There isn’t really one surefire, catch-all way to be happy.
Happiness is always an interesting topic to write/talk about. Because, it means so many different things to so many people. I think it’s safe to say, though, that everyone desires it. Who doesn’t want to be happy? It’s rhetorical- everyone wants to be happy.
Sometimes I confuse a word with happy. Content. Being content is not necessarily akin to being happy. Since happiness has multiple interpretations, let me do my best definition of it. To me, being in a state of happiness is when you wake up with motivation and go to sleep with peace. Peace of mind has a lot to do with it, and I know that sounds awfully similar to “content”, but, it isn’t exactly the same. Peace of mind begins with self esteem, and if you aren’t okay with yourself, you can’t have it. However, you can be content with life yet still not feel you’re worth it. In essence, happiness is taking your days as they come and enjoying them as well.
So, maybe being content for you is being happy. It can be, in fact, just because they are different for me, doesn’t mean you will agree. The thing about being content, for me, is that it breeds stagnancy. I have said before, I’ll say again, being stagnant is my least favorite thing to be.
If I get into a routine, I usually get down. I don’t know why, but it has allllllways been this way. Doing the same thing, every day, without change, is something I despise. That is 90 percent of why I didn’t want to go to school in high school. The thought on Sunday night that it was about to be 5 straight days of the same schedule just annoyed the hell out of me. A 9-5 job with a family of 5 in a 1950s-esque white-picket fence house? No thanks. Family, sure, but keep the routine stuff out of here. It sucks, kinda, because routines usually correlate with success. I can handle them, but I’ve gotta be doing stuff with my free time to feel like I’m growing and moving in life.
And, being content leads to this. Being satisfied with everything, aka being content, decreases motivation to go forward. You get on that comfortable patch of grass, and forget that nothing ever grows there. For me, this usually happens when I’m on a break without a plan. Without a project, or an idea of what to do. I start playing video games, maybe hanging out with friends, going out to eat, and possibly feeling content and being stuck there. Stuck in the quicksand that is stagnancy.
Getting back to the question of “what is a surefire way to find happiness?” Well, like I said, it is likely different for you than it is for me. But I’ll share what works for me, since you asked.
Fulfillment. What is it? Just simply feeling like what you do on a day-to-day basis is fulfilling what your brain tells you your life should. Maybe you feel like you should be a better person, be kinder to people. So, if you are actively practicing smiling at people when they pass by, you’ll likely be happier. And, thus the formula is in action. Find something you put value in. Think about it. What difference do you wanna make? What if I don’t wanna make a difference? Well, learn to. If you’re sitting around and upset, bored with your life, and feeling bland about tomorrow, this is something that will kickstart you. Then, once you find what you are interested in, start working on it daily. Start fulfilling your goal, start setting deadlines, making goals for that end goal.
A practical example of this in my life is finding a new idea for a video. When I sit down and brainstorm new potential storylines for a possible short film, maybe new research I wanna make an informational video on, or even when I sit down to write for this blog, I get a sense of fulfillment. I formed this sense all on my own. Maybe before I was feeling boring and stagnant. Then, all of a sudden, I have a new thing I feel I need to work towards. I start working on it.Thus, by working on it, I fulfill myself. Is the thing I’m doing universally important? No. Has it become important to me? Yes. It’s a cycle you can begin on your own. No help needed.
If you do so, you’ll start getting that feeling of fulfillment. It’s an antidepressant, in a way. Depressed people lose interest in previously pleasurable things. Something that has always helped me get out of a rut is to get out and work towards something. It puts purpose in your life. Having purpose will create progress, lead to success, and hopefully, fulfillment. When you feel you’re fulfilling what you want to/believe you should, you will be happy.
Thanks for reading
Luca DeJesu, 3:44 PM