Happiness: What is it?


Hi all,

I hope everyone is doing great!

I want to talk about happiness today because this summer has marked the break-down point of a change that has been going on for a while in my understanding of the concept. I think I have been trying to redefine what happiness is for me for quite a while because I was not happy with my earlier definition and this summer gave me the clearest ideas of what it means for me. I thought we might as well discuss the concept here because it means something different, yet similar, to everyone.

Happiness is a word we like to say; a concept we like to think about and a feeling we want to feel. It is our life goal. We (mostly) do what we do because we chase happiness. It is what we are after. We want to reach it and when we do, we want to keep it. But do we really know what it is?

I did not. I just knew I got happy when I accomplished things. I got happy when I got into the schools I wanted. When I got good grades. When I went on a vacation to a city I wanted to go to. But none of these happened, I felt the turmoil inside. Happiness was externally conditioned for me at the time.

Now is not the same. Although I still have traces of my earlier mentality, now I feel happier when I am in silence. When I have my family or friends around. When I just chill. I do not need to accomplish anything. I don’t need to do something. Just being makes me happy.

How did my understanding change? (In passing: The situation now is fluctuating, as expected from any change in life –change is not overnight-, but at least that is my dominant mindset).

Well, I battled. For a long time in my life, everything seemed to go as I wanted them to go. So, there was nothing to challenge me. But at some point, it started not going as I expected. This is life. I will not go as we want when we want all the time. That change in the flow of my life took the tools I had to make me happy. Accomplishments used to give me happiness and now they did not exist as much. So, I did not have a reason to be happy (in my mind). I started getting less and less happy and more and more resentful. Granted, I did try to change my mindset at the time. But it did not work because I had already formed the strong mindset of associating happiness with achievements. It was not easy to change it and everything associated with it. But I tried.

Then, I hit a point where I took the radical decision that I was going to leave everything behind because I was just not happy. The lifestyle I was having did not make me happy. So, why not leave that style, right?

Surprisingly, then I started feeling happy again. It did help to just let go of things I was obsessed with and thought that I could not leave without. This letting go was not a momentary thing. It was the result of years of trying to change my mindset.

I had the clearest mind about happiness this summer. Now, the life I dream is not the one where I am applauded. I dream of a life where I have a few people around me and I just chill (or work in a relatively less demanding environment). Happiness is no longer accomplishment for me. Happiness is peace. Happiness is calmness. Happiness is slow.

This does not mean that I will ditch everything I have now. It just means I will value silence and peace over chaos.

How do you define happiness? What makes you the happiest? Let’s discuss happiness.



52 thoughts on “Happiness: What is it?

      1. That is also true! I think for me, it is (or was) a bit difficult to know what the right path was because everything seemed to work nice. And they did but not anymore, I guess.

  1. Think i used to confuse happiness with excitement too, but then i realized u cant have excitement all the time. So just like u i needed to redefine my version of happiness, especially after four kids. Like you said now i believe happiness is the calmness in life. When you are content, when everything is quiet amd going smoothly, thats when i am most happy. Thank you 4 reminding me of this! Needed to read it to get me through the last week of kids summer vacation!

  2. I think happiness is a choice and is depending strongly on our mindset…I guess is not really happiness when we achieve something is more like an accomplishment…we definitely feel good though…
    But as you said, happiness is peace! Is that feeling of calm and chill, priceless 😉
    Enjoy it 😉

    1. Well-said! I think we tend to confuse happiness with other concepts like being proud of oneself (in the way canonically understood; when we are externally successful).

  3. I think that happiness is a state of presence – not a state of mind. Desire can be a contract with ourselves to only feel happiness when that desire is fulfilled.

  4. I feel happiest when I believe I am showing my truest self. When I’m not worried about how I look, or that people are misconstruing my words, or even what time it is. To me, happiness is letting go and being fully present: Accepting the moment, and myself, for who I am. 🕊

  5. “Happiness is peace. Happiness is calmness. Happiness is slow”—> yes, I agree with it! Because I can feel the freedom to be my 100% true self when I’m alone. But, of course I also happy when I’m surrounding by the people whom I loved, esp my family and friends.
    Btw, welcome back again! I really miss your post

    1. Thank you! I am also happy to be back so I can interact with you!
      I think happiness is to have just the amount we need in anything. It could be money, food or people. Not more, not less.

  6. Betul,
    I’m glad you’re addressing this, because I think most people are confused by the definition of happy. You hit the nail on the head when you began to achieve an underlying sense of “happiness” without being influenced by the daily fluctuation of events that cause ripplings of satisfaction or dissatisfaction on the surface. I try to remember that my undercurrent is a state of happiness, and the events are momentary wrinkles that fade. I am learning that consciousness=happiness for me. Love=consciousness, or life, which=happiness…we are purely beings of love with other junk trying to influence us daily. Have an awesome weekend my friend! Deb

  7. “Light is real and its absence is darkness. So is sadness and suffering real where its absence is happiness.
    When people chase happiness, they are essentially running away from fear of sadness.”

    Not sure what is blabbered above; just don’t take it to heart. It’s only a matter of perspective – an angle of view that tells us that we are already happy, with what we have ! Isn’t it ?

    Weren’t our forefathers happy with much lesser possessions than today we have or aim to have ?
    Are we not already happy ?

    I see, I just seem to have generated a motivational speech. Sorry, bellowing to mellow was not my intention but I won’t keep us in dark, unlike some other monotonous motivation.

    The real question we need to ask ourselves is –
    Are we not making ends meet ?
    If not, then you’re in serious trouble.
    If yes, ” HURRAY! ”

    Wait, my ranting is not over yet. Okay, be practical – just make sure the ends can be met smoothly in future too.

    “Can I say, HURRAY now ?”

    Wait, before that (one last time) –
    Are you already happy ?
    “Yes. HURRRAAAY !”

    — Beeeep.
    End of Blabbering ! —

    1. Hey I like the rant:) I think happiness is more than just making ends meet but I also think that happiness is about having just enough of everything, not more not less. So, that is sort of like making ends meet. If we cannot do it, then we have less than we should. Thanks for the blabber:)

  8. Welcome back! I do think there is beauty and peace in silence. I also think that happiness is not “something” we can “get.” It’s a feeling that we cultivate. It’s rooted in contentment. We can choose to be happy or not. It’s an ability to pay attention and appreciate the wonder of small moments in life. Too many look for it “out there” when its true location is inside. I find that happiness is most often present when I achieve a kind of calm attentiveness. You’ve given me a lot to think about here. Thank you.

    1. Thank you! I am happy to be back:) I am glad that the post gave food for thought! Attentiveness gives such peace because we give up on resisting. The more attentive we are, the better we realize the patterns of the universe and start going with them.

  9. Really great post on how you think of happiness! I think that this is a central question in anyone’s life. I think that from the field of positive psychology, however, I have gained some insight into this ultimate question. I feel that an increased understanding of this field can help people live more meaningful and fulfilling lives, which is why I write about this in my own blog posts; to help people in their own journey towards happiness and to make connections with them. Feel free to check out the content sometime and leave any contributions that you would like. Great post, keep up the great work, and I hope that you are doing well!

  10. Such a great post! Well, I find happiness and feel it in the smallest things. It makes me happy when I wake up in the early morning to witness the beautiful world of God. I’m thankful to him for his mercy to grant me a day of his beautiful creation of life while someone else in the world might be counting on his/her last breaths. I feel happiness in every sip of my morning coffee and every drop of rain that God showers. Life becomes so exciting when you feel happiness in the simplest of things despite the struggles and hardships that you face.

  11. Thanks, Betul! Yes, I have achieved it and I want everyone around me to feel this happiness. That’s why I keep blogging to spread this message to all the bloggers here.

  12. Nice! I am sharing your post on MeditatingintoHappiness blog on WordPress. Come check it out and share some of our posts, if you like them. Be Happy!

  13. What a nice Text! I really like your point of view, I think too that happiness has to come from within and cant be Base solely on accomplishments. I recently started a Blog called searchingforconfidence.wordpress.com and if you are imterested in reading more posts about issues like self-love and acceptance you are very welcome to read there, would be awesome! Kindest regards

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