“Sometimes people just want to be happy, even if it’s not real.” Happiness. It’s something that we all want to reach, something that we all strive for. Everyone has seen articles, videos, or podcasts stating ways to reach happiness, whether it be through religion, materialistic goods, or love. It’s an important topic to care about because who wouldn’t want to be happy? But, is happiness really achievable, or is it just an illusion that we think is a reality.
The idea of happiness is an idea that is often misunderstood. Yes, doing little things that you enjoy do make you happy, but that feeling is not sustainable. Everyone has good and bad days. The off days are not something that is preventable. It’s inevitable to not always have everything going the way you want them to go. That is just the nature of life. In the novel Siddhartha, the character Vasudeva says, “Alas, Siddhartha, I see you suffering, but you’re suffering a pain at which one would like to laugh, at which you’ll soon laugh for yourself.” This shows that Siddhartha, who is someone who is seeking peace, also has to deal with the ups and downs of life. Although he tries to remain calm and in tranquility, he also has to experience suffering. No one’s life is designed to be perfect. You can’t be happy all the time, but you can move on with life and accept the pains as well as the blessings in life.
The dictionary definition of happiness is a state of well-being and contentment, in other words, joy. The dictionary definition of happiness is true happiness. Everyone has a different definition of happiness. Happiness is not an easy object or item you can get whenever you want. You could be content with your life, and still not be “happy.” You could have everything you’ve ever wanted, the lifestyle you’ve dreamed of, and still not be truly happy. You may be happy at that moment, but it is impossible to sustain that happiness. The more you have, the more you want. This applies not only to materialistic things, but to goals in the mind as well. The brain tricks us into thinking that once you achieve a certain goal, you’ll be happy. But, once you reach a goal, you’ll strive for more and more. You can’t be happy with what you have and where you are if your brain keeps telling you that you can do better, you can achieve more. Happiness is something that you work towards throughout your whole life. It’s something that you never fully have a grasp on.
To achieve this state of happiness, many throw away their struggles and live just with their happy moments and emotions. In the movie Seven Samurai, it quotes, “Man just wants to forget about the bad stuff, and believe in the made-up good stuff.” This shows how some people just want to live an easy going life without any difficulty. “Happiness” becomes an illusion, a made up world where difficulties don’t exist. Happiness is not living an easy life with no problems. If you live with no difficulties, you aren’t able to grow and develop as a person. Pain and suffering is the best teacher. You are able to learn from experience and mature. If everyone lived in a world with no difficultes, no one would be doing anything. It might be nice to take a break for a while, but after some time you will start to feel bored as change is necessary. You can’t sit in the same environment and do nothing for long periods of time. Variety and overcoming challenges is what keeps everyone on their toes. This illusive long term happiness that people desire will not be beneficial for personal growth.
Although long term happiness might not be something anyone achieves, everyone has their little moments of joy. Don’t take those moments for granted and learn to accept the wins and also the losses in life.