On being happy

I do believe that happiness is within the reach of all of us.  Yet, many individuals experience happiness as elusive.  There are numerous self-help books available describing step by step instructions to achieving happiness.  I am sure that they work in a large group of individuals that follow the steps diligently.

Perhaps, the first step should be to define the state of happiness.  Oxford Dictionary defines the state of being happy.  Happy is defined as: Feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.  Well, we can continue here defining pleasure, then contentment, and on and on.

Happiness is subjective.  In other words, individuals describe happiness as it relates to them.  It is an emotion—an affective state of consciousness.  Therefore, it is controllable, changeable, in a sense programmable.  Happiness is not wealth, love, or even wellbeing.  It is a way of being.

Imagine that happiness is personality wallpaper, designed by each individual.  When one takes responsibility for one’s life, life changes.  Behavior, feelings, and thoughts are skewed to the positive end of the spectrum.  Instead of feeling victimized and blaming others, one has a vested interest in a positive outcome.

The end result is a feeling of self-efficacy.  How to get there if that is not a personality trait: think about how you want life to be, how it is now, and what you can do to move into that happy place.  Some things may never change, but attitude is everything.