3 Aspects of Happiness

Sometimes, we wonder why people act a certain way that we do not understand. In these situations, we wonder whether these people are happy. Because if they are happy, we just give them the support that they need, even though we do not entirely understand what is it. Happiness becomes a reason of our tolerance of the actions of others, and perhaps accept those actions whether it is right or not. Then, what is indeed happiness? In this article, I will present three aspects of happiness.

When we say aspects, these are synonymous to areas, divisions or parts. This means that happiness is a sum total of these aspects in the simplest way to explain it. Although the lack or deficiency in one aspect may not mean the person is unhappy, optimal fulfillment of these aspects is important. It is also worthy to note that happiness is a subjective, volatile concept. It can be felt, somehow describe in a continuum from low to high, but can never be quantified.

EXISTENCE

A person becomes happy because he or she simply exists. Waking up every morning provides reasons to be happy. Having a stable job, cohesive family and less stressful life becomes standards of the happy existence of one. This means that when a person is able to appreciate what he or she has, whether it is perceived sufficient or not, a person can be happy. In addition, being recognized as a person of worth by others is integral to every human being's existence.

Most of the explanations of happiness lies on this aspect. People judge people by their existence. How many of us dreamed of traveling to places and earning better? Perhaps when we were still very young, it has also been inculcated in us the need to be recognized by others and to appreciate our immediate surroundings. However, this is not just happiness. Because we may exist and be happy, but not realizing our potentials for the benefit of others. This could be the reason why others say that they may have everything in life, but it seems there is still lacking. The reason for this is that there exists other aspects of happiness one should look into.

POTENTIALS

Every human being has innate potentials. Most of these potentials are harnessed and improved in time. However, it is also possible that human beings allow these potentials to deteriorate. For example, when we were in our primary school, most of us were taught how to dance, sing and act. No one bothered to criticize our performance because we were then very young. However, when we started getting comments from others, many of us just hesitated to show our potentials to others, making them hidden and untapped.

Personally, I consider these potentials as gifts. These gifts makes us unique and perhaps attractive to others. These nurtures our internal self. Once we see ourselves using our potentials, in any way this makes us happy. It gives a different kind of satisfaction that is separate from the elation we feel by simply living day by day. The good feeling lingers longer and is more consistent, as we know that our potentials can put us in special spot in the history of mankind. Take as an example, Einstein lived simply. He could be happy by his daily routine but he did everything to make use of his intelligence. We do not know if Einstein was doing it for the benefit of mankind, but we are certain that Einstein merely exploited his potential that he was able to improve it and became famous and unique because of it.

COMMON GOOD

The greatest aspect and form of happiness is doing things for the benefit of people. We may live happily but does not care of what we can do for others. We maybe using our intelligence and talents, but we do not know how to use them to affect people to act productively. The common good means being selfless and social. By being selfless, one gives himself or herself in the service of others. Doing it, not expecting for a return and consistently doing it, even when others do not notice or recognize it. On the other hand, being social means not merely relating to others, instead, it associates with the responsibility of becoming a steward of others. Making an effort to give others attention and comfort, even at times at our expense.

In these modern days when technology dictates the daily activities of humans, thinking and doing for the common good is overshadowed by the things that makes us busy. Some people die without even making an effort to cause goodness to others. This does not mean those people died unhappy. They simply did not choose to extend outside themselves and fulfill their respective purpose in life, that is to affect others and be of help to others.

Using this philosophy of happiness, people may assess themselves whether what makes them happy truly makes them one, or whether their concept of happiness must go beyond themselves. Although it is a challenge to keep these three areas of happiness fulfilled, given the adversities one has to face in this world. A parent of five children may waive his or her right to make use of his or potentials and live the way he or she dreamt, just for the sake of the good of his or her children. A rich man may find happiness by lying all day at home watching TV and playing games, but not making any effort to help others and nurturing other skills that he has. Indeed, there is no perfect happiness, but there is a better means to be happy through the three aspects of happiness.

In our search of true happiness, we learn a lot of things. We may fail to reach enlightment of our respective purposes in life. We may waste time doing things that will not provide long-time gratification. We may even just become lazy at times, waiting for events to unfold by itself. However, what matters is one to take one day at a time and doing something that will make him or her happy, regardless of reason, whether selfish or selfless. Anyway, happiness is relative from one person to another. What matters most is that one feels it  to motivate him or her to search for more of it.

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