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Defining Happiness

Happiness can mean many different things to different people. Happiness is most often seen as a mental or emotional state, although some may argue that happiness is a lifestyle. But what exactly is happiness and how do we define it? In this day and age, what we find necessary to lead a good quality life is a little blurred. I will not say that just this generation is infatuated with material assets but superficiality has poisoned the mentality of so many, regardless of age. Luxury is often associated with high-end merchandise or expensive getaways, but what if I was to tell you that there are luxuries money cannot buy and that happiness can be found in even the simplest things life has to offer.

Everything is a business and everything comes with a price tag, including your life. Our lives are judged based on our net worth: how much we make, how much we will make and the titles associated with our salaries. Money always seems to be the determining factor in what we are allowed to do. Notions of superiority and inferiority are based on how much money we can spend. We are constantly being fed advertisements of products that claim to bring one happiness or can somehow improve a person’s life. The more you spend, the more you become dependent on your excessive wants rather than your absolute dire needs. Money may buy you materialistic wealth but money cannot buy you health. Although money can allow you the opportunity to do more things than you would be able to with less, including having decent health insurance. However growing emotional attachment to materialistic goods and developing an obsessive relationship with pieces of paper is neither healthy nor sanitary.

It is a matter of asking yourself, how much is my happiness worth?

What do you define happiness as?

Personally, I want to do things and surround myself with people that give the same feeling I get when I see my food approaching at a restaurant.

Think of when you were a child, what made your day? Was is it ice cream, coloring, making a new friend or your mother packing you your favorite lunch? What we did differently then, was that we did things without certain expectations and with love. Arbitrary standards of life, rules and regulations of appropriation have deferred us away from doing things that we honestly love without giving it a second thought. Society’s prescribed set of norms in the age of technology and with almost every aspect of life being a part of a business scheme, we are being blind sided with things that will directly benefit the economy and being steered away from the simplicities life has to offer. Luxury and happiness can be found in the simplest forms. Some people find solace in dancing, laughing, even spending time with family and friends. When was the last time you thanked the Universe for the ability to see, hear, taste, feel and smell instead of thanking God that your iPhone screen did not crack from your overpriced VIP section?

There is nothing wrong with a night out of dancing and music but when was the last time you went out solely for the love of music and the ambiance of a place? Since when was having a hookah and bottle service adorned with ridiculous sprinklers a sign that one is having a good time? It starts off with an invitation to a night out that should be fun filled. You go out buy a new outfit which can start off at $50 and up. You spend an additional $30-$40 to buy a bottle to pre-game before the club, pay an entrance fee and for overpriced drinks with the hopes of showing out to impress a crowd of people that are looking for validation just as much as you are. Who wants to be in a room filled of superficial and insecure people who are looking for instagram likes and something to talk about since the most entertainment they had was being the witness of bad outfits and ankle buckling? Meanwhile, you could be at your best friend’s house having a genuine time of appreciation for each other’s friendship over a $10 pizza, not having to worry of judgmental stares, uninvited groping and spilled drinks.

Live for those Luxuries Over Societies Standards.

I remember watching a French documentary titled, Babies. The documentary followed four infants through their first year after birth from different parts of the world: Two from rural areas of Namibia and Mongolia and two from urban areas of Tokyo and San Francisco. The two children from rural areas had what seems little to nothing. They wore no shoes and they passed their time playing with tins cans. Both children from more developed parts of the world had significantly more material possessions such as toys and clothes. Two scenes particularly prove my point of not needing such an extravagant lifestyle in order to be happy. One little boy from rural Namibia was captured putting an empty tin can on his head and pretending it to be a crown, he had the most genuine smile and laughter while playing with other children who also were having a good time with tin cans. Meanwhile, the little girl from Tokyo was captured playing with electronics and lose CD’s, she was crying hysterically the entire time.

It is much easier said than done to let go of the material value we put on our happiness and find something as simple as a nature walk with a friend fun and entertaining. Relationships with people and the world help you evolve as a person and learn more about yourself. What can your two thousand dollar bag teach you, other than you better have some cash left over to put in it? Luxury can be considered a state of mind and both that and happiness can become a lifestyle, a quality way of living. Always remember that even though you can buy a gold watch to flaunt on your wrist, there are people out there in the world that have gold in their souls.

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