Some thoughts on Happiness:
Happiness doesn’t come from wealth. Otherwise, therapists and anti-depressants would have to be much cheaper.
If happiness came from consumption of goods and services, it would therefore follow that once those goods and services are reduced or cut off, one would no longer be as happy. If you can cut off happiness, it’s more akin to a drug than an emotion.
“Close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives.” While financial security is ideal for easing pain and suffering, significant amounts of money can strain relationships and cast doubt on who your friends really are. If solid relationships are a path to happiness, the drama and expectations caused from wealth differences in the relationships might very well block that path.
In a sense, happiness isn’t something you can obtain, but something you become. True happiness has to come from within to be strong and sustainable. Performing work you find meaningful, engaging in relationships of substance, and living a life of virtue are all ways to approach happiness.
Happiness can’t come from believing you are the smartest, most attractive, or funniest person in your social circles. If it does, you either aren’t around people you can learn from or are living in a world of illusion.
If stressed about all those that are above you, happiness is possible if you enjoy the process of learning and take pride in trying your best.
“It’s possible to be a masterpiece and a work in progress at the same time.” - Unknown
Pain and happiness are not mutually exclusive, but rather two sides of the same coin. The greatest pains can come from the greatest happiness, such as the loss of a loved one. Some of the greatest happiness comes from the greatest pain, such as starting new relationships after others have ended. The most painful moments can sometimes fuel transitions into the best ones. Don’t let pain go to waste.
One of the best ways to increase happiness is to show gratitude. When expressing thanks for what you have instead of longing for what you don’t, you learn to draw happiness from yourself instead of the high of getting something new. If you were to lose that for which you are thankful, the situation doesn’t change – draw gratitude from what’s left.