The last couple of weeks I have been super energized and incredibly content. I haven’t been exceptionally healthy, the weather hasn’t been amazing, I had to study a lot and yet I couldn’t have been happier. My birthday is coming up soon – a quarter century will be marked – and it is time to review my path so far, see what milestones I have met & create new ideas and goals for the future. While I pondered about all the places I have seen and all the moments I have shared with my husband, I have thought about happiness, which seems to be the ultimate goal of life. Thus, I thought it might be nice to write a piece on it – as it occupies an important role in everyone’s life.
What is happiness?
For a start, I cannot claim to give you THE ONE answer to this question. Happiness can manifest itself in very different ways and vary for each and every individual. However, we may find that some triggers of happiness do resonate amongst many people. Amongst these triggers we can find e.g. money, food possessions. All of these, which I can bluntly say, remain amongst the temporary triggers of our happiness. Then, there are triggers, which we cannot influence, like the impact of another person on our life. Love, appreciation and acknowledgments in the form of surprises, caring and empathy shown towards us can make us feel important and happy. Besides, there are stimulants, which challenge our senses, like the sight of nature’s beauty, the touch of salty water and sand and the smell of an ocean breeze or the wet grass in the morning. Furthermore, company can bring us happiness; as we feel we belong somewhere, are part of something bigger than ourselves and have the possibility to express and exchange our beliefs, thoughts and wishes, eventually bringing satisfaction. Moreover, achievements and success can be the source of happiness, as hard work and ambition, as well as endurance are finally paying off plus we seem to find meaning in our actions. But happiness does not necessarily need to be related to anything. Sometimes you get up and simply feel happy and content. Why? You don’t know why. Maybe it is the basic trust that everything will be okay. That the day will hold something special in store and that the challenges presented to us will be surmountable.
What endangers my happiness?
Happiness can be disrupted when other people influence the above-mentioned triggers and, either deny access in some way, or give us the entire opposite. Whatever it is – to some degree we can truly say that every man is the artisan of his own fortune. Of course, we cannot claim universal validity as in case of death and vast loss but it holds truth in that we can influence our attitude a lot, thus avoiding certain situations that we KNOW make us unhappy. We can avoid the people that make us feel bad and surround us with like-minded people displaying a positive attitude. We can encounter them in a friendly way, even when they cannot do the same for us and we can try to not take their negativity serious and believe in ourselves rather than start doubting us. In the end most people are only rude and mean towards you because they fight their own demons. May it be jealousy or lack of understanding for what we do – this is not our battle to fight! I had ‘friends’ that criticized my social media presence, my fashion, my ambition, my craziness and my character. At first it hit me hard and I doubted what I was doing, but since what I was doing was a) making me happy and b) didn’t influence their lives in any kind of way I realized that it is simply their problem – not mine. Of course you wish for support from your dearest – but honestly? You don’t need people applauding you all along your way. After all, YOU should be your biggest fan, the biggest enthusiast of your work and the biggest encourager of your path. All the others, like your family, friends & followers are just the cherry on top of the happiness-cake. I know what I do may not please everyone, but what I do know is that it makes me happy PLUS I can inspire and help a lot of people with my work. Therefor I am neither dependent on the permission nor the blessings of doubters.
How can I achieve happiness?
Well, someone said that happiness cannot be travelled to and I wouldn’t entirely agree. In fact, happiness is a long journey of learning to love yourself and then extending that love to others. It is a journey of trial and error, of love and loss, of self-reflection, self-depletion and reinvention of our attitude and mind-set. It is the ability to perceive the things as they TRULY ARE, rather than what we would like them to be – and the cognition that some things are meant for us, while some are simply not. Happiness requires perceptiveness, to see the greatness within diminutiveness. Foster moderation. Happiness also requires humbleness to unpretentiously wish for no more than you truly need. Take things for what they are and spent your time on creating your own happy space. Then again, someone said that luxury is the ability to do what you love, while happiness is the ability to love what you do. Our generation constantly hunts for happiness, perceiving it to be in the very next thing – yet we know that no can ever reach sustainable happiness from super saturation. Then lastly, try not to chase happiness, for it is not a good you are entitled to possess! It is a common good for you to encounter and share – for you to learn from and excel – for you to grow and mature.
This is why the caption of this article contains a question mark. I put it there deliberately, as this question reveals infinite answers and may only be answered by YOU.
…there is nothing more that I can add – these are just my insights and beliefs. I hope you guys find your happiness – whatever floats your boat – go for it! If you feel like it leave me a comment about the things that make you happy. Lastly, here are some pictures throwing it back to a very happy week with Storm. (Noordhoek beach and Simon’s Town)