The Paradox of Happiness

Feb 4 00:22 2005 C. Bailey-Lloyd/LadyCamelot Print This Article

What is the definition of 'happiness?' Is it material wealth filled with fancy cars, a dream house, extravagant furs and jewelry? Or is happiness simply having a roof over your head? Food in the fridge? Having a child? A pet? A swimming pool? A designer Gucci bag? Parents? Grandchildren? Love? Money? The perfect job? Winning the Lottery?

According to the American Heritage® Dictionary,Guest Posting 'happiness' is derived from the Middle English word hap - meaning 'Luck.' But does happiness really have anything to do with 'luck?' Based on this description, one could assume that if you avoided a fatal traffic accident but got fired by coming late to work, you would be filled with 'happiness?' Is it luck or what you make of it? Maybe, 'happiness' is exactly defined by its indirect alias: happ iness - perhaps, happiness is in fact defined by the fortune that we permit to happen.

Do you recall a time....ah, let's say when you were about 5 years old - what defined happiness back then? Was it getting a puppy for Christmas? Or maybe, you were a child of divorce; and all you wanted was for Mom and Dad to get back together again? Then as you got older, you were hoping that someone would ask you to the prom...that would've made your day, maybe your life...for the moment. During college, good grades made you happy, but it was short-lived. Because in the real world, you had to look for a job, and competition was stark. It's an employer's thought. But then, you got the perfect job - now you could be happy - or could you?

Life requires more than just what we want. Inevitably, one must understand to truly find 'happiness,' he must make his own happiness 'happen.' Sounds a bit redundant, but truthfully, there is no set guidelines that will bring one happiness. There is no 'magic wand' we can wave to bring joy into our lives. Human nature thrives on the thrill of the chase. We dream and we hope for the next big break - it is the grand adventure of living.

We are hopeless creatures of comfort. We like having and accumulating things. Whether one admits to it or not, to a certain degree, we all try to keep up with 'the Jones.' We work so we can pay our rents, mortgages, credit card debts, school loans, car payments...the list goes on and on. And at some point, we realize, that aside from having most of what we want, we still aren't happy. Now since we've learned to adapt to new standards which we've created for ourselves, we find that we have less time, less patience, less sleep, which equates to more stress, more worry and more aggrivation. So, is happiness honestly just comprised of 'things?'

Sometimes, we virtually trade our lives for not only basic necessities, but for excessive items and services as well. We become so obcessed with finding happiness, that we lose sight of the fact that happiness is within - always. Certainly you've heard of individuals trying to 'find themselves,' or 'rediscover themselves...' The reason they are attempting these innovative approaches is because they are seeking inner happiness. But the point has been missed: Happiness is already there.

Disappointments and tragedies in life will come and go, but happiness never leaves you. The human's capacity to be resilient to trials is unfathomable. We can lose our jobs, but be grateful for our spouses. We can lose our homes to nature, but be thankful to be alive.

Spiritually speaking, there's a saying that 'God only gives what one can take.' Whether it be God, Allah, Budah, or Jesus Christ - the basic precept remains the same: Survival. We survive, we overcome, we live. And happiness is a big part of how we live. You'll hear gamblers spending their last change, all the while praying to God, '....please, God - just this one last time....if I win, I'll never ask you for another thing.' And sometimes, we, ourselves have been in situations where we've asked for things, like, '....God, if you let me have this job, I won't bother you again..." and we know that this is further from the truth. We ritualistically begin bartering with the Higher Power, or we utter constant complaints of unhappiness and despair, because we can't have our ways.

Again you see that happiness is a perception of each individual. We are instinctively compelled to find fault in our lives. By human nature, we begin our 'fault-finding' mission the moment we're capable of free-thinking. It is then, that we lose sense of self-worth and the bigger picture of vitality altogether. Stuck in the patterns of the happiness paradox, we simply cannot find where our happiness has gone.

It's not a matter of bargaining, it's not an issue of money or fame - instead, happiness is what you resolve to accept. If we live through optimistic hope; if we dare to dream; if we empower ourselves to fully live; then we have regained our sense of happiness. There is no in between. There is no other replacement. We only have one physical life to live - we have no choice but to make the most of it. We might as well live happy.

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C. Bailey-Lloyd/LadyCamelot
C. Bailey-Lloyd/LadyCamelot

C. Bailey-Lloyd
aka. Lady Camelot
Public Relations Director &
Staff Writer

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