What is happiness? How do you define it, and most importantly, how do we experience it? I am afraid that a lot of people don't really know what happiness means because they have never experienced it and as a result, they are constantly searching for that Utopian state of mind in a materialistic world. Maybe I don't really get it either and fall into that general concept because it happens to be the one making sense to me. Perhaps happiness is something like quantum mechanics — the most successful theory in science, but nobody really gets it.
Some people say; "Mmmm, I am so happy to find my favorite IceCream flavor at the store" or "I was so happy to be able to talk to you".
Throughout the length of my life, I have been talking to people and realize that understanding happiness is definitely not universal. Just like love can have a deep spiritual meaning to some, while others use it as nature's tool of tricking people into reproduction. What does happiness mean to you? What would you need in life to be happy and who do you have to become to feel happy. If you'd like, why don't you write a list of all those things? For some it is wealth, for others is a marriage proposal, for some, is to become a parent, and there is even a percentage of people who dream of freedom. All of us build our lives based on that principle. Thing is, that all everything we want to have in order to live in total bliss we can always un-have, and if that happens, what does this do to your happiness? I don't know, it is another one of those very private specifics one needs to answer for himself. I get really disappointed but my emotional well-being largely depends on the value of that specific thing, because as we know, not everything is replaceable.
What if I told you, that happiness is something already coded into you, hardwired into our brain, and a part of our DNA. Your entire nature is happiness, and you don't need to do absolutely anything to be happy. So how come life sucks so bad, huh? The answer is very simple. We have spent our lives learning to be unhappy. The lessons started as early as preschool. This is when we start to learn that we have to be something to get something to be able to do something, and this is the model of the world we believe with every fiber of our being. If you’re good, mummy will buy you a toy, and you can play with it. If you have good grades, daddy will buy you a car so you can drive to parties on your own. You need to have a great job, so you can make a shit load of money that would allow you vacation in amazing places, and happy memories. Or you need to meet someone and have a great loving relationship. For some, it is just great sex and I knew also those who care about healthy sex meaning that it is safe to sleep with just one person, instead of exposing yourself to dangerous pathogens by having sex with multiple partners who aren't necessarily free anyway. Once you find that relationship, you will be happy. There are thousands of many variations of the "if" factor and except for our genetic composition, it is the basic difference between all of us. Our "if" became the fundamental focus of our life. If my business takes off, If my mother-in-law moves to the North Pole if I had a million dollars if I get accepted to MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), If I... fill in the blank (...) then I will be happy. Some people don't even know what they want and end up being just point blank miserable.
Here is what I would like you to do. Close your eyes and think of yourself 10 years ago, or 5 years ago if you're only in your 20s. Try to recreate your life then and make a list of all the things you wanted to achieve to be happy at that time. The odds are, that by now, you have accomplished most of the things from that list, and it did not make any appreciative difference in your well-being. If you are curious, try to engage yourself in this exercise and see for yourself how many boxes on your list were you able to check off? If you compare it to the growth scale of your happiness level, the results may shock you. Perhaps you will think that you were young and made a mistake because instead of X you, in fact, need Y. What the only link between you and your happiness was to get married, but a few years after your wedding you recognize that you are married to the wrong person and it is the other person that indeed makes you happy and if you will be able to be with them, then you eventually can be happy ever after. The "if" side of the equation is often replaced by us to match the deepest desire of a giving moment. We don't realize that the model around which we build our happiness is fundamentally broken, and if we register that something doesn't quite work for us in our model we change what we put on one side of the equation and start chasing our happiness all over again. It is like playing blind's man buff through life and the mental model of our world is being repeatedly created with the same mistakes.
There are many books out there that claim to guide you to The Magical Formula of Happiness. But here is your wake up call. The answers aren't out there, where everyone is looking for them, and is we don't stop the happiness hunt the chances for us to ever experience it are very small. The answers are within you, and if you can't see it, it is my job to reveal the secret of how and where to find them. Chances are that you want both happiness and success in your life. At times those two things seem contradictory, yet it is possible to build a harmonious whole between the two of them.