How Do You Know You’re Happy?

A couple weeks ago I received a message from a friend, late at night:

I may have asked you this before actually. But how do you know you are happy?

The question had me stumped for a second and I debated within myself whether I was even qualified to answer it. I rationalized the purpose, the reason for a question of such magnitude. A question that has the analytical ability to tie into more questions…purpose, meaning, and existence. Life. A question that many of us seek the answer to, and like any great question, its one that holds no answer…

I decided to take a swing at a response. I decided to try and answer the question for myself:

Well…lemme preface before I send you my thoughts that they are just that, my thoughts…

I think happiness is something that is difficult to translate from one person to another.

We’re limited by our perception and the fact that each of us is an individual. Like, each of us requires different things to experience any sense of serenity or joy in our life.

Happiness is something that’s difficult to notice while it’s happening, because when we have lengths of time where everything is “right” we almost become numb to it. It’s almost like we require “more” of something, or we get comfortable and the spark of wonder that we held for granted dissipates when we become complacent.

For me, it’s easier to tell when I’m not happy. And when I notice that, I have to do something different. Make a change, challenge myself, or try something new.

When I notice that I am not happy, I acquire the willingness to give something different a shot.

For example, the last time I experienced crushing waves of self-doubt and confusion at “who I am” and what I’ve wanted out of life, I had to observe my choice of mental dialogue. I had to change the story I had created for myself in my head…

I had to realize that the reasons “why” I do things are irrelevant. It’s just important that I do things because I want to.

I had to shift my perspective and challenge myself to try something new.

By the way, I know it’s a lot but your question is one that holds no real answer(at least not one I’d have)…happiness is subjective. I believe if life is done right, moments are lived and things are attempted in pursuit of it.

Walls are dropped, vulnerabilities are opened, and the person you are is challenged in pursuit of the person you want to be…


In conclusion…

For me…

Happiness is waking up in the morning excited because I’ve got another day above ground to try something new.


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