Who Is Happy?

by NanciArvizu

What determines, defines happiness? Is it having the most stuff? Are people living "the good life" happier than those living in a blue colared world?

The pursuit of happiness comes at a cost. It starts as a dream. A plan is laid out, excitement can't help but build.

The journey is begun with the shiny goal at the end of the road. Every step in a forward direction takes work. It becomes your work. It could be class time and homework or time on a punch clock learning the trades. But make no mistake - this is the work that must be done in order to achieve the dream.

What happens if at some point along the journey you decide this isn't going to work for you? You realize your dream comes at a bigger cost than you are willing to continue to pay, or, your dream has changed and you want to pursue another dream?

Or the realities of life stepped in and said, "oh no. You're going in the wrong direction," and you suddenly find yourself someplace you never dreamed. It happens.

All of it can happen. You can be knocked off your course. You can decide to change direction. And sometimes, you acheive the goal. But the question remains:

Are you happy?

Define Happiness

Peace between the lines.

Definition of Happiness from Wikipedia:

  1. Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.

Does your work produce this kind of emotion within you on a daily basis? Does it have to in order to be considered worthy of your time here on earth? Would your life be better if every day were filled with  "intense joy" or are you okay with these moments being few and far between - and everything else is "eh, okay".

Maybe that's the problem. As we experience those OMG moments, we want more of them. We begin to expect more of the WOW and less of the "eh" - but life in reality is more "eh" than "wow".

Two things can happen at this point.

1. We learn to find the wow moments in the smaller, private moments of our lives and be satisfied. Or 2. (Which seems to happen more and more), we attempt to create wow moments so we can share them to the world and say (without saying it) LOOK HOW AWESOME MY LIFE IS!!!! 

And while we as the friends, family and sometimes general public may or may not be amazed by the amazing worlds of other people, there are people who will begin to do the judgemental comparisons and suddenly their own life doesn't seem to special. 

What if you lived in a 10 x 10 wooden hut in a far away place that wasn't inundated with other peoples wow moments? What if it didn't matter to you, because in your world, you don't know - or care - that the rest of the world exists?

Would that make you happier?



The Pursuit of Happiness

Does happiness exist?
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Is the Pursuit Wearing You Out?

You might be in need of a mind shift.

Okay, living in a hut without the internet or the influence of others is extreme. If you like that kind of life, more power to you. And you're probably not reading this article anyway.

But to those of you who are reading this article, and wondering why you're not happy, or why you're reading this article, I hope it's the former - ask yourself this: What is it that is making you UNHAPPY. And then - here's the hard part: STOP DOING THAT.

If scrolling through your Facebook feed makes you feel ansy or angry, log off. It may take a few days to stop feeling the pull of your online life as the number of notifications on your phone app icons rises. Turn off notifications and do something else. Preferably something that doesn't involve looking at your phone or any other screen.


Finding Your Happy Place

Just as no two people can tell the same story when describing events they both witnessed, what makes one person happy can make someone else miserable on many levels.

Some people love horses, dogs, cats, birds, mice, snakes and rabbits. Other people are terrified of them. Some people like chocolate ice cream, others prefer vanilla. 

This is due to free will. Because of free will we are all able to decide what we like and what we don't like. This applies to everything in our lives at every age. As a child, you didn't like beans. As an adult, you can't get enough of them. See? Not only are you able to make up your mind, you are also able to change it. 

What makes us happy is no different. Finding what makes you, just you, happy becomes the meaning of life. Finding what makes you happy, and doing that as much as possible. It could be a certain person whose company you prefer, or a special vacation destination. Your dream home in a quiet neighborhood. A loft apartment in an urban high rise over looking a park. A tiny house on a trailer parked on the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean. 

Discovering what makes you happy is only half of the work. Being able to do away with what makes you unhappy, and stop making things hard on yourself is another side of the story.

What You Allow, Continues

An important and often skipped step in the search for happiness is figuring our what it is in our lives that is making us unhappy. Sometimes facing such things can be a scary task, forcing us to make serious and difficult decisions. 

But, if you've been unhappy for a long time, if you don't change it, you will continue to be unhappy. And that's no way to live.

Unhappiness can manifest itself into more than just a bad attitude. It can create pain in the body that is undiagnosable to modern medicine. Been feeling down and your hip started hurting, for no apparent reason? While you're going to physical therapy you might want to see a therapist too.

Embracing change, understanding that it must happen if you are to live the life you desire, one of happiness. Shifting your perspective from fearing change to accepting it will make the transition from unhappiness to happiness a quicker, less painful experience.

Baby steps or giant leaps, what ever it takes to get you there - just start now.

Articles by Nanci Arvizu

Meditation is said to help heal the body and mind in many ways. As a newbie to the practice with a little more than a year under my belt, I'm taking a look at the journey.
Author Sandra Leesmith travels part time in her RV exploring new places and sparking new ideas for her next novel.
So many people suffer with chronic pain. Pain that debilitates even though there is no outwardly sign of an injury.
Updated: 07/25/2015, NanciArvizu
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DerdriuMarriner on 07/08/2017

NanciArvizu, Some researchers link many of the world's revolutions either with extreme duress or with an unpopular government's tentative concessions. Sociological studies list financial and physical security as preferable to personal happiness until discomfort and stress reach critical levels. They ultimately suggest that the devil that is known loses in the long term to the devil that is unknown: in other words, as you say, "An important and often skipped step in the search for happiness is figuring our what it is in our lives that is making us unhappy. Sometimes facing such things can be a scary task, forcing us to make serious and difficult decisions. But, if you've been unhappy for a long time, if you don't change it, you will continue to be unhappy."

frankbeswick on 09/29/2016

When re-reading this article, I gained some ideas that are useful to me in my position as chairman of a troubled voluntary society, whose internal culture I have been endeavouring to transform. I am going to try to ask members to focus away from their grudges and grievances to make meetings happy occasions. So thanks,Nancy.

frankbeswick on 02/07/2016

It struck me today when gardening [February 7th 2016] that comfort and happiness are not necessarily connected. I was digging wet ground in a cold wind, and it was an effort that left me tired, but the happiness I gain from gardening was not even slightly lessened by the conditions in which I was working. The spiritual value of gardening does not depend upon comfort.

NanciArvizu on 02/06/2016

Exactly. Being grateful ;)

frankbeswick on 02/06/2016

To be happy focus on being rather than having.

NanciArvizu on 02/06/2016

Thank You Linda! I'm happy you "finally" found the article ;0 Since writing this I've experienced a few more "shifts" by making the choice to be happy about the circumstances of the moment. Just by changing my mind and my feelings, I enjoyed the task(s) and so much more.

NanciArvizu on 11/07/2015

I have a friend who is a life coach. One of her top things she says we must take care of are the things that "annoy" us - like a broken screen or a dent in the car door - so we can focus on the good things. Balance of all things, understanding everything happens for a reason, be aware and deciding to be happy. Seems like a lot to keep track off (haha). Just keep breathing ;0

Mira on 11/07/2015

I think happiness comes with achieving a certain balance in life. I equate happiness with balance and moderation. Sometimes, when we're after intense joy in creative pursuits or work that satisfies us, it's so easy to forget that sense of balance between mind, body, and soul -- and between ourselves and other people.

jptanabe on 11/06/2015

Focusing on the good things certainly helps to be happy. I like the idea of stop doing what makes you unhappy - of course that is easier said than done!

NanciArvizu on 07/28/2015

Thank you Correen! Getting into the habit of writing again has been a pleasure on Wizzley. Being able to write about what I want to write about, instead of given a topic or being forced to write about one niche of life, is so liberating.

I find being grateful for what ever is happening right now, that I'm still breathing in and out and I've got a roof over my head, is a good place to start. I keep a journal too - Gratitude Journal!

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