I want you to stop and think for a minute, about the things that make you happy. What is it for you? What gives you that bubbly, my cup runneth over feeling of happiness?
If your answer was of something tangible, I want you to listen closely. Try to follow along the best you can.
If you live in the United States of America, you’ve likely heard of the $1.5 Billion Powerball lottery. And I’m willing to bet the vast majority of you bought at least one ticket hoping to become rich overnight. You probably thought about all the different things you’d by, the trips you’d take, the cars you’d drive, the houses you’d build, and some of you probably thought about donating a dollar or a million to charity.
The thing is, the good and honest truth is that if you weren’t happy when you bought the Powerball ticket, you likely wouldn’t be happy after you won it. Money really doesn’t buy happiness. It buys things, sure. But it doesn’t buy happiness, and the acquisition of lots of things will never make you abundantly happy.
The truth about happiness is that it’s a decision. It’s a daily decision to see the glitter where there is none, the sunshine through the rain, the view despite a wall. It’s the ability to be content with what one has and the company one keeps.
Happiness isn’t having a 4000sf house on the hill in Hollywood or a closet the size of Rhode Island. Happiness isn’t validated in having a vast number of friends or a full social calendar. Happiness isn’t driving your dream SUV or well behaved children – although some well behaved children would certainly make the decision to be happy significantly easier each day.
People often hide in every, single one of those examples to make the world believe they’re happy when really they’re shriveling on the inside and looking for a way out of this life. It’s evident in the constant race for perfection and the hustle that causes people to die of heart attacks and strokes before they even kind of reach their prime. It’s proven every time someone takes their own life and people come forward saying, “I would have never guessed they were depressed, they had everything they could ever want.” only clearly they didn’t because they were wrestling with this beast called depression or the lies of our times that tell us more is more and you’re nothing without the right clothes, a boat in your garage, and invitations to all the right parties.
Happiness is more than the things we own, it is found in the things we experience and the people we choose to surround ourselves with. It can be found in the solitude of our thoughts after we’ve purged countless, sobbing tears and have found ourselves weathered and worn from the inside out. There can be no happiness where there is hate, distrust, or self doubt and we must rip those things from our very souls, often forcefully, in order to receive the happiness that is waiting just beyond the horizon for us.
Happiness can be found in a walk up a mountain or on the beach, a conversation with a friend, a steaming bath, or the fuzzy nuzzle of your favorite fur baby. Happiness isn’t having two paddleboards in your garage, it’s using them, laughing at yourself when you fall in, and having the courage to heave yourself back onto your board when you’re feeling unsteady. It’s not having a bike that makes you happy, but using the bike to feel the wind in your hair with or without a loved one at your side. It’s the release that you allow yourself to have when you’re doing things outside of your comfort zone either alone or with a partner because happiness sometimes looks like solitude and sometimes looks like a crowd of people.
I’ll tell you where happiness can’t be found – it can’t be found if you’re not looking for it, if you’re just waiting for it to find you.
Stop waiting for happiness to find you, stop looking for happiness by throwing yourself into work, by buying or hoping to buy the NEXT THING that you JUST KNOW is going to make you happy, by jumping from relationship to relationship – it’s not there.
It’s somewhere inside you, maybe really deep down in there, maybe just on the surface, but it’s there and you already own it. It already belongs to you, it IS you. Sometimes you just have to look really hard to find it and make a decision every, single day to make finding happiness a priority. Other days all you need is to open your eyes to feel the excitement of happiness under your skin.
Spend some time with yourself every once in a while and you might just find that happiness isn’t as elusive as you may believe.