August 6, 2023
While it may sound “pie in the sky” and idealistic it truly is an art to being happy. Many factors lead us in pursuit of this phenomenon. This in turn causes us to approach it like its some sort of mission impossible, but that couldn’t be further from the truth and I’ll tell you why. Let’s get into it and explore the art of being happy together.
Though diving a little deeper we will discover that more than an attitude happiness is an art. Reason being is that the attainment of happiness is identical to the creative process. In fact, as an artist I can tell you that creativity like happiness is totally subjective from it’s initial stages of inspiration to the final observable product.
Phase One: Inspiration
And so it begins…. the inspiration to “find” happiness.
During it’s infancy as a novel thought and/or idea happiness begins as something that inspires you. It then transmutates into something that you aspire to be. That aspiration then grows so much that you become fixated on it and want to create it for yourself.
In the beginning, much like the first stage of the creative process in your effort to recreate happiness for yourself you seek out inspiration. In other words, you look to be inspired by people who seem happy. You do what you have to do to get your hands on their secret sauce.
At that time you acquire a heightened awareness of those that seem happy. You are inspired by them and this is a good thing. It’s all part of the process.
In some ways you are influenced by them and want to be just like them. Since they exemplify what you perceive as happiness you conjure up ways to mimic them. What they buy you buy. What they read you read. You take on their daily routines all in an effort to attain that much sought after thing that seems to make their life so perfect… happiness.
Alternatively, you might also seek to find happiness in various activities, specifically ones that will give you that dopamine fix and high that happiness seems to mimic.
For example, you might become a serial dater because you believe that it will increase your odds of finding “the one” who will in turn make you happy. You might become a work-a-holic because you’re conviced that you’re doing what you love and what makes you happy. You might set out on a mission to grow your bank account because being financially sound will keep your stress levels down which makes you happy. You may even take on some hobbies to get closer to the feeling.
This experimental phase is all good and all part of the process.
Feel no shame because we all do this. Be it hours of scrolling and consuming your favorite content creators on social media or longer and longer periods of daydreaming. We all harbor this obsession.
We all obsess over finding that mysterious, elusive thing called happiness. Rest assured that the mere idea of happiness is an ultra popular obsession that is rarely short-lived.
In fact, this will go on for some time as your determination grows. After all, you know that happiness is out there and you are more than determined to find it.
The reality is that during this process and with each trial and error you become more adept at clearly defining what happiness looks like to you so that you now know just where to look.
With this precision you are now totally immersed in research mode which leads to the next phase.
Phase Two: Incubation
Once you have decided that you know exactly what happiness looks like to you, you process all aspects of that definition. During this phase you also realize that happiness is an art. No two people will ever look at a work of art and perceive and/or experience it in the same way. So you now know that your perception of happiness will always be unique and your experience of it may only be felt by you.
Also, like art happiness is at its core and by its very nature transformative. It is an evolutionary process that is purely subjective.
At this time your focus of happiness shifts from that of others to yourself. So rather than obsessing over all the things that seem to make others that you aspire to be like happy you begin to explore your own means of happiness.
More and more you daydream about your own happiness, imagining how the attainment of it will feel. You visualize how you will look when you are happy. You imagine how your life will change.
This incubation phase is essentially a marination period whereby you just let it all soak it.
Keep in mind that this isn’t quite an active phase and so this all takes place internally. You have moved from observing to internalizing. A shift is quietly taking place and whether you know it or not you are transforming.
In fact, it is the realization of this that will lead you to the next phase.
Phase Three: The “Eureka” Moment
During this phase you become consciously aware of some important aspects of happiness.
This phase may bring you some much needed enlightenment. You have an epiphany of sorts and realize that happiness is simply nowhere to be found. No matter how much you imitate those around you who seem happy you cannot find it. No matter how many things you buy that were sure to do the trick happiness still somehow found a way to slip right through your fingers. No matter how many step-by-step manuals you read happiness was nowhere to be felt at their conclusion. Once again happiness has proven to be quite elusive and mysterious.
Yet, this “Eureka” moment has gifted you with the realization that happiness is not some super power that is accessible only to a few.
As you dive still deeper you realize that happiness is a moment in timeless.
Happiness is a very finite characterization of consciousness. It is indicative of your awareness of a thing such that your awareness of happiness makes it so.
Realizing this newly discovered super power that you possess you become an explorer diving deeper still into the depths of this phenomenon.
The culmination of all the inspiration, observations, visualizations and masturbation with your own thoughts of this thing take you to climax.
However short-lived, this caused you to enter into the next phase. You now yearn for more.
Phase Four: Evaluation
What you identified as happiness felt so amazing that you mistakenly thought that it was a perpetual state. Now as you zoom out you begin to question whether happiness was what you even experienced.
At the same time you tell yourself that in the event that it was you still need to find ways to extend its life. You wonder how to make improvements so that it gets progressively more satisfying.
Well into the aftermath of the dopamine high that is on the fast track to reversal you settle back down to put things into perspective.
Meanwhile, your internal guidance system reminds you that your experience of happiness doesn’t have to be so enslaving. So you remind yourself to keep an open mind.
It is at this moment that you remember that happiness is a moment in timelessness.
While it does take some action to evoke, stillness is also a likely companion for its preservation. This leads you to the final phase.
Phase Five: Elaboration
It’s time to actively create this thing. No more false starts. It’s time to put all your creative juices to work to seriously create happiness. Mold it to your liking. Highlight the details of your choosing. With every stroke of thought experiment around with happiness.
Consider all the failed attempts of happiness to the point that this current version of it becomes a masterpiece in your eyes. You have finally perfected it. Your perception of happiness in this moment is more clear than ever and you couldn’t be more pleased.
So the time has come for the grand reveal. You are not only it’s creator, but you are also it’s captivated audience. Happiness reveals itself to you and you to it.
This is the art of being happy.
It is a lifelong journey. Approached by any means other than this very internally focused manner the art of being happy can possibly be the most profound phenomenon that many may never experience.
It is a perpetual evolutionary process with no expiration.
What you believe to be happiness may in fact change from time to time as you evolve. So happiness will look very different at different stages of life.
Like an artist you will repeatedly experience the return to phase one of the creative process as it pertains to happiness. Ultimately, your perception of happiness is much like transmutation. It is intentional. It is mutable.
I say all this to say that ultimately, the true art of being happy is a masterpiece of your own creation. It is attained by the exceptional, persistent, tenacious ones.
So will you be among the few? If so, what does the art of being happy look like to you? How does it feel? In what manner does it already exist in your life?