What is Happiness?

J. Harmon Home Team

I struggle with this question often. Is happiness complacency? Is happiness something you achieve? Is happiness a state of mind? Is happiness something you can or can’t buy? Is happiness a choice? 

I don’t know the answer to those questions. It seems like all of those positions have their merits. You meet some people and they have finally found their happy place (achieve). You meet others and they are generally happy but are obviously bored (complacency). You meet others that have everything in the world and seem to be happy. Yet you meet others who have nothing and seem to choose to be happy. 

What I do know is that sometimes we sabotage our happiness with our appetites. We keep pushing and pushing and pushing and adding and adding and adding to try to reach some arbitrary goal. We say, “I will just ____ and I’ll be happy.” What we often find on the other side is more pressure and less happiness. We set our sights on happiness like it is the greener grass on the other side of the fence. But what we often find is that in our fantasy, that green grass is just spray painted. 

I don’t have wise words to help you get to a happy place. I don’t know the secret. I do know that many of us don’t take a minute to see if we are happy in a situation and we blow right through some pretty awesome, happy moments. We miss things that could absolutely contribute to our happiness. I am guilty here. 

So, as we reflected and remembered those who sacrificed on Memorial Day, I hope each of us took inventory of ourselves, and our positions. Maybe you have all the ingredients to happiness right there in front of you. Maybe you don’t. Maybe you don’t know because you’ve never paused long enough to figure it out.

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Published May 30, 2023