Happiness is a mental state (state of mind) of being happy – feelings of pleasure and contentment.
We have become slave to our society, even when we are believing that we are an independent person. It is true that we cannot live outside of society, however we should not be slave to our society – especially if it is related to our happiness.
A lot of people put happiness as their ultimate goal in life but do they understand the definition happiness? They simply put happiness as the state of being happy, and being happy means you get or achieve what you want. This statement cannot be hold true for all condition though. A lot of people (including me), despite having a lot of things than other people, despite achieving a lot of things we want (yet we will continue to desire some new things as long as we live, right?), we are still unable to bring ourselves to be happy. The big question is “Why?”.
We tend to think that we can only achieving our happiness outside of ourselves, by trying to set our goal and achieving it, by trying to beat other people in the game of life, by proving our worth to the society, or even a more divine goal like: making people we loved to be happy, sharing and giving to the society, servitude in religion society, etc. We may be (temporarily) happy, but do we able to achieve the true happiness by doing all of those things?
The definition of happiness told us the true meaning of its, that it (happiness) is a state of mind. Who is in charge of our state of mind? Ourselves or our environment (the society)? It might be both, depends on how’s your way of thinking. But, in some degree (and actually when you realize it, the degree is quite high) we are being blessed with the capability of controlling our mind – to make a choice and choose to act upon it, To think on something and believe on it. That’s what we called the consciousness state of mind. We are the one being in control of our mind – it is our blessing that’s called the free will.
So we are the only one whom responsible for our happiness. Happiness is found within ourselves. However, as stated before, this can only be hold true partially. Why? Because we are being affected by our environment, in some degree. We cannot live by ourselves, we cannot forces our way of thinking to others people, some parts of our happiness related to our interaction with them. Borrowing the phrase from economics, it is called “externalities”, and as how economist handle externalities, we also should do the same – we should internalize the externalities. And this is the hardest parts, why ? Because sometimes, most of the times, we don’t know which externalities affecting us and how much it is affecting us.
First: we know what we are responsible for our happiness. We know that it is in our mind, in the creation of our imagination, that we understand what is our happiness. It is not outside of our mind, it is inside our mind. It is the state of our mind.
Second: we know that sometimes, to be able to be happy, we need helps from other people because we are incomplete without others people. And if we are not complete, we cannot be happy (we cannot be content with ourselves, and contentment is one of the happiness’ factors). We know there are some externalities to our state of happiness.
Third: To internalize the externalities, means to have control of the things that we thinks not in our control before. That’s it, asking to ourselves: what can I do to achieve the happiness that I want? How to mitigate the impact of externalities that holding me from reaching my happiness? What can I do? What should I do? This is what differs happy people from unhappy people. The capability to proactively to challenge ourselves, to internalize that externalities, and taking action to get our happiness.
Last but not least, mostly we will be happy when we are capable of transcending ourselves – that’s evolving ourselves into a better and more complete being. But, we cannot complete ourselves by ourselves, we need interaction with other people to be complete. We need helps from other people to complete ourselves as they are need us too. To be capable of completing other people, we should become happy and content of ourselves first.
As we born, we are a dependent creature. We cannot do anything by our own, as a child we grow up depending on our parents, we learn, and grow up. And in one point of time, we are becoming an independent being – we are capable of living on our own. We are capable of being content of ourselves – but we seems unable to be content with ourselves even if we are capable. Some parts are still missing, and therefore next stage are needed. The next stage called interdependence.
As an independent being, we know our value, we know our strength and weakness, and we know what we can bring for other people. utilizing all of that strength, we interact with other people as an independent being – we know we are capable of contenting our life by ourselves but we want to be more complete by completing each other, so we choose an interdependence life. We commit ourselves into a relationship (within work environment, society, or even a love relationship -dating or families – with our love partner).
We cannot have a healthy interdependent relationship if we are still unable to be independent in our life. We can’t expect other people to make us happy because happiness is our responsibility. However, we can making sure our happiness double, triple, or even quadruple by joining in a healthy interdependence relationship with other independent being.
Be happy first before trying to make another person happy!