What is happiness? And how do you get it? There are many fancy ways to answer this.
Or there's Google.
The Black Dog Institute lists some signs of happiness that Keyes believed in. Fitting in is important for everyone. We all want to be part of a community. But I really agree when they say we also need acceptance, autonomy, personal growth, and purpose. Everyone wants to contribute something. Everyone wants to do something useful or challenging. I definitely find something is 'missing' unless I am challenged creatively. It could be blogging, playing a new song, or doing a speech with a new purpose. Whatever it might be, I always need to be communicating something. There is always a message.
There is actually a debate about whether happiness is needed. If something negative happens, would you still want to be happy? Or would you want a realistic reaction? All signs point towards being useful. Hugh Mackay told SMH that adversity teaches resilience. He says, ''When we feel as though everything is changing too fast we look for stuff we can control." Someone sensible always tells me a way people try to control things. When the big issues can't get resolved, those people try to control the truly tiny problems. It seems all signs now point towards being useful.
Never 'Having it All'
Nobody needs to have it all. 'All' is a lot. Women are apparently meant to have everything. But that's a rule made up presumably by blokes. So what if we don't want families? What if we don't want the glam career? Or maybe we do. But there is less time for others. 'It all' would be way too much to actually enjoy. Daily Life suggests we go with whatever is enough.
The cute journals at Kikki K suggest something simple. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude. It must be right. It was printed on stationary.
Surely happiness is temporary. Happiness can't last forever, but it is a good thing when it exists. Realism is important. I would never want to be Ned Flanders. It can't realistically be kept up. Powderfinger used these lyrics:
My happiness is slowly creeping back
Now you're at home
If it ever starts sinking in
It must be when you pack up and go
Whatever happiness is, everyone deserves it. We all deserve to at least do what could possibly make us happy. It is not a goal for everyone. But it should be.