I am very happy to share an interview I was invited to take part in by Wes at The Pursuit of Happiness for the International Day of Happiness. Prior to Wes reaching out, I had never heard of the International Day of Happiness, but what better day to celebrate and focus on our pursuit of happiness? I think it’s one of my new favorite days. For the record, I’m also pretty fond of National Doughnut Day.
Happiness is a worthy life goal, far more so than the pursuit of any sort of status, prestige or material possessions. What fun is life if we aren’t truly happy living it?
Below is an expert from the interview.
Happiness means different things to different people, what does Happiness mean to you?
Happiness is definitely subjective and is open to individual interpretation. Different strokes for different folks. For me, I equate happiness with enjoyment and contentment. Happiness is the ability to thoroughly and completely enjoy family, friends and life in general. Contentment lends itself to happiness by making us feel grateful and appreciative for what we have and what we’ve been given. It’s certainly okay to want more out of life. I’m a driven person with Big Hairy Audacious Goals and I want more out of life for myself and my family, but I am also simultaneously content with where I am. Two things I do not equate with happiness are material possessions and status. Attempting to derive happiness from these things is a fool’s errand, in my opinion, and can lead to a host of problems, financial and otherwise.
Do you believe happiness is an emotion or more of a state of mind?
I wholeheartedly believe happiness is, or at least should become, a state of mind. I will go one step further and say happiness is a choice. If we view happiness as a feeling or emotion, we can set ourselves up for failure in our pursuit. Feelings come and go and emotions can be temporary. I’ve learned to view happiness as a conscious choice. I choose happiness as my default state of mind. If something happens that encroaches on my happiness, I just have to change the programming back to the default setting. As much as I’d like to believe I am in control of my emotions, I know I have more control over the choices I make. Regardless of my feelings or emotions, which naturally ebb and flow, I try to always make a conscious choice to be happy.