The Tough Questions - Happiness

There are many questions that face us everyday. What to eat, what to wear, what to do. While these do have there place in our lives, its the tough questions that we should use most of our energy to explore. The questions that come to us while we're staring up at the ceiling and trying to sleep. The questions that seem to hit you like a hammer at random times, throwing your whole self into disarray. I will attempt to explore these questions separately.

One of these questions is one that may escape us, mostly because we think we may have a firm grasp on it. That is, what is happiness? Why is this an important question though? One, it seems to be the ultimate goal of everyone. Ask someone what they want out of this life and dig deep enough, and its usually rooted in the want to be happy. Dos, because what makes people happy seems to be different from person to person.

So, if it is something that every person wants, it should be easily definable right? Honestly though, if I were to ask you the question "What is happiness to you," could you answer clearly and directly? Would your definition hold up to scrutiny? Would you give me examples of things that make you happy? If so, remember that these are only examples and fail to define that which is happiness. If I were to ask you to define a tool, and you reply by telling me about a hammer, it would not grasp the true definition of "tool."

So...what is happiness? At first glance it seems to be a state in which a person can be, but what kind of state? A state of joy or of laughter? So would living in a state where you watch comedians all day long make you make your life good?

Is it a state of feeling no pain? If so, then is doing nothing that would risk injuring you physically or emotionally be happiness?

Is it linked to pleasure? A great analogy I first heard from one of philosophy profressors talks about a person in a state of always scratching an infinite itch. Its pleasure from relieving the itch for all eternity. Is this happiness?

Is it doing what you love? Would a life of always having fun with good friends be what you would consider happiness? This seems close, but how long would that lifestyle last before sputtering out because you have no necessities because you have failed to work. But doing what you love could also be your job so that takes care of that.

You would most likely believe it to be a combination of many factors. Good job, good financial situation, good significant others, good lifestyle. Would it be devoid of pain though, devoid of challenges? This is life, of course, and give it a long enough timeline and you most likely will encounter pain, encounter challenges. Perhaps happiness is a state that is capable of taking these pains and challenges on with joyous determination.

In any case, do you know what makes you happy? Why does it make you happy? Could you build a life out of it? Answer these questions honestly and you may be able to define happiness for you, at least you will have another piece of the puzzle.

You can't aim at a goal if you have no idea what it looks like.

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