What Is Happiness, Anyways?

Konstantin Eriksen, Guest Writer
Waking Times

What is happiness? What is success? The way you define these words can actually determine how successful you are in achieving your dreams.
Often, people create an image of a specific set of external circumstances in their minds and think that by organizing their lives in such a way as to achieve those specific circumstances, by getting that job or that degree or that woman or man, they’ll be happy. How wrong they are!

Sometimes, they create these delusions in their own minds, of their own volition, thinking that if they do everything just right, they can achieve “success.” Other times, perhaps even most of the time, these ridiculous ideas enter peoples’ minds via their surroundings. Parents, society, friends, school, colleagues, television, newspapers, religions, doctors, the list is endless.

One would think that with all these “experts” advising us, we would all be living in perfect bliss by now, but obviously many of us are not.

So what is it that makes one happy? For one thing, I think we have to reframe the question. A better question to ask is “what is happiness for ME?” By posing the question in this way, we can begin to untangle ourselves from the endless drivel of society and its demands on us. Personally, I have found that the farther away I got from the person that I was meant to be, the worse my life got. It doesn’t really matter if it’s a career issue, a relationship issue or anything else. Following others truly is a recipe for misery.

I give an example:  Wearing a suit and tie is not for me. I am not congruent with the “suck up to your superior to get a promotion” corporate lifestyle. As a matter of fact, I see it as a type of prostitution of the soul. Who the hell are these people, anyways, that I have to please them?

  • Many of us are faced with the dilemma:  Make money or have more fun? Chase after false societal “status” or go for true happiness? Empty sex or love? Clinging or self-reliance? What will “they” think?

    Who cares? Screw them.

    To me, and I speak from experience here, the most important thing is finding your own voice, your own niche, your own self. If you don’t do this, in reality, you are nothing more than an actor on a stage, playing a role, pretending…

    Your job becomes a drag, your relationships become clingy, even a round of golf can become hellish, as you try to defeat your “opponents” and improve your handicap at all costs.

    Finding inspiration, a true purpose in life, is much more important than anything else. The rest? That is merely plans laid out for us by others. Do you want other people designing your life? How ridiculous!

    In the end, perhaps the most liberating mindset is the following:

    Express yourself freely and let the chips fall where they may.

    When I started embodying this more and more in my daily life, I noticed that I became happier and happier. The two just seem to go hand in hand.

    You have to find what inspires you. I find inspiration in music, nature, hiking in the mountains, travel… anything but boring routines. Once you begin to walk this path, opportunities begin to open up. Better relationships, better ways to make money, more inner peace, fewer problems. In a word, more happiness!

    About the Author

    Konstantin Eriksen is a philosopher and a 32-year-old former stock-trader, long-time natural health researcher, neigong enthusiast and fledgling internet entrepreneur. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, music, mountaineering, meeting interesting women, studying whatever interests me and Piazzolla. Please visit his excellent blog, Life-Sucks.

    This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

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