Although everyone's path may be different, our planned destination remains the same. Regardless of what brings you joy happiness is always the planned end result. Some people find joy in helping others, some find joy in having wealth, there are those who find joy in proving their potential, and there are those that find joy in calm isolation (introverts). Although these are just a few examples of ways people attempt to be happy, there are endless ways that people attempt to fulfill their desire for being happy. As simple as it may seem to "just be happy", such a simple task can be complicated by the messages portrayed in our everyday society. Much like our desire to be successful, our desire to be happy can be fullfilled through different paths and at different levels. Just because someone is happy having a specific job or making more money does not mean everyone else will as well. In our attempt to "find" happiness, we can start to spin in confusion as our reach towards happiness diminishes the harder we try to force our way towards it. In this article I will be covering why attempts to be happy fail and how to find your real source of happiness.
When it comes to happiness, sometimes we are feeling so unhappy inside that we seek happiness outside of our own life. We search for new people, new places, new things, and new ways to fill the void. In contrary to what we are aiming to achieve, we start to become further from our goal. The more we rely on external happiness, the more we become unhappy. Why is this? Why is it when we are around our source of happiness, we are still not happy? This is because we tend to fill the void in our heart with anything that creates happiness whether we are truly happy with our life or not. This can be in the form of being in a relationship purely due to not wanting to be single (fearing loneliness), improving your appearance due to you believing that compliments and sexual attraction will make your life "better", or even working a job you hate to make money due to financial stability makes you temporarily happier. Happiness should never be due to an external source, because the world around you will never stay the same.
With instant pain comes the desire to instantly numb it. Temporary happiness is usually a result of instant gratification (soon followed by disappointment and finding another "hit" of instant gratification). Instead of finding long-term ways of being happy, when we are at or lowest we tend to find whatever is easier to attain emotional numbness or neutrality. In times of difficulty, we don't think about our best option because we are in desperate need of the fastest option. Temporary happiness from instant sources is not the answer to a lifetime of happiness.
The Real Source Of Happiness
If you can't find happiness externally or instantly, than where do we find happiness? First, we must realize that the first part of your problem is your question. You do not FIND happiness. Happiness is a state of mind we develop through a means of experience, understanding, and appreciation. When you know what it's like to struggle financially, you're happier when you are financially stable (even without being rich). When you know what it's like to lose a loved one, you appreciate having someone special in your life. Sometimes we must know how it feels to be unhappy to truly appreciate what we have around us, whether it's a million friends or just one. Instead of dating someone to feel happy, we should continue dating someone we are already interested in dating due to how happy they make you feel about the person you are becoming (better grades, increased self confidence, doing more good deeds out of enjoyment, etc). Instead of working a job because you feel like money will make you happy, find a job you enjoy so that you will be happy while making money. Your actions should never be due to finding happiness, rather you should perform actions based off your happiness and what makes your happiness shine.