Are You Happy?

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On a recent occasion, I met with a friend of mine. For me, keeping up with friends is a good way to start the new decade. We shared the ups and downs of life in the past few years, until suddenly he asked, “are you happy?”

This is not the first time my friend asked me about this subject. At the end-of-year dinner with friends, they also asked the same question, although indirectly. I know this question is not subjected to me, but to us and our life choices, especially during challenges. Having been breached several times about the subject, it makes me think about my own life choices, and whether these choices truly makes me happy.

I know happiness is a very subjective nature. I often laughed whenever we shared funny stories, but I rarely smile. I was aware whenever I felt content or pleased, but I also can count how short it lasted. Is this equal to happiness?

Then I started to think about my work life. I love me as a lecturer, but sometimes I can get overwhelmed with admin stuff and workplace drama – I think most of us also felt like this. Did I ever consider changing my career? Or work for another company? Sometimes, yes. But in the end, I think the company I work for is still the best for now. Will I be happier if there is less drama? Absolutely. But there always be office drama wherever you work, so I know I just need to deal with it.

What about work-life balance? I always tell myself that I’m getting there. But to be honest, my life focuses more on work rather on life. I have several hobbies to entertain myself, but the reality is I barely have time to do other activities that generate more happiness. I kept buying books and video games that I barely use. Although I admit, the buying process makes me happy.

Well, it is getting bleak whenever I try to think about my current situation. So, I try to think about moments whenever I felt the happiest. There two things that I can draw, friends and achievements. First, I feel accomplished and happy whenever I gain something that I really want for a long time. Then, to have a circle of friends who are truly supportive and where you can be yourself is such a gem.

Back to the initial question, I can conclude that happiness is a process. We cannot stay in that state while we always evolve as a person. The definition of happiness will also evolve over time, and it is very subjective to each person. For me, I can say that I am content right now. There are some things I still need to pursue. Having goals and a close circle is what makes me happy.

In reflecting on the concept of happiness, it’s crucial to acknowledge the role of self awareness and personal growth. Often, we find ourselves chasing fleeting moments of joy, mistaking them for true happiness. Yet, genuine contentment comes from understanding our inner selves, our values, and what we truly desire from life. It’s about recognising the difference between temporary pleasures and long-lasting fulfilment. This journey towards self-discovery can be both challenging and enlightening, pushing us to reevaluate our life choices and priorities. As we navigate through this process, we might find that happiness is more about being in tune with ourselves than it is about the external achievements or social validations we often seek.

Moreover, the impact of societal expectations cannot be underestimated in our quest for happiness. Society often imposes certain standards of success, beauty, and behaviour, subtly dictating what it means to be happy. However, true happiness often lies in breaking free from these confines. It is about finding joy in the simple pleasures of life, cherishing moments of solitude or companionship, and realising that happiness is not a one-size-fits-all concept. By understanding that our unique journey is valid and that our contentment doesn’t have to conform to societal standards, we can forge a path that’s truly our own.

Finally, the importance of gratitude and mindfulness in cultivating happiness deserves a bold underline. Practicing gratitude can shift our perspective, helping us to see the beauty in the ordinary and lessons in challenges. Incorporating mindfulness into our daily routines can also heighten our awareness of life’s fleeting moments. As I go on this continuous journey of self-discovery, it becomes evident that happiness is not just a destination, but a manner of traveling through life.

Author: Mia

A writer and researcher who also a tech-addict and internet-junkie. Loves quirky stuff.


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