Recently I Tweeted the following: “Happiness is not an emotion but a state of being. Remember not choosing is a choice. If the path you have chosen isn’t fulfilling, change is calling your name.” Given the character limitation of Twitter, I couldn’t fully develop the concept, but there is no such limitation here. I will expose another part of the iceberg. Happiness has been commented on by almost every philosopher since Socrates. It is a very elusive concept. There is no “one size fits all”. Happiness is only definable within the context of the individual. It is not subject to rational thought. You define it and you decide whether you are there. To be fair, you should acknowledge it’s not about a continuous euphoric feeling. Just like cold is defined as the absence of heat, happiness should be defined as the absence of overwhelming, continuous sadness. Happiness is the minimization of stress in our lives. It’s the absence of a continual battle with life. You do have choices. You must face reality with a clear sense of purpose. You can’t wander through life without some sort of plan. If you harbor hate or prejudice, you can’t be happy. Because this is my blog, I feel free to use myself as a tool to show what I mean. (As an aside, I wish to thank Microsoft Word for correcting a small portion of my grammatical ineptitude).
First a short listing of the facts. I am retired, and my finances are modest but secure. No job or financial related stress. My health is better than most my age. This doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to have more, just it’s not necessary for basic comfort. I don’t know anyone who hates me, and I don’t hate anyone. I care about what happens to the world. I am not a member of any group that society might be prejudiced against. I am doing what I want. I recently started writing and it’s given me a sense of purpose. I feel good. The feeling is not attributed to any one factor in my life. I have tried to be aware of the choices available to me.
Within the above framework, I am happy, and you can be too. I haven’t listed anything that is very difficult to attain.
Happiness is about peace, with yourself and the world.
I believe I am happy, and that is what matters.
If you have comments or subjects for me to comment on, please message me.