The Happiness Concept


Happiness is a concept which can be defined in various ways. This post is an investigation based on various views regarding what happiness really is. However, if everybody is happy, there won’t be no conflicts in the world, if so, that would definitely affect the subject literature because the vary subject is based on conflicts. In this post we try to examine some views related on the concept happiness. Almost everybody likes to be happy, dictionary defines it as the state of well-being characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Then the question is how to reach the state ‘from contentment to intense joy’, we hope to ponder upon this using various teachings in the society.

According to Buddhism, it is the supreme wealth a human can attain. However, the path to happiness is according to Buddhism is getting away from materialistic pleasures. But, the commercialized world shows that to have a comfortable happy life, you need to have enough wealth and materials. Contradictory! so, how can one actually reach the goal of happiness in the modern world?

According to spiritualistic views, happiness is a mental state which can be found from inner self. If you are contented with who you are, what you have and where you are standing on, you can find happiness. According to them, it is a mental goal achieved by oneself. However, if one cannot meet meagre basic needs, can one be really happy? without anything on the plate, in an empty stomach no one can reach that level of happiness, right? Therefore, to meet happiness, one needs at least a basic level of materials to live. What about hermits and monks who dwell in jungles alone? they have limited themselves into a smaller circle of resources around them, they try to seek spiritual happiness, a mental state which is elevated and deviated from mortal pleasures.

So, one can be puzzled about how and which way one should live to reach the perfect state of happiness? I also in my solitude, ponder upon this subject. Again, according to Buddhism the path to happiness is middle path – which means living in a moderate way, try not to reach or be at extreme ends. With regard to wealth and money, according to middle path, the best way to stay happy not to have too much wealth and money or not having any wealth and money. Have you ever tried the middle path? have you really met happiness there? It again seems to be a mental state, that means one have to have a boundary mark about the middle path according to the society they live in. However, this might be hard for some according to the social environment they live, for example, in a war-torn area, no method would be possible to stay happy. That means, the favourable socio-economic environment is also a factor to reach happiness. The reason behind some people’s migration to better countries should be a reason for this in that sense.

Some motivational speakers always praise about inner-self-development to reach happiness. That means enhancing one’s inner qualities and not try to be worried about outside forces in the world. That means, value your good qualities - understand who you are and try to develop yourself without trying to change others or be worried about negative socio-cultural nor economic background. If discussed further, you should have your own life philosophy about happiness. That means, what give you happiness, you should follow them, and what give you stress, you should avoid them. (that means in a positive sense, your happiness should not harm others nor yourself) The bottom line is according to them, happiness is a self-motivation, a state one should achieve, not offered. However, following your heart might make you socially an isolated person, if you go against social concepts of happiness, will you sacrifice the society around you? it must be very hard.

I once read a book of a Tibet Zen Buddhist monk, who values of the importance of the idea called ‘this moment.’ According to him, if you live in this moment, you may find happiness. That means, stop worrying about yesterday or tomorrow, live today. According to that philosophy, worrying about yesterday or tomorrow, might destroy the peace of this moment. Worrying about the past is useless as it is already gone and no one can predict what will happen tomorrow as the life is impermanent. Therefore, do what is needful today and try to stay happy at this moment- find happiness today where you are, stop worrying about what you could not do or do not postpone the happiness till tomorrow. How do you get this philosophy? Are you a follower of this theory? As I think, this too should be followed in a moderate way as the past gives us experiences and if tomorrow comes, we should have something for tomorrow too. What do you think?

Some find happiness by giving things. By making and seeing others happy, they find happiness. According to all the religious concepts, sharing happiness is a noble thing, if you can find happiness in others’ smiles, it is a noble thing. To gain this happiness, according to religious point of view, you should help others not expecting anything in return. If you expect, that ruins the happiness. Are you a person who seek happiness in others smiles?

As Shakespeare once said, he stopped making others impressed, then he found happiness. In one of Emma Watson’s speeches, she said wearing cheap clothes is not a problem because you have a family to feed not a community to impress. These will tell us a wonderful lesson about happiness. According to their sayings, living according to your own philosophy, wealth and knowing the limits gives a happy life. Aren’t they great?

As we investigated, happiness is a concept, choice and consequence. By all these, what have you learnt? What is your definition about happiness? As a Buddhist, my scope might have limited to the religious views about other religious view about happiness. If you can share them in the comments, that would be wonderful. Please share the post to others to make the world a happy place.


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