What Is Happiness?

When I started this blog earlier in the year, I had grand plans to write ideally a few posts a week, if not daily. But sometimes, inspiration just doesn’t strike.

While I’ve basically stuck to the monthly career related posts on LinkedIn, tried to contact a few publications about contributing in an effort to branch out and have continued to do the work blog post when I have time, I’ve essentially failed to live up to my type A expectations.

But, realistically I just have less time as a mid-ish level professional compared to when I was an entry level worker. It doesn’t help that I feel like I am going through a bout of adulthood puberty, you know that adolescent awkwardness you thought would get over, I’m in a state of limbo wondering what’s next which I suppose happens at the start of any new-ish decade of age. Wish someone had told me earlier. Ha.

At these sort of points in life you’re either brilliant, inarticulate or meh. Leaning towards the latter half of the sentence, I’ve been desperately wondering when I’ll have time to analyze my content plan and write more regularly. Even if it turns out to be stream of conscious crap I would never dream of sending on for anything paid. But then again writing is cathartic, challenging, invigorating and one of the only talents I have managed to make some career progress with, so I guess I better stick with it.

Anyways, back to the topic at hand. Since I’ve been a bit stuck I’ve turned to social media to crowd source ideas and one suggestion was ‘What is happiness?’.

It’s a great question and one I wonder about often. A younger version of me would have been profoundly unhappy for failing to write more posts, but somewhere along the way of adulthood I realized that was more of a conditioned response based on an externally defined identity vs focusing on an internally defined self.

Without being contrite, happiness is something that’s different for everyone, so I can only wax lyrical. Maybe my thoughts will be a nice little cognitive meander though.

If you are looking for more of an analytic answer check out World Happiness Report 2018 or the Gallup 2018 Global Emotions report. Look up Malsow’s Hierarchy of needs. Read up on psychology (you’d be surprised how many psy classes advertising majors can take to engineer your emotions) and the emptiness of consumer culture.

From my personal perspective I would say:

It’s a ratio. Expectations vs. reality, which is why gratitude or even thinking about some fundamental aspects of philosophy can really up one’s happiness game.

It’s being social, but ideally with the right people or it could be accepting you like your solitude.

It’s about understanding who you are and what matters to you, irregardless of who society tells you to be, what you need to buy or how you should live. One of the things everyone has to do as an adult is develop a strong sense of self.

Remembering what matters. It’s easy to get caught up in the noise of life, sometimes you just need to pause.

Figuring out and doing what’s right for you.

Establishing barriers if you are too open or being more open if you’re too reserved.

& Trying new things and balancing your comfort zone with life’s practical realities.

Anyways my two cents!

Thanks Elliott for the inspo.