What Does Happiness Mean?

“Happiness is always the serendipitous result of looking for something else.”

Dr. Idel Dreimer

We are all born in natural bliss. And then life and everything else happens. For us.

Ever since I remember I have been searching for happiness. But not knowing what happiness really is to me makes it difficult to know how, when, and where to find it.

Happiness is personal, subjective, intuitive, experiential, perceptual. Being happy, which is not the same as feeling happy, is my own version versus everyone else’s.

I have come a long way in my tiresome search for something that I have been confused with so many times, and in that search, I have thrown myself into a complex path that has left me with nothing but ache and a feeling completely opposite to what I have been searching for. And every single time, I am back to square one. Back to the beginning.

The search must be over. I understand that my “Holy Grail” is nowhere near my series of tasks, habits, step-by-steps, and training programs that I sign up to, with the promise of “finding happiness”.

Today I have finally come to the understanding that all my life I have been looking for the wrong thing in the wrong places. I now see that everything I need now is not “happiness” (whatever that means) but acceptance: accepting myself how I am, not trying to change myself, or certain things to fit in or please others, and just let me be. I am tired and burned out with what everyone else tells me happiness is. Does anyone really know?

Some time ago I read a book about being in a state of “flow”. The concept as it is is quite easy to understand, like any other Zen concept, the difficult part is really convincing and rewiring your mind to put this concept into action, and really applying it into our daily lives. It promises a state of bliss that usually follows the natural and powerful ‘state of flow’.

To answer the question on the title in this rainy moment of ‘reflection’, I don’t know what happiness means. And it’s not relevant anymore. I do experience moments of happiness in the little things of life: The smile of my beautiful kid. Having a heartful talk on the phone with someone I care about. When my cat Lilly just stares at me while I’m watching Netflix. When a song I love just sounds out of nowhere. When someone speaks good words from their soul. When I find a book I like a lot. When someone thanks me for helping them. When a guided meditation is sweet, and fun and helps me to relax. When I have a good night’s sleep. When I can take a break from work and use that time to write or read or whatever. Achieving a challenging Yoga pose. And the list goes on.

Am I content with my life? Am I fulfilled? Am I in the place that I want to be? I guess. I really don’t know. I just know where I am today and that I wake up every morning and I have absolutely no idea what will happen or what will change my carefully planned day. Some days it goes almost unchanged, other days unexpected things happen. But whatever the case it is, the only pattern I can recognize is that it doesn’t matter anyway. By the end of the day, something will have changed for me. And tomorrow everything starts all over again.

And that is my meaning of flow. For others, it might even mean happiness.

Today, and everyday, just be.

“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

Lucy Maud Montgomery


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