If we all can agree that one thing we want is to be happy, then the next question to ask is “How do you want to experience that happiness?” Often we get caught up in this idea of things that will make us happy. And most of the time those things are tied to money in some way whether it’s a better paying job, ability to go on vacation, a bigger house, a new car, and so on.
But if you can put all those material things aside and think about how you truly experience happiness, what does that look like for you? There may be a material component but if you start examining the experience and impact of that experience; the material things will become less significant and ultimately less powerful.
Another pitfall that happens when it comes to discussion of happiness is the one related to circumstances. This happens when we think certain people make us happy or we are only happy in specific environments or even only on certain days (insert TGIF). We also get caught up in constant comparison of other people and their circumstances. When we deny our own successes and potential under the umbrella of criticisms and insecurity, we reinforce a life of separation and fear.
The question is simply stated but the answer, I suspect, is as complex as we are individuals. How we experience happiness is not something that can be manufactured, prescribed, or taught. It cannot be purchased, bartered, withheld or stolen. It’s not about denying pain or heartache. It is about using our positive experiences to create a natural state of resiliency that sustains us through that pain and heartache.
Happiness is about presence, perception, and engagement. It’s about being able to recognize blissful moments and understand their significance. It is about accepting a reality of possibilities that include an infinite source of love and kindness. It’s about being intentional with your interactions every day.
When we start perceiving our happiness as an experience that we create versus something that is done to us or given to us, we become more confident that it can be sustained even in the face of sorrow, grief, or heartache. And even more importantly, when we are able to perceive the reality of what generates happiness within our life, we begin to experience that reality in more abundance than we could have ever imagined.