One of the many questions which keeps me and probably a lot of other people up at night is about the key to happiness, and what might take needed to achieve it.

Generally speaking, usually what people come up with is that they need to have:

  • A good job
  • A loving partner
  • Kids
  • A nice house

And that’s pretty much it.

This list looks a lot like what many peoples would on this planet, especially in the western world.

Although, I don’t think it might be as simple as that for everyone.

And this thinking also troubles other people too, as their happiness list may look a little different.

They might want:

  • A nice car
  • Be able to travel wherever they want

To name a few things – but these are fine too.

But what if this isn’t what life is all about, what if none of the things on your ‘happiness’ list are ever going to fully make you happy?

Well, that’s something I want to explore a little bit more today, but first I want to get into my feelings on the term ‘happy’ or ‘happiness’ so you know what sort of angle I’m at when I’m talking about this topic.

What is happiness to me?

Happiness, to me, is an emotion just like the rest of them; sadness, anger, whatever.

And the issue with these emotions is that they come and go, just like everything does in life.

They might jump out at you when a certain scenario plays itself out, or you just might feel this way for some seemingly unknown reason.

So the issue here is, chasing emotions like this is a never ending game, for obvious reasons.

Firstly, you need to understand how you can even achieve these emotions when you want (you can’t) and how you prevent the other emotions from preventing you from feeling the way you want to feel (you can’t)

In my honest opinion, chasing the happiness emotion is pointless.

You’re never going to win, especially when there are things that can happen which are completely out of your control (death in the family, a world disaster) which can really negatively your pursuit.

Now, chasing happiness is not completely impossible, you can lean things in your favor.

What I mean by this is you can do things, common things, that will definitely help you to feel much better about yourself and your surroundings.

This doesn’t have to be achieving some lifetime goal either.

It can be simple things like;

  • Making sure to shower regular
  • Eating nice food
  • Exercising

These are all basic things absolutely everyone should be doing if they want to make sure that they can put themselves in the right position, everyday, to feel happy.

These things CAN and WILL edge yourself closer to happiness, but they will not, on their own, make you happy.

So, this is how I see happiness, something that can be an endless chase, will be an endless chase and is almost always going to be an endless chase no matter what you do.

Checklisting your way to happiness

Let’s get back to the main topic of this article, the happiness checklist.

These are things, as I’ve already established, that people plot down (in their heads or on a piece of paper) which they think will make them happy in life.

Now, there are people out there that will be able to complete their list, no matter how simple it is, and find true happiness.

But this probably makes up no more than 5% of the population.

The rest of us will be chasing happiness for the rest of our lives.

But this is fine, to me this is what happiness truly is.

It’s about the pursuit of happiness, not actually achieving it.

Just as the saying goes; 

It is not in the pursuit of happiness that we find fulfillment, it is in the happiness of pursuit.

Denis Waitley

And it’s completely true.

It’s not about having a child, it’s about teaching them and watching them grow up to be the person they’re meant to be.

It’s not about marrying the love of your life, it’s about spending those little moments with them that make you smile.

It’s all about the blocks you put together, continuously, everyday, which will lead you down to the path of happiness.

Sure you’re not always going to be happy, because life gets in the way, but more of your time is going to be spent with a smile on your face than a frown if you keep to this thinking.

Don’t feel bad if your list is different

As mentioned in the beginning, people’s lists look a lot alike.

We are all humans after all, so we similarly, on some basic chimp level, want the same things.

Love, shelter, food and skrilla.

But some people’s lists look a bit different.

They might want to learn another language, or run a marathon to feel accomplished – and that’s completely okay.

They even might just want to have a secure job in New York, renting a studio apartment for the rest of their lives.

That’s absolutely okay.

I’m jealous of these people if I’m honest, since these seem really achievable and so simple – which it is.

But if it makes them happy, then so be it, who are we to judge?

Finishing things off

So, there might be things you’ll need to do with your life to increase the likeness of happiness, but don’t be surprised if you’re not smiling like Jim Carrey in the mask constantly once you have achieved those things.

Just remember to take enjoyment from the process; the ups and downs.

Because that is true happiness, getting up every morning to achieve something you really want to achieve, making progress as a human and becoming better.

Which helps everyone around you become better, and even puts a smile on their face.

So they can increase the likeliness of them being happy too.

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