February 22 2018

How to Pursue Happiness By Guest Blogger, Madison Brim

Webster’s dictionary defines happiness as “the state of well-being and contentment”. On a very basic level, that still holds true. However in 2018, the definition has to be expanded and changed. Happiness should be synonymous with adaption, positive thinking, and strong relations, rather than our pleasure being defined as the seeking of money or success. Although success and happiness have similar meaning, success cannot guarantee our happiness, even though happiness can feed into our success. Happiness itself  must be achieved through not only our achievement of maslow’s hierarchy of needs that suggests five interdependent levels of basic human that need to be satisfied, but our ability to achieve pleasure must be through how we choose to live our lives. As the world changes, the way we look at ourselves to define our state of happiness does too and this state cannot be achieved through the deterrents like those of seeking on money or success along the way as happiness is the goal of life.

So, happiness is good. But, how do we get it? The world identifies numerous factors that contribute to happiness, yet there is a consistent clause that happy people don’t purely focus on money, and instead live their life through their passion. It is often confused that money leads to happiness, yet these variables are almost mutually exclusive. There are too many people today who think that they need money to be happy. These people are characteristically found to work hard to “make it” and to get the money that they are looking for, and ultimately find they are still unhappy because they are doing what they love and instead work towards happiness, even though success doesn’t fuel our state of content. Fast Company own, Elizabeth Sergan writes From Passion To Profit: How To Make Money Doing What You Love detailing that we can live through our passions in order to be happy, while also being able to earn a successful living, so that our success doesn’t become a factor of our state of content. Sergan annonces that “on Etsy, an artist can make a living selling throw pillows screen-printed with hand-drawn armadillos” emulating a simple arts and craft project turned into a business all because of modern day technology. Our society also enables, ”a social entrepreneur to turn his store into a national e-commerce phenomenon without knowing a lick of code.” turning our hobbies into a living. Yes, money has its perks. It can help cover the basics and give the freedom to do what one wants, but it is important that one doesn’t only focusing on money, as it will not lead you to the happiness you are looking for. If one wants to be happy, they can learn a skill like creating throw pillows with hand-drawn armadillos that one’s love and focus on that first, then wait for the money to come later on. Our interests are what continue our happiness, and even founder and CEO of Focal Point Strategies, Steven Zeitchik states that “to do something you love, you have to first spend time thinking deeply about things that bring you enjoyment” rather than simply picking a field of work because it’ll pay the bills. David Ruch, performer and teaching artist, said he broke off from a white-collar job to pursue a career in music, but his advice is “not to assume doing a job you love is going to be a utopia” as our passions need work to become profitable, so we can love what we do to be happy, but to be

successful and in a state of content one must work hard in their entrepreneurship to be able to live off of their passion, so they can be happy and be able to pay the bills. For those who believe money is everything like Catherine Baab-Muguira from Quartz media, he states that working for a paycheck means that there is “no confusion”, but this simple routine can’t lead to happiness. Baab-Muguira latercargues that “it’s worth considering the motives of those who want to convince you to work for love, not money.”, yet he confirms that he would rather live the simple life of a paycheck than fail through a passion being paid less than one’s worth. Although not all may believe that a passion can contribute to a happy lifestyle, perseverance and passion has been confirmed to allow hundreds of people to live in a state of content and pay their bills by focusing on their passions, not a paycheck.

We all want to feel happy, and each one of us has different ways of getting there. Happiness and fulfillment are within your grasp, but sometimes just out of reach. Understanding what works best for you is the first step in finding more of them, so that we all can achieve happiness, even if its through a variety of methods. All types of people our different, so although being happy to be is to be with others that make me smile, other people could define their pursuit of happiness by finding their purpose. While I know that I am at my happiest when I am around those who are also happy, I respect that some may find their contentment from contributing to the well-being of humanity tend to feel better about their lives. Having friends is great, but having the close group of friends that I have been able to connect with creates a feeling unmatched by giving back or simply being positive. By sticking with my group of close friends, I am able to spread my happiness and let their joy rub off on me. Psychology today pinpoints the trend that Americans “think less of themselves or others if their happiness can come from others”. Rather than happiness being dependent on others, this research study demonstrates that happy should and can be shared with others, so rather than “think less of yourself—or anyone else—if your relationships are central to your happiness”, people should try to invest in people who invest in you and on the whole, bring you happiness. Feeling judged if you don’t assimilate within society has consistently been an issue in the world, yet we all derive our happiness in a variety of ways, so whether my friends bring me the most joy, or giving back to the community brings others the same, there is nothing wrong with the way we achieve our state of content. Temma Ehrenfeld from Open Gently presents a study demonstrating that other research has pinpointed the ways likely to enhance happiness with that of “giving” being one of the “likeliest to enhance your happiness”. Rather than present one reasoning to achieve one’s happiness, Ehrenfeld argues that we cannot simply choose a path to get us to our happiness, so that we must look at the variety of methods to be able to create our own pursuit of pleasure. Regardless if it’s being with people that help spread happiness like myself or when you give, you do it because you want to, not because you must, the opportunities we choose define our lives. Most people want to be part of something greater than they are like volunteering, simply because it’s fulfilling, while others believe that they must focus on their values or their relationships to pursue their happiness. Opportunities display how we live are effective towards seeing how people enable their satisfaction in different ways, but can all still achieve happiness.

If there is one thing in this world that is truly important, above all things, it is happiness. For most people, even if they want money or success, happiness is their true goal. There is no denying that being happy is important, but it doesn’t mean that it is easy to achieve. It is something you need to focus on, work hard towards and stay committed to. While everyone’s journey towards happiness is different, there are ways to achieve lasting happiness, but one must be committed to their journey to achieve such as much.

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