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First, we find happiness. Then, we create it. This is the answer to the question in the title. Over the course of the piece, I will explain why.
For most of my life, I didn’t quite know what true happiness was. I wandered from one thing to another searching for happiness, but I did not find it. None of us really quite find happiness. We may stumble upon what happiness feels like, like meeting someone by bumping into, but we don’t quite find it on a regular basis.
The goal in life is to be happy on a sustainable basis, long term happiness. If we want to be happy long term, what should we do? Keep looking for happiness hither dither? That’s not productive or useful.
When do we need to find happiness?
We need to find happiness when we don’t know what makes us happy. If you are not happy currently, and never been, you need to find happiness. You need to know what and who makes you happy.
This is the first stage of happiness. This is the stage where most of the world is at. Most people in the world do not know what makes them happy. They have not been conditioned so as to find what makes them happy. We all behave as per behaviours that we grow through our childhoods and growing up years.
Since most people don’t have a clue about how to live happy lives, they don’t know what to tell their kids about happiness. Nobody knows a thing, and hence the attitude of indifference to happiness gets passed from one generation to another.
How do you find happiness?
You find happiness through a process of trial and error. You experiment with new things till something feels right. You trust your instincts and invest in understanding yourself better.
The problem is most people never spend any time in understanding themselves better. They do what the rest of the society does and since the society isn’t happy, they realize that they have joined the society in a mutual celebration of superficiality.
The truth is that most people are lazy to find their happiness. The average life is a good life. You make money to eat, buy a house, a car, and raise a family. That’s all that people want to do. They neglect how they feel inside and hence don’t make any efforts at finding what could truly make them happy.
If you are lazy in the effort to find your happiness, you may never find it. It takes constant and conscious effort to understand yourself, and know the things you value, and what truly makes you happy.
- Do you value freedom or do you value being led?
- What are the things you naturally like doing?
- What do you like so much that you would do for free?
These are some of the questions which you need to ask yourself, if you were to find your happiness. We are constantly evolving as people. However, there is a core character which gets built by a certain age, which I would conjecture to be about 30 years of age. The number may differ from person to person but most people have seen a lot of life by 30, and have formed a certain set of views about what they find interesting or otherwise about life.
This realization is important. You need to know the things that make you happy. It is most likely to be a set of things or it could be one thing. I don’t know what it is for you. For example, I discovered in my 30’s that I love writing, and the stage almost equally. If you ask me what do I love more, since both are almost opposite in terms of experience, I won’t be able to answer. I like sitting on my computer as I am sitting right now, and writing. And, I also love standing in front of audience and speaking, or telling jokes as a stand-up comedian.
Additionally, I have a penchant for entrepreneurship. I haven’t started anything yet, but it is an ambition that I am keeping in my heart. I am charmed by the idea of entrepreneurship, creating jobs, and doing something that makes the world a better place, at scale.
Now, all these things I found about myself in my 30’s. I am 39 right now and will be 40 in 2021. I am not at the finding stage of happiness. I am at the next stage now, which is creation.
May be, you are at the finding stage of happiness, since you don’t have any answers to things, activities or people that make you happy. You need to explore like I did. You need to trust your instincts and try out things that you think could make you happy.
It is a good idea professionally to figure out things that make you happy, which you could use professionally. Otherwise, it wouldn’t make any sense, for example to realize that eating grapes makes you happy, but there is no way you can use this activity professionally. At least, I don’t know of anyone who eats grapes for a living. If you can make that work, you would be a star, and will make finding happiness easier for the rest of the world.
So, once you have found your happiness, there is the rest of your life where you work on the next stage, which is creating happiness.
How do you create happiness?
Let us say that you are a clerk in a bank. It is a job you don’t like, but you somehow ended up here and it pays your bills. However, through the first step of finding your happiness, you realized that creating art makes you happy.
Now, this is where the second part of your life begins. You have found something that makes you happy. Now, you will need to create happiness. You would need to plan your life in a way that you make time for creating art.
To create happiness, here are a few things you would need to do.
- Buy material to create art
- Create a schedule post your office or in the morning when you create art
- Figure out how to commercialise your art
- Network with successful artists and learning from them
- Do it till you succeed, for the rest of your life
Do you see the picture now?
Once you have found you happiness, you need to practice it because without practice, nothing works. If you find what makes you happy at a later stage in your life, creation is way more difficult because you have a family, and responsibilities, and this and that. More so, people want you to behave your age, whatever that means, and ignore your happiness, like most people in the society do.
We can’t rest on our laurels and expect to be happy. Creating happiness is like brushing your teeth. It is everyday work. If you don’t brush your teeth for a day, don’t you feel uncomfortable?
Similarly, we need to work on creating happiness every day. The form may differ. The nature may differ but you earn happiness when you work for it. For example, when you go for a workout, you feel happy because now your body and mind feels good. When you do work you care about, you feel happy because you have done something meaningful with your day. When you spend time with people with care about you feel happy because loving and being loved is critical for happiness.
So, if you don’t work to create happiness, you won’t feel happy. It is as simple as that. You need to have a clear definition of what makes you happy and then work on that definition EVERY DAY.
Let us come back to the original question- do we find happiness or do we create it?
The answer is that it is a two-step process.
Thank you for reading.
The purpose of this blog to help you find your happiness. Please read the other posts on the blog, and follow so that you get updates when new posts are published. Please share any posts you like with your friends so that they can also find their happiness. If you have any feedback for me, please leave it in the comments and I would be happy to work on it. If you would like to support my writing and this blog, you may please send a donation through PayPal here.
I appreciate the time you spent in reading the blog and wish you happiness.