We go through life chasing after happiness and trying to define it. Happiness can mean different things to different people, and we often define it based on what makes us feel good in the moment.
But no one can go through life being happy all the time. The lows made the highs ever higher, but the true challenge is finding happiness in the low points. We are often told that happiness is a conscious choice, but what does it mean to choose happiness? More importantly, why is it so important to us?
Happiness is defined as:
- a state of well-being and contentment
- a pleasurable or satisfying experience
It is a “state” or “experience,” meaning by definition it is not a permanent way of life. “State” is defined as “the particular condition that someone or something is in at a specific time.” There are many things that may make us happy, from the smile of a stranger to essential oils. However, happiness cannot be equated merely to physical things that do not last. In order to achieve a “state” of happiness, one must first identify what gets them to that state. Is it wellness? Family? Friends? Success?
Start by asking how you can achieve these things, but also what you will do when that are not achievable. True happiness is not about staying at the highest peak, but remaining steady on the journey back down.
To be truly happy is to transcend your “state” and adopt “traits.” Treat yourself. Go for a walk. Be spontaneous. Be kind to someone who needs it and those who may not deserve it, including to yourself. Make a list of your blessings when they are not immediately apparent.
How will you choose happiness today?
For more values-based meditations, check out our book, Diffusing Dignity.