Children have very few needs. As long as they are fed and clothed, and know that they are loved by those they consider family, they are content. Nothing else makes a permanent dent in their peace of mind.
What changes as we grow older? For adults, at most times, so many parameters and variables become part of the equation that it gets logically impossible to be happy.
I strongly believe that every human being, adult or child, has to look for happiness within oneself.
Whatever the circumstances of your life, whatever the environment around you, it is still possible to be content. You know why? Because only you can define what “happiness” means for you.
- Coming across a good book at the library unexpectedly.
- Finishing that pesky 14th hole on a particular golf course on par for the first time.
- Finding the right blouse for those purple and green pants for which you’ve been looking for ages.
- Coming across a pencil topper, in your teacher’s treasure chest, that is missing from your collection.
- Acceptance letter to your number-one university waiting for you in your mailbox.
- Learning that you’re going to be a grandparent soon.
- Putting your feet up after a grueling day and switching on the DVR to watch your favorite show.
- The richness of chocolate coating the inside of your mouth.
- Watching the first rose bud of the season unfurl.
The list could go on forever. And there is no wrong item on this list. Why? Because it is your list for your bliss and contentment at any given point in time.
I think happiness is an instinct with which we are all born. For a baby, happiness is a full tummy and a dry diaper. The rest is white noise. As a child grows, that definition changes, but not by much. Love is the one basic essential for them to be happy.
It is not so simple for an adult. Is this because adults tend to tie down happiness with logic and rationality?
It is known that babies are born with an innate ability to swim, but as they grow older that instinct wears off.
Is that what happens with our ability to instinctively define happiness for ourselves? If so, can that be learned again?