Are You Happy With Your Life Or Do You Think Something Is Missing?
What, exactly, is happiness? This is a question that we all have deliberated on for as long as we can remember. And there are probably as many answers as there are humans on the face of the planet. One can use science or spirituality to explain what happiness is, but the fact remains that it means different things to different people. Some may associate it with the possession of more material things while others consider meaningful relationships with friends and family as the ultimate goal in their quest for happiness.
Personally, I find this question quite interesting. Am I happy with my life or is there something missing from it? On the face of it, I should be quite happy, and I am for the most part. I have friends and family who care about me deeply. I am living what many would call the perfect life, a great family and a few close friends who I know will always have my back no matter what. Apart from that, I go out and interact with many different types of people both at work and in different social gatherings. Ample time is spent indulging in a few hobbies that are close to my heart. Quality time is also spent hanging out with both friends and family. An ideal life in the eyes of most people. Yet, there are times when I feel lost and confused and somewhat empty. And it is hard to explain this feeling, to be honest.
Don’t get me wrong here. Not for a minute am I trying to suggest that life has dealt me an unfair hand. On the contrary, I have been lucky enough to always enjoy a life of privilege and comfort. And I am not a thankless or ungrateful individual by any means. But there are moments every now and then when I wonder where I am going with things, and is this all there is to life? I mean, no higher purpose or calling and not really making a meaningful difference in the lives of my fellow human beings. There has got to be more to life than just eating, sleeping, going to work, and looking for new modes of entertainment. I often feel that I need to make more of my life and get involved in something other than the daily grind of work and home.
Then, there is that urge sometimes of just dropping everything and going away to some far away land uninhabited and uncorrupted as yet by man’s insatiable lust for wealth and resources and power. Even if for a fleeting moment, there is a strong desire to just get away from everything and shut off from the world for some time.
Be that as it may, life has been pretty good to me. That feeling of emptiness and confusion can be quite strong and almost overwhelming at times. But, I can say with pride and confidence that life is pretty good.
The thing about happiness is that it isn’t some switch that you can turn on and off. It can often take years and years to understand what true happiness means to you. Again, the question of happiness can have as many answers as there are people on the face of the planet. My two cents on the topic are presented below.
Studies show with convincing evidence that having a mood that is on an even keel instead of one where you experience great bouts of achievement and happiness all the time can be more beneficial for your mental health. Also, whenever people are asked what it is that makes their life worthwhile, they hardly ever mention their mood. In all probability, they will mention something which they find more meaningful, such as a special relationship with someone or that career they worked so hard to make. In short, feeling good all the time will not make you happier, unbelievable as it may sound.
You know the old adage “money doesn’t buy happiness.” While it is true that living in poverty makes it really hard to be happy, having more of it does not exactly guarantee happiness or satisfaction. Imagine if you suddenly won a hefty cash prize or got a significant salary raise, you will certainly be happy (even ecstatic) for a while. But, before long, your expectations will change to completely fit your new budget. In other words, you just changed the goalpost of what happiness looked like. And not long after that, you will feel just as happy as you were before this financial windfall.
All in all, happiness is mostly a mixture of how content you are with your life (doing meaningful work) and how you feel on a daily basis. Both these things remain mostly stable. Our life does change from time to time while mood swings are also a fairly routine occurrence, but our overall happiness is determined more genetically than anything else.