What is Happiness?
If you ask anyone what they want the most out of life, their answer will essentially equate to wanting to be happy. They will even say things like “money does not matter, because money cannot buy happiness” or “as long as my bills are paid, I'm happy” or even “all I need is my family, and I'm happy”. The issue I find with those answers is that those things do not lead to true happiness, because quite frankly, they are just answers that let me know you are only surviving. True happiness goes so much deeper than strictly surviving. If I can be frank, I think you can be wealthy, have your bills paid, and have your family all at the same time, while finding true happiness. The fullness of life is based on you, the individual, and the plans you have laid out for your life. The more and more I talk to people, the more I realize that a major part of happiness comes from pursuing goals. People who have no direction in life seem to be the most unhappy and negative. Think about it; we all have that one person that consistently complains about everything so much so that we hate to see them coming or calling, and we surely do not want them to go anywhere with us. Think about them right now. Now ask yourself when was the last time that person talked about pursuing goals, dreams, and most importantly their destiny. If you accomplish nothing, you feel like a failure or a loser, whether you verbalize it or not. I set goals consistently and pursue them, but they do not always materialize as I pictured, which means sometimes I have to go back to the drawing board. Let me tell you, it can be very discouraging, and at these times, depression can try to come on you (but that's another conversation for another time soon). So a person that only identifies with failure or being what people consider a loser is constantly in a state of discouragement, and camouflages it as "I don't care" or "I have everything I need". The fact of the matter is that true happiness comes from setting goals, accomplishing them (or at least trying to accomplish them), and being surrounded by people who love you and support you while doing it. I conclude with this. Set S.M.A.R.T goals, not only for you, but also with your family (spouse, children). Setting personal goals, as well as group goals, helps you and others feel a since of accomplishment, which leads to a feeling of happiness.
S.M.A.R.T stands for: Specific: Make sure you state exactly what you want to accomplish. Measurable: Establish clear benchmarks to determine if you are moving toward accomplishing your goal. Attainable or Action-Oriented: Outline your step-by-step plan for accomplishing your goal, and use action verbs to describe your goal. Realistic: Simply set a goal that you are able to accomplish while considering any obstacles that may appear. Time-Bound: How much time do you have, and what is your start and completion date to accomplishing this goal?
Enjoy your journey to happiness!