To some individuals happiness mean winning the lottery to end all lotteries. Enabling them to live a life of luxury and wealth. Then eventually moving on to bigger and better things, like living in the famous mansion somewhere in Beverly Hills. This way they can hobnob with their celebrity neighbors, and play golf over the weekend. As if this is not enough, they go on ahead and develop their own reality TV shows, starring none other than themselves, of course.
But funnily enough to some other folks, those who live and die by the words: Money doesn't buy happiness. Happiness to them could be just as simple as looking at 'a crowd of golden daffodils', to quote a very famous line of a poem by William Wordsworth.
So what really is happiness? And how do you get it? Do some people have a genetic predisposition towards happiness? Is there such a thing as a happy gene?
Is there a scientific explanation to this giant smile that breaks on your face every time you see your high school crush walking down the hallway on your way to Geometry class?
It has been know that endorphins, (a hormone that is responsible for making us kind of happy) induces a certain feeling of euphoria. This is the happy buzz that you get when you eat tons and tons of chocolate. Ask any chocoholic who has landed his or herself in rehab, and they'll attest to this happening.
Endorphins is also released when you are exercising. It is the chemical considered to be responsible for the phenomenon called: runner's high.
Runner's high is the feeling of exuberance that runners get when they have been aggressively running after a certain amount of time. Due to this continuous exertion their bodies release endorphins.
Endorphins have also been known to elevate our moods. But is this small feeling of gladness can really be enough to be called happiness? Well let's seeÖ.
If we examine the meaning of this word according to the dictionary, we will find that the official statement of Mr. Webster proclaims that happiness means: the state of contentment and well-being.
To most of us, on the very basic level this would translate into the attainment of our basic needs which include the access to water, food, and shelter. For without these necessities a person would find it very difficult to manage his or her everyday life. Any dreams, ambitions, and desires this person's heart may possess would have to take a back seat to the demands of attaining these provisions.
Any thoughts of gain outside of situation to a person who's confined to this faith would just be a far away dream? Could it be the to these individuals happiness also lie along these tracks?
Which brings us to the tradition of Zen, which suggests that doing away with the attachments to the material world would lead to the path of happiness. It infers that an individual who's not vesting too much of his or her concern with the matters of everyday life will eventually achieve a state of equilibrium.
This type of mentality some consider to be the key to happiness. Although to some this would be an impossible advice to follow, especially those who have spent their entire lives in the pursuit of wealth, fame and glory.
But to some other individuals the path to happiness is simple enough. Little hint: It's a four letter word, that starts with an L.
Yes, it is that little word that is famous all the world over: loveÖloveÖlove. To some very lucky people just spending some time with their loved ones is enough to make them the happiest people on earth!
And why not?
Since the beginning of time great wars have been fought in the name of love. Whether it is love for a woman, a country, or the idea of freedom.
It is no doubt that the acquisition of love is somehow connected also with the dream of happiness, whether a person is aware of it or not.
So maybe in the end, we can't really spell out what makes each and everyone of us happy. Given that every person is unique in his or her own way. It also follows that how we perceive happiness is also influenced by this sense of uniqueness. Therefore, being different from one another.
In the end, the theory goes that there is no one secret concoction to happiness. We all create our own recipe for happiness. Maybe it is in this journey to find whatever it is that makes us happy, we will discover that all along we already have what we are looking. It was right there in front of our faces, except that we weren't looking.
To those who have discovered this secret, congratulate yourself. For the rest of those who find themselves still lookingÖ Bon Voyage and Happy Trails!