Many of us mistake happiness for excitement. We have a vacation nearing on the calendar that’s been planned for weeks, we recently got a promotion, we’ve finally reached our goal weight. Those are all happy moments that deserve to be celebrated, but they are not happiness. The feeling you get from events such as those is excitement. It’s a temporary high. And after every high, comes a low, a down period.
But true happiness is not a high you get or a low you feel. It is a balanced state; it’s not an emotion. It’s an inner feeling; a feeling of peace. It’s seeing the beauty that surrounds you each day and being grateful for it. Being grateful for the small things like the perfectly bloomed flower along your favorite trail, your dog wagging her tail for no other reason than being excited to see you, it’s engaging in conversation with a loved one and feeling complete afterwards. Happiness is feeling purposeful in all you do. It’s doing the things that bring you the most joy.
People who live their lives in a balanced state are often misjudged. They are viewed as boring, quiet, or disengaged. When in fact, they are the opposite. They are so focused on the now moment that they don’t get excited for what’s to come, anxious over what could be, or sad about the past. They don’t react unnecessarily or immaturely. They are happy just being where they are, doing what they are in that exact moment and nothing else matters. They deal with life as it comes to them. Not a moment too soon or a minute too late. They are grateful for each moment and see it for what it is. They are truly happy. Living this way 100% of the time is likely impossible for many of us, but we can all try to do better because true happiness is attainable.
I was recently referred to as a robot. It appeared I was going through the motions and just going with the flow and having no opinion. This hurt – bad! Because it couldn’t be more untrue. Afterall, I’m the girl who always has a lot to say and an opinion about everything. I was on vacation and loving every minute of it. I was going with the flow because I honestly didn’t have any preferences about how our days unfolded. I was happy just being there; being in the presence of someone very special to me. It didn’t matter if we went grocery shopping together or had reservations at a 5-star restaurant, I was truly happy. And I certainly was not bored or disengaged. I remember every detail from the weekend. Each one so special.
I was initially offended by the robot comment, but after writing this post I am now grateful for it because it caused me to self-reflect (and gave me something to write about). I realized that maybe my state of balance; my true happiness does appear to be a little robotic at times. Maybe I do come across as quiet or disengaged, but how I appear and what others think doesn’t matter. I know what I was feeling. I was in a state of true happiness all weekend – there were no highs and no lows, just pure joy. I was at peace embracing these moments of my life and the beauty of them. My purpose was to be there sharing this time and nothing else mattered.
Everyone experiences moments of true happiness. Moments of peace and bliss where they are so focused on the here and now that the world around them and everything in it fades away (even if only for a moment). The key is to expand on those moments, so all the moments strung together begin to make up the days of our lives. It takes work to find your balanced state by lessening the highs and lows. It takes learning how to recognize the difference between being excited and feeling true happiness. It takes practice to control the highs before the lows roll in and drag you down. Find your happiness – Your True Happiness. It doesn’t matter what it looks like or what others think because if you’re happy, everything is perfect.