What is the Key to Happiness?
I’ve thought about happiness a lot. I wrote a book about happiness. But I was beginning to wonder if I really understood happiness at all.
I remember something I’d heard Anthony DeMello say on a video once, that true happiness is uncaused. And it made me wonder if I’d ever been happy, or if what I’d felt for my entire life so far was “caused” happiness. I was happy because of my family, because of my career, because of my family and my friends, and because of my achievements. I experienced gratitude, joy, or excitement – was that happiness?
I wondered if happiness was something we were taught by others who themselves don’t know what happiness is, if we were conditioned by our culture as children to acquire the “toys” in life, the accomplishments, the money and position and awards. Were we handed a mission to go out and collect the things that would make us happy?
And what about gratitude, joy and excitement? Are they feelings of happiness? And if happiness were uncaused, how would one become happy without doing something about it? I know; that’s a lot of questions!
The Key to Happiness
I believe the key to happiness lies in finding meaning in our lives, about being true to ourselves while persistently progressing on a path towards the goal that makes us feel fully alive. Happiness is found in the pursuit of the thing that makes our hearts sing as well as in the discovery of it.
As I embark on my new business I feel as if it’s simply and amazingly “me doing me”. It’s an incredible feeling. My entire life up to now – successes and failures – has prepared me for this work.
As Jim Carey said in a convocation speech, life happens for us, not to us. Perhaps remembering this is a secondary key to happiness.
What do you think is the key to happiness?
Photo by Valerie Elash on Unsplash