I am happy… If that statement doesn’t make you jealous, provoke curiosity or arouse distant memories of fun times with friends and family, then you should stop reading now. With that said, happiness is not guaranteed. Happiness isn’t guaranteed but we can pursue the hell out of it. With all the circumstances we can’t control in our lives, why do we find it hard to enjoy the moments we can control. It makes no sense living life in the shadow of perceived judgment. Obtaining happiness isn’t hard. People complicate their lives with meaningless variables and ignore their childhood intuition which brought them innocence of experience. People are so caught up in how society views them that they forgot how to interact naturally. Human interaction, as it relates to happiness, can be broken down into six fundamental elements: living, laughing, learning, lusting, loving, and loyalty. All six elements make up “The Elements of Happiness,” which are sequential layers that allow us to integrate successfully into society and develop personal happiness.
It is hard to experience life in physical isolation. This first element or layer calls for people to join the world around them. The world isn’t going to come to you. The love you seek isn’t going to knock on your door, you have to find it. Your dream of a grand career isn’t going to manifest itself through hope and prayer, but rather free will, effort and commitment. As much as technology has enabled communication, it has crippled the natural way humans interact. It is that natural interaction that will ultimately grant us satisfaction of self in relation to the people around us. We must put ourselves back in the breathing world and establish connections with people. Happiness starts with making a positive difference in people’s lives and finding positive influence in our own.
Once we enter into the world, we must enjoy it. Normal people don’t want to be around someone who is judgmental and negative. Having the ability to make life candid is a trait that will draw people to you. Putting a smile on someone’s face will make you attractive. Continually putting a smile on someone’s face will make you lovable. Laughing and smiling may sound easy to do, yet so many people take for granted its power as it relates to happiness. Laughter is a physical sign that someone is experiencing a happy moment. Surrounding yourself with people who help create those happy moments or developing jovial social skills to give people happy moments of their own is fundamental in personal happiness. If you make someone laugh, then you might be worth keeping around.
Laughter helps create initial attraction… but offering knowledge will maintain that attraction. It would be nice to laugh and smile all day with people, but at the end of the day, people want to grow intellectually. Intellectual stimulation is mandatory in maintaining human connections. Time is a valuable gift and if you don’t offer stimulating conversation and experience, then the people you are with will feel like they are wasting their time. Wisdom validates maturity that may be questioned by laughter and enjoying life. Teaching people about an area of life they are unfamiliar with gives us purpose and that purpose leads to happiness. Conversely, surrounding ourselves with people who can teach us about life will allow us to grow intellectually which will complete another layer of our own happiness.
People lust for affection. Whether it is a mother’s hug or a first kiss from someone you like, physical connections produce physical happiness. Lust is the element that separates general happiness and romantic happiness. We can be around people all the time, make them smile and laugh, and offer intellectual stimulation, but it isn’t until there is a physical connection when we start taking the relationship(s) more seriously. Lust is our emotions enacted. Sexual compatibility is important for the longevity of a romantic relationship and for our overall happiness. If there is no physical lust, there will be no happiness as it relates to romanticism.
Every once in a while, and for some it is more than once and more often than a while, the combination of living, laughing, learning and lusting creates a bond with another person which is clearly manifested in what the world and its history has termed love. It is a common misconception that true love can only be found once in a lifetime. This isn’t true. In fact, you can love as many people as you have sequentially experienced the previous elements required to get to the love element. Happiness is achieved from the moments preceding the recognition of the love element and ends only when the last element (loyalty) is dismissed or the elements of happiness with someone else are stronger than the person you are currently with. Individual happiness as it relates to the element of love will fluctuate based on maintaining the first four elements. At any point if one or more of those first four elements (living, laughing, learning, and lusting) are compromised or lost in the relationship, happiness diminishes. Over time, if a mechanism doesn’t come along to stop the tapering, happiness will be lost or replaced. Without the final element, love is usually the final step or stage of happiness a person can experience with another before the end of the relationship. Love is happiness; we just have to find a way to keep it.
Existing for something greater than oneself combined with the previous five elements solidifies happiness. Loyalty seals happiness as its last element and makes it absolute. When two people take an oath to live the rest of their life together, it is loyalty that carries them through time; not love, not laughter, not lust. Loyalty is the element of happiness that justifies our existence; where the previous five elements come and go. Loyalty bonds us to people, to a cause, to a movement, and gives us purpose. It is that purpose that allows happiness to exist through our lifetime and beyond.
In life, our happiness will fluctuate. When we stray from happiness, chances are one or more of the six elements has been compromised or lost. For some, obtaining happiness comes easy. For others, it has never been achieved. For those people, if they start with the first element and work their way through the rest, they will find happiness. No matter your life situation, as long as you are pursing happiness, you will eventually find it. Remember, the happiest people may not have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything.