What we struggle for everyday, what we work hard to achieve, what we seek unsparingly: HAPPINESS. This feeling of great joy that makes your body tremble and electrifies your mind. It's ironic how the search for happiness can make someone so sad, angry, and unmotivated, don't you think?
Seeing happiness like a goal or an objective is common... and why wouldn't it? You do things that you think will later bring you incredible joy, but when that joy doesn't come, you feel frustrated, sad, even mad, because you failed to achieve your goal. What can we do about this? My personal answer (and opinion) is this:
Happiness isn't a feeling, or a goal, it's a state of mind, the little moments in life you enjoy with yourself and others. This reminds me of a short story I read a while ago: "The Seeker" by Jorge Bucay. In his story, he talks about a man who's traveling the world and arrives at this beautiful hill with white stones placed randomly across the place, but shortly after, he realizes these stones aren't just rocks but tombstones, all engraved with the exact lifetime of the deceased.
The traveler then notices how all the deceased are children, no older than 11 years old, so he begins to cry, overwhelmed with sadness. The caretaker (an old man) then explains how it's a common practice in the town that at the age of fifteen, boys and girls are given a little notebook they can keep around their neck and in which they must write each and every moment of joy in their lives and how long it lasted. From a half a minute kiss to weeks, months, or even years of a passionate relationship. When the person dies, these moments are all added up and the total time is written on the grave, because that is, for them, the only time lived...
We can't live happy all the time, you won't have a lifetime of happiness and joy, but that's why it is so much more precious! You need the difficulties and bumpy trails to really savour the best moments. It's important to be grateful for the things you have when your life isn't going that great, because imagine how much more prosperous and profound it will be when it is going well.
I haven't been here for a long time, but I would like to share with you what I think are the 3 most special, life-changing lessons I've learned throughout my experience:
Happiness Is A Choice.
The moment you begin to accept that you're in total control of your own happiness, you can really get ahold of how you respond to different situations in your life, and you'll probably start to take things into perspective more easily every time. Sometimes, all we need to stop struggling or worrying about something is to look at it from different angles.
Learn From The Tough Days.
"Let the bad days feed your courage and self-confidence."
There are just some days we want to give up, but these are the days we can take the most advantage to learn from our experiences and better ourselves. Pride and self-judgement can only lead to anxiety, anger, and can even paralyze you, keeping you from moving forward, seeing clear, and achieving your dreams. Living with a learning attitude will take a ton of weight off your shoulders... believe me.
Every day is an opportunity to learn new things about yourself and change what you feel needs to be changed. Let the bad days feed your courage and self-confidence.
Most of us are used to downplaying our feelings and deprive ourselves from feeling what we NEED TO FEEL. Have you ever suppressed a feeling for so long that you are abnormally impatient, intolerant, even physically tired all the time? One day you'll explode (or you already have) because of everything you have inside!
I like to see it like this... Imagine there's a little box in your brain in which all your feelings are stored until you take the time to actually feel them... Now, if these feelings don't get out of the box, you'll reach the point where no other feeling will fit inside, so you won't be able to feel any kind of emotion completely, it'll be dull, tasteless.
My advise? Whether it's you talking to your best friend, crying in the shower, or writing on a journal, always make room in your little box by having a clear understanding of your emotions (The Atlas Of Emotions is a great place to start!). Find the time to learn to feel the anger, the sadness, the grief, because only then you'll be able to completely feel the love, the calm, the joy, the happiness.