We all want to be happy. When you read that statement you probably partially agreed and partially disagreed because the word “happy” likely does not adequately describe what you really want. Wikipedia describes happiness as “a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy”. Although I love Wikipedia, that definition is inadequate.
The magical thing that we all want is a combination of pleasure, fulfillment and connection. We all want to feel as much pleasure from as many of the things that give us pleasure as possible. We also all want to feel a sense of fulfillment that comes from being totally satisfied with who and what we are. We all want to feel as connected as possible with everyone and everything around us. And we want all of this rolled up into an overall state of being where everything in our world is in perfect harmony. It’s something that’s difficult to put into words but we will all know it when we see it and feel it. There is no word in the English language that adequately describes this state of being. For the purpose of this book we will use the word happiness but we will define it as Ultimate Pleasure, Fulfillment and Connection (“UPFC).
Pleasure refers to temporary feelings that come from activities like sex, great food, music, entertainment, etc. Fulfillment refers to the extent to which we have become the person we want to be. Connection refers to the extent to which we feel as one with everyone and everything around us.
We are using very “loaded” words and phrases that require the definition of happiness to be broken down into much more detail and this will happen throughout this book. However, you should also feel free to adjust or refine the definition of happiness for your own purposes. It is critical that you work on developing your own understanding of what happiness is for you and work on getting it. As I mentioned in the introduction, this is not a book where it is my objective to impose my views on you. The objective of this book is to act as a catalyst that helps you develop your own views about what you should be doing and how you fit into the big picture. When I refer to happiness you should be picturing a perfect state of being “as defined by you”. If you are not “picturing” much at this point in time, don’t worry, you will be “picturing” a lot be the time you are done with this book and you can use my definition in the interim.
By adopting the definition of happiness above (or something close to it) you are acknowledging that you are looking for more than just a good mood or experiencing temporary pleasure. You know that you have to dig deeper to uncover a more meaningful understanding of what you really want in order to be able to decide what specific things you should do tomorrow and everyday thereafter for the rest of your life. You also know that the search for a more meaningful understanding will eventually need to include an understanding of what you think the purpose of life (and therefore your own life) really is.
Next Article in this series “The Purpose Of Life”