Trying to make sense of life and to learn living it happily.

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

What Happiness Is Made Of

It is not happiness that makes us happy.

To make better sense of it, let's look at trees. They don't grow out of trees. They need roots, which don't look anything like the trees we see above the ground. The roots are hidden inside the soil and nourish every little leaf and flower above. Without the roots, trees do not exist.

Similarly, the feelings of elation, joy, delight and bliss that we call "happiness" do not produce themselves in the first place. These feelings are manifestations of something deeper, something more fundamental and important. Something that makes these happiness feelings possible.

The way to be happy is to find out what it is and to cultivate it.

Let's continue with the tree analogy. As long as we have the necessary roots, happiness will manifest differently for different people. There are hundreds of kinds of trees and as many ways happiness looks and feels to us. The stronger the roots, the more beautiful, healthy, strong, and grand the trees are.  And the bigger the greenery, the more vital oxygen the tree generates for those around it. Similarly, happy individuals spread positive energy for everyone around (but that depends of what kind of "tree" they are).

For the technology-inclined among us, let's consider what all the computer software is made of. Computer games do not beget games, neither do various computer programs, nor social networks, nor blogs like this one. All the abundance of it is made possible by ones and zeroes that we do not see, we do not feel, and most of us do not enjoy spending hours with. 

So what makes happiness possible? What are the very roots without which it does not flourish? They are Contentment and Moderation. These are the ones and zeroes, what's below the surface, what keeps us grounded and happy.

Contentment to enjoy what we have or don't have. Moderation to limit excessive or unachievable desires as well as to limit excessive contentment. 

When we are thinking of happiness, we may not come up with contentment and moderation. But when we have them at the core of our being, happiness will sprout and grow into something vital, beautiful and strong.

1 comment:

  1. Olga, I just love this idea. Thank you for putting it out into the world!

    - Lynda (from Active Happiness)