What is happiness?

What does it take to make you happy? And what is happiness?

 

 In history, philosophers, religion leaders, thinkers, psychologists and motivational speakers have pondered these questions.

In addition, the same question has puzzled humanity for centuries. While happiness means different things to different people, there are certain principles that can help anyone achieve a fulfilling and happy life.

In the end, happiness is based on an individual’s experience, as well as their own mental state! For example, one person may find joy in spending time with friends and family, while another may find happiness in achieving a personal goal or taking on a new challenge.

 

It has been my experience that one must create their own happiness in order to be truly happy!

Let’s see what historical thinkers have to say about happiness:

One of the most well-known philosophers who discussed happiness is Epictetus, a Stoic philosopher who lived in the first century AD. According to Epictetus, happiness is not something that can be obtained through external circumstances, but rather it is an internal state of mind. He believed that happiness comes from within and that we have control over our thoughts and emotions, regardless of external circumstances.

 

Similarly, the Stoics believed that happiness comes from living a virtuous life and focusing on what is within our control. The philosopher Seneca wrote, “True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.”

 

Rene Descartes, a French philosopher, believed that happiness comes from knowledge and understanding. He argued that by understanding ourselves and the world around us, we can achieve happiness and fulfillment.

 

Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, believed that happiness comes from living a balanced life and embracing all aspects of ourselves, including our shadow side. He wrote, “The greatest and most important problems of life are all fundamentally insoluble. They can never be solved but only outgrown.” For instance, Jung argued that the best way to find peace within yourself is to let go of trying to fix or change the parts of yourself that you dislike, and instead learn to accept and embrace them.

Jung’s approach is similar to Epictetus’, in terms of recognizing what is directly under our acceptance and that which is not.

In the opinion of Sigmund Freud, an Austrian neurologist and psychoanalyst, happiness is the result of satisfying our basic needs and desires. According to him, happiness and fulfillment can be obtained by pursuing our unconscious desires. The Interpretation of Dreams, Freud’s major work, was published in 1900 following an intensive analysis of himself in 1897. In his book, Freud analyzed dreams as manifestations of unconscious desires. For instance, Freud believed that dreams of flying could represent a person’s desire for freedom and independence. Another example, Freud suggested that a dream of a father symbolizes a desire for protection, safety and security.

This could also suggest that our natural desire for guidance, support and a sense of security often arises in our dreams.

Would knowing and interpreting your own dreams make you happy?

Jim Rohn, a motivational speaker and author, echoed Epictetus’ philosophy when he said, “Happiness is not something you acquire, it’s something you create.” Rohn believed that happiness comes from within and that we must take responsibility for our own happiness. He encouraged people to focus on personal growth and development, as well as developing meaningful relationships with others.

 

Ralph Waldo Emerson, an American philosopher, believed that happiness comes from living in harmony with nature and following our own individual path. He wrote, “Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.”

 

Gandhi, a political and spiritual leader, believed that happiness comes from living a life of purpose and service to others. He said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Gandhi believed that by helping others, we can find meaning and purpose in our own lives, which leads to happiness.

 

Napoleon Hill, a self-help author, believed that happiness comes from having a clear and defined purpose in life. He wrote, “Happiness is found in doing what you love to do, and doing it with purpose and passion.”

 

In addition to these remarkable thinkers, modern research has also shown that certain habits and practices can lead to increased happiness. These include regular exercise, mindfulness meditation, practicing gratitude, and cultivating positive relationships.

 

In conclusion, happiness is not something that can be obtained through external circumstances, but rather it is an internal state of mind. We have control over our thoughts and emotions, and it is up to us to create our own happiness. By focusing on what we can control, developing meaningful relationships, living a life of purpose and service to others, and following our own individual path, we can achieve a fulfilling and happy life.

 

And if you see others happy and you become happy for them, it means you are a happy person within yourself!

 

Are you striving to create happiness?

Please share how you do it, so others can learn from your experiences!

 

Cheers,
Jay Pacheco

 

To be happy, cultivate and nurture happy thoughts and habits within yourself!

– Jay Pacheco 

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