Most of us want to be happy. We want to be content, live in ease, enjoy the company of our friends and family, and not be bogged down with the stresses and strains of daily living. This is why if you were to ask the average person why they want to get a good job, they would probably reply, ‘to earn enough to live comfortably’. If you questioned them further and asked why they want to live comfortably, they would say – just like the rest of us – ‘because I want to be happy’. Happiness is an end, not a means. It is the final destination, not the journey. We all want to be happy, and we seek ways to ensure that we achieve a happy state.
What makes people happy varies from one person to the next: some work away for years to add degrees and career credentials to their names; some work night and day to achieve that perfect figure; some want the comforting love of a spouse or bustle of a family; some go wild with friends every weekend after a tough week at work; some devour lifestyle magazines to get a home looking up to standard; the list is endless. Whether it’s through money, status, other people or just a good time – everybody is involved in trying to ‘get happy’, live happy, and eventually just BE happy. Which begs the question, what is true happiness? If it exists, where does it lie and how do we get there?
To answer these questions consider the following. Imagine that while reading this you have been sedated against your will. Suddenly you wake up and find yourself on a plane. You are in first class. You have your own cabin. The food is heavenly. The seat is a flatbed, designed for a luxurious comfortable experience. The entertainment is limitless. The service is out of this world. You start to enjoy all of the facilities. Think for a moment, and ask yourself this question: am I happy?
How can you be… you need some questions answered first. How did you even get on the plane? Where is it headed to? If these questions remain unanswered, how can you ever be happy? Even if you started to enjoy all of the luxuries at your disposal, you would never achieve true happiness. Would that frothy Belgian chocolate mousse on your dessert tray be enough to drown out the questions? It would be a delusion, a fake type of happiness, only achievable by deliberately ignoring and suspending these critical questions.
Apply this to your life. Now ask yourself, am I happy?
Our coming into existence is no different to being sedated and thrown on a plane. We never chose our birth. Yet some of us do not ask the questions or search for the answers that will help us achieve our ultimate goal: happiness.