Happiness according to the dictionary is:
1. the quality or state of being happy.
2. good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy.
Apparently, happiness was invented in the 1500s. Before that, people were just kind of okay.
Word Origin of happiness
1520-1530 happy + -ness
According to the experts:
Happiness results from the possession or attainment of what one considers good: the happiness of visiting one’s family.
Perhaps the dictionary.com people live with their guru on a pristine mountaintop, because for many people reading this, the example chosen above might seem farcical. But today’s post isn’t about family issues. It’s about defining happiness.
Now, assuming the accuracy of the first part of the above entry, that of Happiness results from the possession or attainment of what one considers good what is needed is a definition of good, of which here the implication is that it is a individual, personal definition, and which in actuality is more about desirability than goodness.
But what if happiness isn’t about attaining or possessing what you desire? What if happiness is about desiring what you already possess?
According to Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, happiness is actually a spiritual imperative, a task, if you will, one which each person must work on, or lose out. Instead of working on that which, once we attain it, (relationship, children, money, vacation, job…), we believe will induce happiness in us, why not remove the middleman?
Tap into happiness wherever you find yourself holding and whenever you have a minute to spare. Ask:
What do I already have that helps me feel happy?
Maybe it is your knowledge of languages, your musical talent, your ability to pray, the view from your window.
Of course you can and even should try to achieve and attain, with the understanding that happiness can be found now, it’s not something to hope for, later.
No, it’s not easy. In fact, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov says:
To find joy is the hardest thing of all. It is harder than all other spiritual tasks…
But he also says:
Put all your energy into being happy.
Also, keep in mind: happiness can simply be attained by a knowledge of and acceptance of your life’s highest purpose.
Read Joy-Your Spiritual Task at BreslovWoman.org
Reference: happiness. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/happiness (accessed: December 22, 2015).