Happiness for Pros and Why It Isn’t Real.
Understanding the Path to a Better Life.
As I strived to feel grateful and happy for my life and great opportunities, I realized nothing was good enough, whether it was seeing my favorite artist at the time in a concert or going in vacation to my favorite country, nothing seemed to be fulfilling. I was drowning in anger for not being satisfied even if I achieved or had what I wanted. I spent months looking for answers, had anxiety attacks, became an atheist even if I was raised in a catholic family. Had more mental breakdowns than I can count in one hand, ignored all my family's efforts to take me to a psychologist, cried myself to sleep every night, tried to meditate and even went back to church while journaling.
Nothing seemed to fit me until I decided that I was going to be incredibly pragmatic and look at these feelings as if they were a scientific experiment. For months the only thing I did to get over this, was to read and find answers in those who had overcome what I was dealing with. At the time I felt frustrated because I had more than enough questions and almost always: me, the geniuses who were studying the subject for their whole lives, history and experts in human behaviour couldn’t find the answers.
As a matter of fact I knew that happiness has been for a long time the untouchable dream for the majority of us and that’s why I’m here trying to explain it without believing in it even if I dedicated all my elevens elevens and birthday wishes to it.
Happiness, sense of well-being, joy, or contentment. When people are safe they feel happiness, whether they’re lucky or successful: happiness is the word you’re looking for.
Defined by so many things that it may be tricky to understand and that is where it starts. First, there is Hedonism and it’s perspectives, holding happiness as a matter of raw subjective feeling. Maximising pleasure and minimising pain by repression.
Describing a happy person as one who smiles a lot is ebullient, bright eyed and bushy tailed; of many intense feelings — which I was, when having depression and tried to hide it.
Represented at the contagion in Hollywood entertainment, its grossest manifestation in American consumerism, and one of its most sophisticated incarnations. Danny Kahneman, who wrestle with an important question - “ Whose life is it anyway, the experiencer or the retrospective judge of pleasure?” Which gives introduction to the desire theory.
The desire theory is described as fulfillment of only those desires that one would have if one aimed at an objective list of what is truly worthwhile in life. Pushing us to have a deeper understanding on how the parameters we have socially adopted as ours have shaped the way we feel. The desire criterion for happiness moves from Hedonism’s amount of pleasure felt to the somewhat less subjective state of how well one’s desires are satisfied. This satisfaction takes us straight to the question if there’s a pattern of behavior one can follow, happiness outside of feeling and onto a list of “truly valuable” things in the real world. And almost simultaneously comes the objective list theory holding happiness as the one thing you get by achieving certain long-term pursuits. The list might include career accomplishments, freedom from disease and pain, material comforts, civic spirit, knowledge, and good conscience.
Finally, the one we unknowingly are trying all to achieve; the authentic happiness theory where all the criteria mentioned before is satisfied. Pointing the first two as subjective, but the third at least partly objective. At this last theory emotions at a starting point make a huge statement on how owning impartiality makes us happier, life has potholes where reciprocate relationships seem to be their space-holder, heading us to the conclusion -meaning is the one and the only parameter to achieve happiness and measure success.
We feel a constant need to be happy because we’ve been thought not to feel, and happiness even if we feel it is the best emotion of them all. Pain demands to be felt and when it does, it doesn't come gently that’s why repression becomes our ally and we forget about our purpose and begin to concentrate our efforts in social standards, external influence that we may have and other meaningless but important factors of society towards people and how they have shaped the things we do into measurable actions of importance and how successful or lame they make us. Becoming the effective motivation behind achieving our goals, raising the bar or finding meaning.
Even when having these three mentioned before, I felt hopeless without reason and the thought of happiness not being enough cursed my mind for months, the problem with the approach of the research, of the church and of the people who had achieved it, was that they pointed happiness as the trophy you get at the end of life if you’ve walked a meaningful road, but I wanted happiness, right there, where I was because it was actually the fuel that kept me going and as Yuval Noah Harari said in his book Sapiens ” You could never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in monkey heaven” was exactly what I was feeling. I was being asked for so much, for things that I didn’t evenhave in return of nothing but the certainty that I would be happy someday.
That my mind will not run away from me and that I would be present.
I kept thinking about how even when you’ve walked a meaningful road, you can still end up being miserable. I imagine how I would hate myself if I didn’t enjoy the present. The earth is the most uninhabited place on the universe, since we are always in the past or thinking about the future, wondering of incognitos that don’t even matter.
So instead of chasing happiness, I started pursuing peace.
The one that comes from letting go and moving on, from not craving to get the missing pieces of your puzzle, from understanding theres no route or map that will lead us to fulfillment whatever that means to us. Ending that suffocating habit of always asking what’s next without enjoying what you just got and the most important part of it - to never play pretend. I want to seek emotions that will make me realize how every piece of experiencing shapes personality and credibility. I want breathless moments, and not the no’s in between, I rather have nothing then to own it half-ways.
In other words peace came to me from self love, from knowing when to stop, to not give it all even if you’re ready and excited about it, came from understanding life and it’s ways are not a race and that being sad, happy or whatever didn’t really matter if I had to try so hard to get them.
I wish I had a definition for this sentiment like I do for happiness, but the truth is I don’t.
Because it’s different to everyone of us, it can find you in your chaos, at your lowest or at your best, you’ll never know but that’s the beauty of counting disasters. I would hate to give you some cliche advice of how achieving this ultimate goal that I just completed. So instead I’m going to be honest to god and demand you, to do you. Eventually everything else will just fall into place.