One of everyone’s goals in life is to live a happy life. However, were our forefathers even smarter than we thought when they put in the Declaration of Independence that we have the right to the pursuit of happiness? Is that all that there is, an endless pursuit of happiness that can never be reached? For many, this may seem like the case but I do not think so. I think that a lot of people have the equation to happiness wrong.
I saw a TED Talk that inspired this topic. It went on to say that most people try to surround themselves with things that will make them happy: a new car, a big house, a lot of money. The only problem is that these things will not create happiness. Don’t get me wrong, I believe this can enhance happiness but the happiness has to be there before these things can help.
Let’s look at an example. Say you had a lot of extra money so you decide to go on a vacation to Aruba with a couple of your closes friends. Now if you and your friends are already happy, you shouldn’t need to go to Aruba to be happy. You would probably be happy and have fun just hanging out at the mall. However, I am sure you would have more fun and be a little happy in Aruba experiencing new things and making new memories. Now take the same situation but add that friend or person you know that complaints about everything because they are always unhappy. They would always find something wrong with the vacation even if it was a once in a life time experience. That is because happiness is not something that can be pursued or created; it is an attitude you must have. The money and other material object can help improve this attitude but only you can change it.
Since people have a misunderstanding of where happiness comes from, they have the equation wrong. People believe that if they work hard and become successful, they will become happy. Does that sound about right? They know that with success come those material things or personal accolades that will make them happy. There is a problem with this equation though. What usually happens when you have become successful and reached your goal? Think of a runner. If a runner has a goal to run a mile in 5 minutes, when they reach that goal the will change it. They will make the next goal 4.5 minutes. The definition of success is always changing for us. If success is always changing then so is the equation which means that we never reach happiness.
What is the solution to this? Change the equation. Make the equation hard work + happiness = success. This equation can almost never fail. First, happiness is an attitude, a mindset, which means you control your happiness and can be happy at any time. Secondly, if you are happy nothing else really matters. If you are living in a box on the street I do not believe you will care if you are happy because you are happy! I am not suggestion quitting school and going to life in a box. I am saying if you are unhappy stop blaming the world and start looking at yourself. Don’t work to change your surroundings if you are unhappy, work to change you attitude.