What Nobody Tells You — It’s Not Happiness That You NeedOur quest for happiness has enslaved us
If a post-human species looks back at humanity they could well define us as creatures in constant search for happiness.
Definitions of happiness are borrowed from society and passed down through generations, and the message we get is that happiness is attained by acquiring more or changing something about ourselves.
What makes us happy is subjective. How we attain happiness is normally predicated on outcomes out of our control.
Enslaved by happiness
Mainstream dialogue on well-being stops at Happiness as the holy grail of optimal emotional functioning.
Happiness is also fleeting and dependent on forces beyond our control.
When such a fundamental need is so elusive we end up falling prey.
Marketers blare at us that we are not enough, we are just a purchase away from looking better, feeling healthier, improving our standing in society, and in general — becoming a more acceptable version of ourselves.
Hollywood, the music industry, and now your go-to influencer set the tone of what a good life is and we use this to box what we strive for: a college degree in a lucrative field, a perfect family in a picket-fenced home, and barbie-like physiques complete with washboard abs.
Our quest for happiness has inadvertently enslaved us.
What we truly want
Yes, we want to be accepted by society, have better relationships, and become the best versions of ourselves – but all this should be on our terms.
Instead of conforming, we become faithful to ourselves so that the choices we make craft the life we truly want.
This is freedom.
Beyond Happiness: Freedom
What nobody talks about is the importance of Freedom in emotional well-being.
Freedom comes from breaking loose and setting your own definition of a life well lived. This comes from self-analysis and uncovering the truths you have adopted from the world. Freedom also comes from understanding the world itself – understanding history, politics and culture are also methods of breaking free.
When you can read your reality like a book, you reclaim your freedom — and your happiness.
Freedom for sustainable happiness
What sets us free gives us happiness.
Freedom comes from understanding ourselves and the world we live in. Here are a few questions to get you started:
- What are your strongest emotions and what triggers them?
- Where do these triggers originate? Is there a mental template you have adopted through which you perceive the world?
- What can the world of biology and psychology teach you about yourself and the people you relate with?
- What’s the history of your family? How were the lives of your parents, and possibly their parents? Did their experience construct some of your belief systems?
- What is the history and story of your culture?
- Who feeds the strongest messages to your culture? What is that message?
- From the context of politics and economics, what is the current state of your world, and how does it affect the way people think?