No doubt, we all want to be happy. In fact, happiness is one of the most sought after emotions in this world and is, probably, the basis of all other sought after ones as well. But what is the definition of happiness exactly? Well, that depends on each individual really.
Happiness is one of those things that don’t have a universal definition. Sure, it has to do with feeling joy and being content but that’s a broad, vague definition of the word! To some, happiness may mean doing what you love on a daily basis. It may be having a roof over your head and food on your table. It may be traveling the world and experiencing its cultures. Or it may be that snow day. To others … OK, to many … it may mean having material possessions, tons and tons of possessions! So what is it that makes you happy? Really, really happy?
For me, it’s the little things in life, the things often missed by others. Through my father’s job, I was blessed and fortunate enough to travel the world. But it wasn’t the traveling itself that made me happy, in fact, the instability had the opposite effect on me. It was the memories we created as a family and all the wonderful friends I made that added to my happiness and heart-felt joy. We never had a shortage of “stuff” since my parents have always been, and remain to be, overly generous. But it was the fact that they taught me that I have to earn whatever I wanted (even if just by good behavior) and that my value isn’t calculated by the value of my material possessions that made me happy because I always felt fortunate, loved and cherished no matter what I have or don’t have. I made a lot of friends throughout the years, probably more than the average person my age. But my happiness stems from those few that are real, true and always there for me. I have been blessed with interpersonal and communication skills, which help me achieve my job every single day. But what really makes me happy is when I am able to use these skills to touch someone’s heart or make them smile.
You see, material possessions can be lost in an instant and a person living to accumulate them only signals a void that needs to be filled inside them. People change and your relationship with them changes as well so having a ton of friends could mean nothing tomorrow. Traveling is wonderful but what does it mean to experience every single country in the world yet walk away with nothing learned or enjoyed? Happiness that stems from intangible things is the longest lasting of all.
Here are a few of the most memorable moments of my life (in no particular order) that made that fuzzy, warm feeling invade my soul and take it over completely;
1- Seeing the 3-D ultrasound of my babies and realizing what they really look like.
2- The day my husband proposed, it was a complete surprise and having a bouquet of my favorite blue flowers made it even more special.
3- The first time my kids ran into my arms, hugged me and gave me the drooliest kiss ever! OK, I’m lying, every single hug and kiss from them has that effect on me, especially on a tough day, but that first time was super special.
4- Finding my long-lost friends from my school back in Hungary. It had been 16 years since we had lost touch and I had been searching for them for 12!
5- Watching spring flowers bloom and seeing the birds coming back after a cold winter.
6- Sunshine on my face! I love sunshine, and if it’s accompanied by a cool breeze then that is just ultimate bliss.
7- Making someone smile or laugh.
8- Helping a friend, family member or someone in need. Being able to ease someone’s pain gives me an indescribable, overwhelming feeling of complete and utter joy!
9- Getting that 4 a.m. call from my man, when we were engaged, to tell me he misses me.
10- Receiving an apology from someone who hurt me or let me down.
11- Having a friend ask me for advice. When others have faith in me and trust me to that extent, it is humbling and extremely special.
12- My husband walking in to the house and handing me a bar of chocolate because he could tell I was having a stressful day.
13- Achieving a goal that I believed was going to be tough to achieve.
14- Curling in bed, with a good book and getting lost in it without having anyone disturb me.
15- That moment, years ago, when my man looked at me with the tenderest eyes and adjusted my coat to make sure I wasn’t going to be cold as my family and I left after visiting him and his family.
16- When a complete stranger is kind to me.
17- When a child that I have never met before smiles at me and blows me a kiss! It happened several times and it made my heart melt 🙂
18- Seeing an old couple together, leaning on each other and refusing the help of others when offered.
19- When my children come back from school with a big grin on their face because they have artwork to show me or have learned a new letter of the alphabet.
20- Seeing my children pray with their father.
21- When I am able to see that someone is deliberately trying to be rude or passive aggressive and I don’t let it get to me! I know it’s a weird thing to be happy about but I used to be affected by anything that anyone does. Now I know that people who behave this way are either empty on the inside, petty or haven’t been raised well, so why should I be upset?
22- When I plant flowers and they grow beautifully.
23- Hearing a complement about my children.
24- Seeing disabled people, especially children, being treated like … and I hate to say it because they really are…”normal” people.
25- Hearing positive things happening in my beloved country, Egypt.
26- A moment where God and I are connected in serenity. Absolutely priceless!
27- Being told that I am missed by my loved ones.
28- Being able to cheer my husband up after a tough day at work.
29- Seeing my family enjoy a day that I took charge of planning.
30- Seeing someone I love, whether it be a friend, family member or otherwise, achieve what they want in life and become successful.
31- When my dear friends made and effort and showed up at my wedding determined to make it the best day of my life. They were the true life of the party and they know it (I love you all from the bottom of my heart).
If you want to be really happy though, stop looking for what you don’t have. Be thankful for what you are given and appreciate it, there are millions out there who would envy you for it. When you are always searching for what’s lacking, you will never be content because no one has everything and something will always be missing. Be thankful for what you have, try to find the angle where when you look at what you are lacking you know it’s for the best and try to do your best to achieve what you want in life but know that if it doesn’t happen then there is a very good reason for that. God always has a plan, and it’s the best plan, whether you can see that or not.