The Quest for Life's Meaning and Happiness

Friday, August 9, 2013

Define happiness?

Webster define it as "a state of well-being and contentment".

Yesterday, I saw a Facebook post from a cousin, which was about happiness and finding your purpose or finding a meaning to your life.

It was an old post from Emily Esfahani Smith on The Atlantic , an interesting piece of real life story, which was about Victor Frankl, a Jewish psychiatrist who let go of a promising future in America.

He chose to stay with his wife and parents and serve the people in the Nazi concentration camps. Inside the camp, he wrote the book Man's Search for Meaning.

Incidentally, I have started a blog about my journey to finding happiness, love and wisdom and chronicled the steps I take to achieve that certain point of bliss.

As I was reading through the article, I felt ashamed of my worldly aspiration, selfishness and ignorance.

If I were to base that post with my quest for happiness, then I would say that I got it all wrong.
Finding happiness is just the tip of the iceberg. Finding happiness would be superficial , shallow and temporary.

What I should have been seeking for was my life's purpose or meaning which eludes me until today. Maybe, I should start searching for my identity, my own self which I have forgotten for quite some time.

But since I am but human, I admit that I need this shallow or superficial concept of happiness to temporarily fill the emptiness while I am still searching for the real source.

Does it make any sense at all?

Someone told me that life's main goal is to be happy. But to be happy in what sense and to what extent?

Do we really need to measure how much we can be happy? I guess by that, he also meant, getting to the source of happiness.

What Victor Frankl quoted disturbed me: "It is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness."

Because it is true. It's honesty hit me like a 7.5 magnitude earthquake. The more I tried to pursue happiness, the more it eluded me, based on my personal observation. 

Because I have been sweating it out trying to find out what happiness is, in this side of the fence, when I should have been enjoying it already on the other side.

Or maybe because each one of us have our very own idea of what happiness is like. Because we have different levels of contentment and satisfaction. No one can really be wrong with regards to his own perception of happiness. 

The true measurement of our happiness is relative to the degree of our contentment and satisfaction level. To some people, that would be finding and living their life's purpose.  While it could be as simple as eating ice cream to some.

But, there have been several known tips or techniques or formulas that claim to bring us happiness. And because of our individuality, we do not respond the same was others would to a certain technique. Altogether, I'd say that it could only be our own self who can say that we are truly happy.

Mere words can't exactly explain it, no one can accurately define it to its truest meaning, because it is felt by the heart and only the heart can identify the feeling as happiness.

How do you rate your happiness level in your life at this very moment?

Keep the faith,

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