Is happiness the real purpose of your life?
Oxford defines the word purpose as: “the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.” In that sense, happiness becomes the outcome of doing something.
- I’ll be happy when I am financially free.
- I’ll be happy when I find my perfect partner.
- I’ll be happy when I get six-pack abs.
Happiness is a Way of Life
Happiness is not the outcome (or destiny). It is a way of life. It is the path to other life purposes. You have heard the saying, “Money can’t buy happiness.” That’s true because happiness is not a physical thing that you can buy in the market. Instead, it is a feeling.
In life, you must focus on what you can control and let go of the things you can’t control. You have total control over your thoughts and feelings. Since happiness is a feeling, you can control it. You can choose to be happy whenever you want.
Happiness is a conscious decision. Tell yourself, “I choose to be happy today.” You don’t have to wait for something to happen to become happy. Just make the decision now.
If You Chase Happiness, You Will Never Find It
“I’ll be happy when I have a million dollars.” Let’s take this statement as an example. Your financial goal is to make a million dollars. Once you achieve this goal, you believe you will be happy.
But, wait. Do you think a million dollars will be enough? The human mind is programmed so that we always seem to want more than what we have. At first, we want something we don’t have. Once we have it, we want more.
So even if you receive your million dollars, it won’t be enough. Maybe for some time, it will be enough. But soon, you will need more. Then, your happiness will last only for a short time. Once you start wanting more, your source of happiness will be a different goal.
Happiness is a Choice
If you consciously decide to be happy at the present moment, you will always be happy. It is all a matter of how disciplined your mind is.
You must have control over your mind and not let your mind have control over you.
As the Dalai Lama says,
“A disciplined mind leads to happiness, and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering.”
What does it mean to have a disciplined mind? In school, discipline means following the rules and become a decent student. In addition, it represents respecting teachers and showing good behavior. It is the same for the mind. We must follow the rules of our mind, like:
- thinking positive thoughts
- becoming self-awareness
- having emotional intelligence
- staying calm
- feeling love, compassion, and kindness
- living without fear
If you practice these rules of the mind, you will consciously choose happiness at all times. You will not need any validation or external change to achieve happiness.
Always remember, happiness is internal. Nothing external can make you happy unless you choose to be happy from the inside. And, once you decide on inner happiness, no outer things or circumstances can take your happiness away from you.
What is the Purpose of Life?
If happiness is not the purpose of life, then what is? We are all different in our own ways. We have different values in life. But there is one thing we all want in life (besides happiness): freedom.
We want freedom in all aspects of life. For instance, financial freedom allows us to not worry about money. People work more than half their life working for money. But financial independence does not mean being super-rich. It means having enough money not to worry about spending on things or experiences you want in life. Such “things” and “experiences” are different for every individual. For financial freedom, you need to learn the disciplines of money — how you choose to earn, spend, save, and invest it.
Physical freedom means being healthy and able to do other physical activities in life. For that, you need to exercise, develop proper eating habits, and be more active in life. Again, you need the discipline to have a healthy body and choose how you choose to spend your physical life.
In the same way, we want personal freedom, emotional freedom, and other kinds of freedom.
But here’s the thing: When you think about the purpose of life, it is actually not about destiny. Instead, it is about the process. You want to live every day doing the things you love.
So the true purpose of life is to be able to do the things you love every day. You want to do these things without having to worry about things like money or health, or relationships. You just want to live in the present moment doing what you love, happily.
Happiness is not the purpose of your life. If you believe that your purpose is happiness, you will have difficulty finding it in life. Instead, it is a way of life. No matter what your external circumstances are, choose to be happy because happiness is internal. You can become happy at this very moment by changing the way you think. It is all about having a disciplined mind.
What you want in life is freedom. You want to be free and do the things you want in life without worry and suffering. Money, health, and relationships are all important in life. But you need to learn to balance these things and do what you genuinely want to do in life.
Learn to live a disciplined life because it is the key to happiness and freedom. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something to happen first. Be free. Do what you love. Do what makes you feel good. If you can do that, you will have a fulfilled life.