To me, the definition of happiness starts with problems that you can deal with. Happiness is not, and can never be, the absence of problems because that kind of nirvana only exists in the landscape of your mind. Therefore, why should it be your goal? Likewise, perfection is non-existent as well. If you to manage to catch it for a fleeting second, you can’t expect to maintain it. So why should that be your end game?
Life is messy. People are imperfect. Timing is never what you want it to be. Situations change. The unexpected is the only thing we really should expect. So our definition of happiness needs to be both realistic and attainable.
Since a problem and error-free existence is no real existence at all, shouldn’t problems and mistakes be incorporated into our definition of happiness?
Right now, my life is good. I have my health and am surrounded by great friends and family. I like my job and am compensated decently for it. My bills are paid.
Basically, I have problems I can handle. My health is good but not perfect. I have a few minor ailments – but they are minor. I need to lose weight and I’m working on that. Saving money has always been a struggle. I have to deal with my share of office politics, which I don’t care for. I’m very single and would like that to change. However, I’d rather have no man (and a few lonely Friday nights) than the wrong man (who unpacks suitcases filled with drama, misery and heartache).
These are not overwhelming or catastrophic problems. So I choose to focus on the abundance of things going right in my life … including the minor problems I have. The key to happiness is keeping those minor problems in perspective and not blowing them up in my head and making them bigger than they are. In fact, I’m actually thankful for them … it could always be worse.
In fact, one day it very well may be worse. A major health crisis or job loss or death of a close love one could throw my happiness into jeopardy. It’s part of the ebb and flow of life. I know that. Yet, for now, I’ll just enjoy the flow.