Friday, November 14, 2014 / by Matthew Freda
Happiness might not be about ‘getting more’
“Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they already have.” –Author unknown
Many people equate happiness with having more things or with having more money to buy things with. Of course, we need money to live to a certain extent. We need money to pay our bills, to maintain a place to live, to buy food, etc. But is money the root of happiness, or is it possible that our faith in it tends to be misplaced?
What really makes us happy?
As the holidays approach, it might be time to have a very honest discussion with ourselves about what really makes us happy. What do we really need to be content? Why do we often feel the need to keep buying and acquiring more?
Buying things isn’t wrong—but when we have to spend money to gain temporary happiness, we must admit that there is definitely possibility that we are looking for happiness using the wrong methods.
Instead, let’s take a moment to step back and imagine the perfect life. But instead of picturing what you would have in your perfect life, focus on what you would be doing. What would you do every day if you could do anything you wanted? What kind of career would you have? What kinds of projects would you get involved in? What would you strive to achieve?
Discovering the truth
I can’t really speak for anyone else, but I do know that when I ask myself these questions, I find that life isn’t really about the stuff in my life. My things are separated into two distinct categories. There are things that I need (bowls, plates, forks, shoes, shirts, pants, etc.), and there are things that serve as distractions (my tv, my fiction books, my video game system, my stereo, etc.).
I find that when I am truly pursuing the activities and lifestyle that I love (for me, this is writing), I have less need for distractions. I find that I would rather have less money and be able to do the things that I love to do. It means more to me to work on my book than to have the money needed to buy the latest gadget or trinket.
Everyone is different
Of course, not everybody will share these opinions with me. Some people might disagree, and some people might have a different outlook. But I still think that there’s something to be said for having an honest discussion with ourselves in this regard. Finding happiness can take a lifetime—but it doesn’t have to. If we can be willing to look closely at ourselves and to search within our own minds for the answer, then we might find that happiness is closer to home than we ever thought was possible.