It is an undeniable truth that all humans want to pursue and live a life filled with happiness. But what defines happiness? And how does one fulfill his/her standard of happiness.
According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, happiness is defined as “a state of well-being and contentment”. However, happiness is subjective. Every human being has a different perspective to where the bar of happiness is set at a certain degree. For example, a person may feel like they are content after graduating high school, but others view it as just a stepping stone and happiness isn’t until they have reached their dream job. The path of defining happiness in your life is different from other people and it is up to YOU to find what makes you happy. What makes you happy may not be the same for others.
So where does happiness come from? Researchers have explored three basic sources of happiness: genetics, including temperament and personality; life circumstances, such as wealth and health; and our own choices. Psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky, in her book The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want, analyzed studies and reports that 50% of our happiness is set by our genes, 10% by life circumstances beyond our control, and 40% by our own actions. Notice the 40%. Our own actions and decisions are what determine how happy we are.
In The Box Man by Barbara Lazear Ascher, she compares two different lives: one with happiness, and one without. Ironically, the person with who is satisfied with his life is the box man, who collects boxes for a living. On the contrary, there is an old woman with a casual lifestyle. She has a house, with a T.V., but she is filled with unhappiness. The difference between the two is that the box man CHOSE to live his life like that. That is his level of happiness. That is what motivates him to live his life. However, the old lady is lost in the world. Sure she has more than the box man, but she is alone. She did not choose her fate. Instead, she is trapped in a world all by herself.
We have to live the way we want to live, as long as we live it with happiness.
In the end, IT’S UP TO YOU!!