What’s Your Definition of Happiness?

What’s Your Definition of Happiness?

Walking through this life, my definition of happiness has changed drastically.  When I was in my 20’s, I thought the key to happiness was to live what most people would term “The American Dream.”  You know, that crazy notion of a perfect marriage, white picket fence, beautiful (and most perfect) children, dream job and bliss (with a pot of gold to top it off!).  By the time I hit 42, that reality was smashed like a piece of crystal that accidentally slips from your hands. It wasn’t that I didn’t have what looked to many people to be the quintessential life of “having it all,” however, happiness was not in those things.  Wisdom comes from the place of realizing that happiness is not something you construct with an accumulation of things.  Like a bucket list we create at an early age of the “must haves,” we are not mature enough at that age to understand that happiness is the feeling of joy you feel deep down inside, the contentmHappinessent that “I am ok exactly where I am.”  It is not the “frills” that we add to our lives in the form of a beautiful home, fancy car, or, big bling. As the comedian George Carlin used to say, “we are always trying to find a place for our stuff, we wouldn’t even need a house if we didn’t have so much stuff and then we need to get a bigger house because we have even more stuff.”  Though presented in a comedic way, it is such a true and ironic statement.  We end up living in such clutter both internally and externally, that we don’t know how to clean our inner house and stop wading through the “stuff” we have accumulated and just live.  Like a merry-go-round at the town carnival, we keep going around and around seeking on the outside when all along the answers are on the inside.  Why is it that most people have to hit some kind of rock bottom – that “hit in you in the face” life realization that everything we need is at our fingertips!  The lesson here is that “stuff” doesn’t bring happiness, but when contentment is finally found in the simplicity and joy within, we begin to manifest all we need, both in the form of desires and things (or “stuff” as George calls it!).  I had to learn the hard way but you don’t have to.  Check out Graham Hill’s opinion piece called “Living With Less. A Lot Less.” .  Graham writes how he has found that owning less stuff has made him happier.  When clutter starts accumulating inside your house and causing unhappiness, before reaching for the quick fix of searching for something tangible to “buy or accumulate” in search of happiness, stop and ask yourself why?  What stuff are you carrying around?  Where can you start cleaning out the clutter (both inner and outer) that is collecting in your life and preventing you from truly living your life.  A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff. – George Carlin




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