Happiness is one of those elusive goals most people aren’t able to define, let alone achieve. But in order to find something, you have to first know what you’re looking for, so let’s examine together this weighty topic.
Let’s turn, first, to the definition of happiness, which offers more towards how inexplicably unhelpful dictionaries can be than actually helping us on our quest.
Ready for this one? Here goes:
Happiness: the state of being happy.
Sort of like defining a twinkie as, you know, that twinkie-ish pastry. Really helps clear up the meaning of the word, doesn’t it?
A slightly better, yet still murky, definition of happiness can be found through Wikipedia: Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.
Starts off strong, then sort of leads you down the path of maybes and other undefinable characteristics, like joy, contentment, and <gasp> positivity. At least we get the understanding that it’s a mental or emotional state, though frankly I’m surprised they stopped with just two choices.
Makes you wonder if anyone really know what Happiness is?
Let’s dig a little further (or drop down a few searches in our Google browser) until we stumble on the site happify.com, which claims to give a more scientific approach to what happiness entails. About time, right? Because science, you know, has all the answers.
Here’s a quick summary from their home page:
The research suggests that happiness is a combination of how satisfied you are with your life (for example, finding meaning in your work) and how good you feel on a day-to-day basis … but our general happiness is more genetically determined than anything else.
Yowsers. So what we’re searching for is the same think Mick Jagger’s been unable to get for 50 years. And yet, according to science, our genetics — something completely out of our control — are more in control of our state of mind than any other outer circumstance or influence.
For a word every three-year old knows, we sure have a tough time defining it.
My newest release, titled Happiness Is A Commodity, explores this theme through a world where happiness can no longer be achieved through natural means.
This is a world where people enslave themselves in order to purchase the briefest glimpse of happiness, for a brief 20-minute spell. A world where only the elite experience happiness all of the time.
A world that’s ultimately not that different from our own.
Anyone who’s felt the icy fingers of depression lance through their brains knows what this world is like, but what if happiness was truly unattainable on a macro level? What would that world look like?
While the official release date isn’t until Dec 1st, you can find out by picking up an early copy today. It may not be the answer to your lifelong search, but it’ll at least provide some entertainment for your journey.