The Road to Happiness

20 04 2016

Believe it or not, happiness can be derived from the worst circumstances. This assumption might be a bit weird; however, after reading this essay, readers might change their views and accept such a claim. The literal definition of happiness, which you will find in any dictionary, is what you wish for yourself and what you aim for, but without driving yourself into the zone of selfishness. This is what the dictionary provides, but what life provides is something else. Your happiness cannot be achieved without deeply discovering yourself; a task which requires a strong will, enough time, and balance.

While confronted with difficulties and serious conditions in their life, many people resort to anti-depressants, assuming that this may help them regain their self-esteem and consequently be in a happy state of mind. Other people just wait for situations and conditions without having any input preferring to play the role of the recipient and sometimes the victim. Humans tend to wait for what they aim for, whether it is their other half or a job opportunity or certain conditions improving their personal lives.  Such tendency is deeply reflected in the famous literature work of Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot. Nevertheless, humans are always driven by their passion to discover and explore. In this sense, every person determines his/her own route to happiness depending on the way they look at things surrounding them and their existence. In this sense, I believe that people should do not let their happiness depend on someone else, an external event, or a projected situation. In other words, be the person you are waiting for, work on implementing the event/activity you strive for, and create the situation which brings happiness to you.

Last year, I faced a certain health incident which kept me home for few weeks. Back then, I needed family support, and I was lucky enough to have my mom and brothers by my side to nurse my needs at that time. However, during this phase my true awakening happened, and I got the chance to discover happiness amid all inconveniences. Prior to getting ill, I had been taking many things in my life for granted such as love, appreciation, and parental support. However, as I got immersed in my sickness, I began to unlock the true meaning of family bound, and I shall never forget my mother’s devotion. I began to see my mom in different eyes and deeper sense of appreciation of her role in my life. She is the woman who raised me along with my two siblings on her own amid a tense environment after my father passed away, leaving a widow and three children behind. Therefore, when I was physically ill, I started to realize the sacrifices she made because- this time- I was the one who is suffering. The health incident led me to discover myself, take to a journey into my mind, and made me evaluate ideas, beliefs, and people. At this turning point in my life, I discovered happiness because I was re-connected with my inner self.

The health issue came hand in hand with me being jobless; another element which might lead someone else to be in temporary depression. Yet, I created vast of opportunities out of one missed opportunity! At this point in my career life, I had to do freelance work to earn my income. Contrary to expectations, being sick and jobless did not hold me back from finding happiness in the little things I had been accomplishing then. Being jobless made me more happy, not because I am not an employee anymore, but because I had enough time to drive myself to be happy. In this sense, I did many things that I could not imagine myself doing previously since I got uprooted from the everyday life routine- mainly consisting of assuming a full time job and other domestic responsibilities. During this period, I carried out numerous tasks, assignments, and projects. The list includes: writing a book which was later launched during the Beirut Book Fair, writing dozens of articles and commentaries which were published in local newspapers and on my blog, carrying out numerous freelance and consultancy work in the fields of social media and research, re-connecting with my sweet heart after several years of no communication, meeting new people who had a positive influence on my life, and engaging in an acting experience in a TV series highlighting the lifestyle of Beirut which is expected to be aired soon.

Moving into the third component of happiness, balance is a tough task which not all people succeed in achieving. At the very beginning of the essay, happiness was literally defined. But, another term came in conjunction with it “selfishness “. To me, being happy is not only doing things that makes you happy, but also enjoying other people to be happy just the way you are. This consequently means balancing between one’s internal needs and demands on one side, and the community needs and demands from the other side. Looking at my life at the age of 29, I can say that I succeeded in making such balance. My life at 29 seem to be very vibrant since it includes range of activities: reading newspapers, filtering social media channels, doing freelance and consultancy work, swimming, socializing with people, being involved in several cultural and political assemblies and clubs, meeting family obligations, reading, chilling out with friends, and always exploring new opportunities.

The balance between all these activities is between the “I “and the “we”, between the “self “and the “community,” between seriousness of some situations and the chill-out joy and bliss of others. All of above elements have certain joy in them even if the situation is annoying to you; just enjoy every time as the situation requires you to be. If you are in a business meeting, for example, with people whom you do not like, but you are obliged to attend this meeting, then you can still be happy. Try to think of people, events, or situations that make you happy. Automatically, you will be in a happy mood afterwards. This balance I created in my life is what makes me always happy. If you are happy from the inside and something negative happened to you due to external circumstances, then depression would be the result. However, depression will not be as worse as if you are sad from the inside because internal happiness creates strength which protects us.

Happiness is your personal project which you need to make yourself. Being happy is a self-discovery; a journey that has no timeline and can be determined through strong will, self discovery, enough time and balance. Knowing yourself makes you happy because it makes you realize the strength in you.



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