What is Happiness?

It’s a mental state. Being pleased and content. Enjoying
myself. Having fun.

My age, experiences, physical condition, finances,
possessions and other things affect my happiness. Right?
Only if I let them!

We grow up hearing things such as “I’m so happy to be
getting married”, “going on vacation makes me happy”,
“I can’t wait for retirement so I can be happy”, “a new
car would really make me happy”. We know what people
mean when they say it. It’s normal to anticipate
pleasure. We don’t argue with the words.

The truth is the marriage may be great or end in divorce.
Vacations can go smoothly, be a disaster or someplace in
between. Retirement can be exactly what I thought it
would be or nothing like it. New cars may or may not be
good. None of those things force me to be happy or
unhappy. Those two things are decided by me.

What is the lesson I should learn from all this? Seems
simple to me. I can waste my life searching for happiness
or decide to be happy and enjoy it regardless of the ups
and downs.

What’s that I hear? People arguing that we don’t have a
choice? You can’t be happy if you’re broke, sick, disabled,
mentally slow, (you fill in the blank). We wouldn’t choose
those things but history is full of people who overcame
them or adjusted to them. How could they do it?

Attitude. Think about it. Does a person handicapped in
some way enjoy life more when struggling toward
accomplishing self assigned goals or grieving about bad
luck? My experience is trying to do something about
whatever I would like to change takes me closer to
pleased and content than complaining.

How about people who are not handicapped? Ever hear
of rich, beautiful, famous people who are miserable?
Athletes with perfect bodies who can’t seem to find
happiness? Why? Don’t know what it is? Don’t know
where to look? Probably both.

It sure seems logical to me to try self improvement by
changing attitude and habits. Deciding what I want to
change and working toward changing it are healthy
and rewarding. Who knows? It has worked for lots of
people before me. Why not me?

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