everyone I know. You hear about being in pursuit of happiness - but is it truly a vague thing - out there somewhere?
What is happiness?
What about if you've never known happiness? I remember hearing that if you haven't actually experienced emotions such as love, gratefulness and happiness it makes it impossible to know how they "look," so you might find it equally difficult to achieve.
Is it even important, in the bigger scheme of things? When you think of drug dealers for instance, I doubt they think of their happiness as they ply their trade. It's just what they do. And they live just fine, except they always have to wonder if today's the day when they'll finally not make it home? That might not be a really happy feeling.
Is there a recipe?
I like to think it's possible to actually have a recipe for being happy. It would just make things so much easier, somehow. It might help parents to explain some important facts to their children, so they don't feel depressed and suicidal. This is a relatively new phenomenon by the way. The recent killing spree in a church by a baby-faced 21 year old filled with hate and misinformation spells out the dangers of social disconnection. The expressionless, creepy hardness in his eyes makes you almost certain happiness does not exist in his life.
So, might there actually be a way of determining whether you're happy or not? And why should you be? Is happiness only important to you, and why should I care if you're happy? After all, I'm just working on my own happiness, and sometimes even that's a grind!
You might like to take the Happiness quiz (Click here)
Martin Seligman, a psychologist, defines happiness and how to get to it. He believes there are certain levels of happiness, that children can be trained against becoming depressed, and coined the expressions, learned helplessness and positive psychology.
Another book I've greatly enjoyed is Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment.
Seligman has written extensively about happiness. According to him there are three dimensions of happiness. The pursuit of happiness therefore might not be as vague as we think.
- The first is called the pleasant life. In this dimension you enjoy things like companionship, friends, and the natural environment.
- The second dimension is the good life. In this dimension you discover your own value, your unique strengths, and you start using them.
- The third dimension, the final stage, is called the meaningful life. This comes when you use your strengths and unique abilities for a purpose greater than yourself and brings a deep sense of fulfillment.
- Crazyhorseladycx: It Starts With a Whisper via WarnerWords
- Gail Sobotkin: Walking a Sand Labyrinth via marcoujor's musings
- Vinaya Ghimire: Nepal Update via WarnerWords
- Farmacopeia: Get Smudged! via flashPress
So short and sweet, it takes work to actually, purposefully find true happiness. But it may well be an important thing for you and those around you.
In these times of great stress and unhappiness in the world, it seems an important thing to actively seek happiness and find gratitude for all we have.
Thank you for reading these thoughts on happiness. It's my wish for you on the upcoming weekend.