This last year has given us a unique opportunity to spend time reflecting, looking inward, and evaluating all areas of our lives. We spent countless days at home without the usual distractions so many of us rely on to escape our feelings, and with that came so much time to sit and ask ourselves the question, “What makes me happy?” But before we can answer that, there is an even more important question to ask: how do you see happiness? Is it a state of mind or an accomplishment?
In truth, it can be both. Here’s why:
Happiness is a state of being.
Have you ever thought that you would be happy when you got into a relationship or when you purchased the latest fashion trend or when you made a certain amount of money, and then when you got those things, you realized that they didn’t make you happy at all?
We often confuse happiness for temporary highs that are triggered by the external world, but true happiness is not a fleeting feeling, it’s a state of being. It is an overall feeling of contentment, satisfaction, and joy. There is a calmness and steadiness to it that allows you to feel happy in simplicity and enables you to sit alone with your thoughts and feel at peace. When you embody this state, you are better able to ride the waves of life because happiness becomes your anchor.
But to get to this place is not always easy, which is why perhaps some people see happiness as an accomplishment.
As young children, we are blessed with this joyful mindfulness and wonder, and it is as though we are simply born happy. But then we get older and life hits us all in different ways. It becomes filled with ups, downs, challenges, and obstacles, and being happy is no longer a given. It is something we have to work at and commit to through inner work and self-development. We have to make a conscious choice to cultivate it and to train our brains to be happier by regularly practicing gratitude, choosing positive thoughts, finding ways to create moments of joy each day, and paying attention to life’s simple pleasures. For happiness to become your state of being, you have to work at making that happen.
Happiness can be seen as an accomplishment in another way too: there is an indescribable feeling we get when we achieve something we have been working toward. There is so much joy to be found in exploring our creativity, pursuing our passions, understanding our purpose, building something new, or feeling rewarded for our efforts. Just think about how you felt when you passed an exam, landed a new job after a lengthy interview process, or started a new business. There is no denying that we feel happy when we feel proud of our accomplishments.
In reality, happiness is both an accomplishment and a state of being, it just depends on what part of the journey you are on.
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