Dear Friend, I could have started this post with a headline like “The ultimate definition of happiness” or something similar. The fact is however, there is not one definition of happiness because there are loads of them. Probably as many definitions as there are human beings on this earth. We are all different, we have different life stories, different philosophies, different ways of thinking. So it is only natural that one person doesn’t have the same view on something as the person next to them.
First, lets have a quick look on the etymology of happiness. In English, it is related to the late 14th century word “HAP” meaning “chance, fortune”. The German word “Glück” means happiness and chance/fortune/luck at the same time. And in French, the word “ BONHEUR” comes from “ BON” (good) and heur , which is derivates from the latin word “AUGURIUM” meaning fortune. Is does actually mean luck and fortune in a lot of languages as well. Interesting, isn’t it?
The Oxford dictionary defines happiness as “the state of being happy” and the definition for happiness in return is “feeling or showing pleasure or contentment”. Other definitions include “emotions experienced when in a state of well being”.
To me, happiness has more than one component:
- Happiness comes with being at ease with one self
Oh boy. That’s a big one. For me, being at ease with one’s self is probably one of the hardest things to do. There is always something that I don’t like or that I want to change. I would (and still can) be so obsessed with thinking about this one thing that it drains so much energy from me, makes me so tired and irritable . Sometimes also, outer influences make it so very hard to simply accept us as the beautiful beings that we are. So being at ease with yourself is hard but it can be learned. It is an ongoing process, something that you can work on.
- Happiness comes from acceptance – you cannot change other people
Yup. That’s what I think. You cannot change another person. I used to have usually high expectations of people ( ok I admit, I still sometimes do and maybe that’s a bit naive in a certain way) and would be or get angry when people wouldnt be as I expected them or imagined them. One good (and yeah, naive) example is that I automatically assume that people are friendly, good-willing. And then it sooner or later turns out, for some, that they are not. And then I would be sad, angry, disappointed. I would wreck my mind about what is wrong with me (why could I be so completely off track) or what’s wrong with people. At some point it hit me – people are the way they are. And it is up to them to change. If they want to.
- Happiness comes from concentrating on yourself and not worrying about other people’s opinions
This one is a bit related to the first one. Speaking of outer influences that can impact the perception you have of yourself, in a negative way. I learned one thing now – people will always (like literally, ALWAYS) find something negative to say. No matter what you do, no matter how hard you try. People are jealous, people want to cherry pick. So it is your job to find the people who actually matter. Those whom you trust, who are valuable to you. Their opinions matter.
I hope I gave you a little insight into my definition of happiness. What’s yours? Share in the comments below or send me feedback!
Thank you for reading.