Friday, April 11, 2014

The 3 Aspects of Happiness

My colleague Jessica is one of the most positive people I know. If there is such a thing as a person’s color hers would be yellow, or maybe just a simple light. Although I know it has happened before it’s hard for me to imagine Jessica not being smiley and optimistic. Naturally, Jessica is the perfect person to get some life advice from or discuss the pursuit of happiness with which I consider my favorite pastime. Jessica believes happiness is an attitude. I always try to think positive but I’m not always happy. Unlike Jessica, I’m a person living in the future, not in the present, and since my future looks uncertain and uncomfortably unpredictable my plan for happiness is hard to make. Yesterday Jessica gave me the standard phrase: “If you can dream it, you can do it!” I know this sentence to be incorrect. My dreams have already not come true and definitely not due to a lack of trying. Life makes its own rules and did not consider my dreams. However, I have come to the conclusion that there are only three things that are essential to be happy for me, and although they’re harder to achieve than people think I’m sure that a person aquiring these three will fail to be unhappy.

I was going to say what you need for happiness is a job but arguably you will also have to believe in that work you do to become a truly fulfilled person. However, a somewhat secure job makes sure you won’t be starving, therefore preserving your basic instinct of survival. If you hate your job it still serves the purpose of paying your bills and usually additional extra pleasures that I have no access to at the moment because I do not have such a secure job. Money is in fact not a cause for happiness whatsoever. Why money is relevant to happiness is the fact that having it will eliminate a source of worry about self-preservation which could lead to unhappiness. Having a job will eliminate that fear. As long as someone has a job one won’t have to starve or sleep in the streets and is in a comfortable position to feel secure. I don’t have that sense of security in my life in the slightest. My future is chronically under threat. I might have a Master’s but no prospect of using it for a secure living situation in the near or distant future. I trust I will be able to but hearing how many people before me were unable to with similar qualifications makes it challenging to be optimistic. I am optimistic that one day I will get to tick the “job” box, and I’m also hoping that it will be a purpose at the same time.
#2 Love

Even the most independent person in the world will not be successful in creating a happy life for themselves without the participation of other people. For me it is simply impossible to imagine being happy without certain people, and my entire life has been dedicated to finding the love of my life with whom I can make some babies I can love then.  Although I’ve had very happy periods in my life without having love in the form of a partner I know I will definitely not be able to find lifetime happiness without eventually getting married and having a family. If I imagine being 50 without children or a partner I find it hard to believe I will be happy anyways. In my early 20s I definitely didn’t want any of that but needed love from friends and family to be happy. I still remember when the guy I had liked for years told me he’d always liked me, too. The following few days I was no longer walking places, I was flying, I was so happy. Just because of that. To me falling in love and being loved back is something that has always been so hard to achieve that it will completely change my pursuit of happiness. Even if other aspects of happiness cannot be fulfilled a loved person will always have someone to share the misery with which makes any situation a lot better. It might not be enough to just rely on love to save all of your days but it’s a pretty good start. Anyone who disagrees has never felt truly lonely. No man is an island!
#3 Health

Many people would argue that this is the most important part of life. For me as a generally healthy person it is easy to say that I disagree. It’s true that all the good things in the world are worth nothing if one isn’t around to enjoy them. I personally would prefer a shorter life filled with purpose and love to a long, healthy life feeling empty and lonely. Of course I consider life a wonderful gift but with the absence of the previous two points I have sometimes struggled to see it as that. At the same time, I believe that it is truly beneficial to one’s health to be happy. A miserable life will result in sickness easier if you ask me. This of course is no medical certainty, I still truly believe it. My father was struggling with all aspects of happiness, whatever his would have been, and when his body reacted I think he had an easier time letting go of life than a genuinely happy person. Working out is also known to prevent depressions and I’m personally a lot happier when I work out and consequently get fit. However, just being fit has never been enough for me to be happy. People rarely draw happiness from being healthy unless they’ve been sick before. For me who’s always been generally healthy the possibility that cancer could be added to my picture isn’t usually on my mind. Therefore, I see health as the necessity to be happy. It’s the end of the mean. You can be the happiest person but without health it all means nothing…

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