Understanding Happiness

Wellness, happiness, fitness.  We all want these things in our life.  Some more than others. But that middle one is the hardest to define and also to chase. There is so much written on the subject of happiness by so many people and as I have said many times, wellness seems to combine both the mental and physical positive states of being.  But have we got too caught up with wanting to be “happy”?  I sometimes quite dislike the word. 

I love the description of the measure of unhappiness (discontent) in our life as being directly proportionate to the difference between our expectations of what life can offer us and what we actually do get.  It raises some interesting points.  So here’s our athlete, primed and ready and in peak condition, yet they just can’t achieve that elusive time, height, win.  End result?  Unhappy, fit person.

Maybe the secret is in setting our expectations to a realistic level. Ie we would love to find peace, joy , fantastic relationships and financial wealth.  But do we get all those things all the time?  No.  Does that make us happy? Not if we are “all or nothing” people. Highlights how silly we can be doesn’t it?  And how we are masters of our own mental state most of the time.

And then that also raises the issue of how easy it can be to become self absorbed and reflective to a degree that verges on narcissism.  

I am writing some material on this subject for our Level 3 training and some of the questions I want to get students thinking about include:

  • Are we hard-wired for happiness?
  • If we are always wanting happiness, does that suggest that we are “wanting” or “lacking” something?
  • Should we be focusing more on “we” than “me”? 

And finally, who sets the bar for wellness?  Who defines the concept and the target for the individual? Would love to hear your thoughts on any of these!