Let’s Talk of Happiness
In today’s world, happiness can be based on different things depending on each person. There are those who find happiness in their material possessions while others find joy in the positive relationships they establish with the people around them. People perceive happiness differently and they also have different reasons on why they are happy. There are also those who seem to have nothing in their lives to be happy about and they cannot see the positive side of things no matter where they look at it.
Every individual wishes to be happy and wants the feeling to last throughout his or her lifetime. It is therefore important to know first what happiness means, which can be different depending on who is asked. A child can be happy just by playing outside with his or her friends. A teenager can be happy by going on a date with his or her crush. A salary raise can make adults happy. There is no particular definition of happiness that people follow as guidelines in considering the things or situations or persons that make them happy. What is important is that most people agree on the same things that make them happy.
As mentioned above, there are various things that make people happy. One such thing is their interpersonal relationship with those around them. Majority of the people value their relationships with their family and friends more than their possessions. For them, it is more important to get along with everybody and have positive relations because this would produce a more harmonious surrounding. Good personal relationship with one’s loved ones and friends can lead to fewer conflicts and disagreements. In the workplace, it would also provide a way for workers to work in such a way that they contribute to the overall success of the company because their relationship with each other is at best. “No matter how much we might pretend otherwise, humans must care about interpersonal relationships because we are primates, who are by nature highly social creatures. We cannot survive long in isolation” (Hughes, Patterson, ; Terrell, 2005, p.78). It is important for people to be in good terms with others because they realize that they cannot live a happy life knowing that those around them have issues that concern them.
There are also those who measure their happiness through how they raise their families. People find it fulfilling when they are able to handle their family in an effective and ideal way. They find happiness in knowing that they are raising their children well by providing them the opportunity to go to school, as well as provide basic needs like a home and food. Happiness is what most parents feel when they see their children become successful in their respective ways. There is nothing better for them to see their children growing up, doing what they want to do, and being happy.
Another thing that can make people happy is when they are successful in their chosen careers. “A successful career is the combination of doing a job that makes use the best of our talents and also having one that we find exciting” (Leeds, 2000, p.258). When people love what they do for a living, they feel content and happy because they believe that they are serving their purpose in life. Some people do not give importance to their relationship with others or to other aspects in their lives as long as their professional lives are right on track. However, this is not ideal because a person might step on other people just to achieve his or her happiness. To be happy, one must not think of him or herself only but also of others. It is not proper to be happy at the expense of someone’s misery. There will always be a feeling of guilt and the person can never experience total happiness in this type of situation.
Also mentioned above is how certain people obtain happiness from their material possessions in life. They find fulfillment in making money and being able to buy the things that they want but not necessarily need. They feel happy and content knowing that they are surrounded with these possessions even if they do not have somebody by their side. What matters is that they can buy anything including houses in different countries, cars of all brands, and the latest gadgets available in the market.
A person can also be happy when he or she achieves his or her goals in life. This may be short term or long term goals. A student can experience happiness by passing a course or an exam. Happiness is also felt when students graduate from school. A worker feels happy when he or she finishes a work before the deadline is up. Promotion can also lead to happiness. Parents feel happy when they see their child take his or her first step. A baby’s first words can also bring joy to the whole family. Couples whose goal is to get married can also feel happiness when this celebration finally happens. Goals, when achieved the right way, can make people content and happy because this is what they plan in their lives. They will not include these goals in their lives if it would not bring happiness.
Because of the examples presented here, one might come to realize that happiness only consist of positive emotions. However, “experiencing positive emotions is necessary but not sufficient for happiness” (Ben-Shahar, 2007, p.37). These positive emotions are not the only factors that contribute to a person’s feelings of happiness. Negative emotions can also lead to a happy life. In fact, the variation of positive and negative experiences is what makes a person happy, and this could last his or her entire lifetime. Without negative emotions, a person cannot wish to have better, more positive experiences in life. A person cannot become a whole if he or she does not experience both sides that the world can offer.
Personally, it is believed that being happy is an important aspect of every person’s life. It would be a very lonely and sad life if a person does not find joy in even one aspect of his or her life. Also, being sad and negative about things take more energy and effort as compared to being happy. Despite what is going on with the world, there are still a lot of things that everyone should be happy about. A person should be happy because there are people who care about him or her. A person should also be happy because he or she is able to eat three times a day and still have money to spare. People should be happy for possessing good health. They should also celebrate for being employed and having a stable source of income. There are many unfortunate things in life that happen but everyone should remember that there are also positive things, and that these are more worth it. Dwelling on the negative side of things does not do anyone any good. It only builds up anger, hatred, and sadness. There are many things in life that people can be happy about, and they just need to find them and focus on them.
Being happy depends largely on the person. It is recommended that people create their own definition of happiness before even trying to be happy. A person cannot be happy about the things that happening around him or her without being happy inside first. It must always come from within because an individual cannot give out happiness or positive vibes without feeling the emotion first. People need to have the right attitude in order to find the positive side of things. If people are happy and content with their lives, there would be less anger, conflicts, and negative feelings around the world, which would make it a better place because everyone can live in harmony.
Ben-Shahar, T. (2007). Happier. New York: McGraw-Hill Professional.
Hughes, M. M., Patterson, L. B., ; Terrell, J. B. (2005). Emotional Intelligence in Action. California: Pfieffer.
Leeds, D. (2000). The 7 Powers of Questions. New York: The Berkley Publishing Group.