The ultimate definition of “Happy”
I had an epiphany I would like to share with you. Maybe it sounds super profane to you and the topic is over-chewed without a question.
There is a saying: “Everything has been said already. But not from everyone.”
So I am kicking off this week by looking into the topic of (drumroll:) h a p p i n e s s.
By definition “the state of being happy”. That does not help us any further, though. Wikipedia is straightforward: “Happiness is a fuzzy concept.” When you google the word happiness, you will find 500 Million results. TED has a playlist on happiness, which is actually a collection of playlists about happiness-related topics. Am I making a point here? People are talking about happiness.
My first thought on happiness is quite paradoxical: it seems to be a lot easier to share unhappiness, a bad mood — and it always feels terrible. Whereas it seems to be a tough cookie to admit happiness, a good mood — and it would always feel great. Which makes me think that we as a human tend to be unhappy by default and would need a reason to turn into happy. What a mess!
Here is my epiphany: the opposite is true: we are a happy species. That is our default setting. And I will come to that in a second. We are just highly talented in adding trouble and problems to our lives.
However, whenever I hear from people sharing their stories when they have been happy, their wellbeing was always in an environment of simple things.
HAPPINESS IS THE ABSENCE OF THINGS THAT MAKE US UNHAPPY.
It’s as simple as that.
How much do you allow experiences, material things, people, decisions (…endless list) into your life that actually make you unhappy? Clean is the absence of dirt. A sunny day is the absence of clouds. Happiness is the absence of things that make you unhappy.
Does this make sense to you?
I am inviting you to this experiment: just for this week: leave away everything that makes you unhappy. Avoid people that drain your energy. Don’t look at your bank account. Don’t pay your bills for a week (you can pay them next week). Eat good stuff. Write a list on the things you have to do, highlight the ones you enjoy. Celebrate completed tasks you did not enjoy (at least you did not procrastinate).
Let’s call it a happy week.