What is this thing, happiness, that most of us go our lives craving, and some never getting a grasp of it?
Is it the fleeting feeling one gets at the sight of a crush or some sumptuous delicacy? Or perhaps a well thought out plan working in one’s favour? Or a night out dressed to the nines, partying the night away in the company of one’s best mates? Or the adrenaline rush begotten on an adventure or a treacherous ride up and down a roller coaster?
Perhaps a good night in watching movies, chilling and being in one’s own company? Or better yet, the long lasting feeling of being content and whole despite the storms and crashings of life?
So many ways there are to define one’s own happiness, but how much of it do we really feel and for how long, or on whose account?
Interestingly enough a meme has been circulating quite a lot on various social media platforms and it piqued my interest. In this meme, there are two cartoon like figures. One with a jar labelled Happiness, and the other with none, asking how to find it as he’s been “searching for it everywhere.” The former aptly replies via a speech bubble “I created it myself.”
For me, this little exchange, highlighted how in a world filled with many luxuries and opportunities, the one which cost the least, plague many. People seem to go around searching every nook and cranny for this thing called happiness- forever searching outward of themselves.
Sometimes, we see certain things and think everyone else must know the answer due to common sense, but I’ve come to understand that what is plain to see for some, is certainly not for others.
Thus, my reason for creating this post. So I state plainly, to create your own happiness, you must look inwards. It’s no brainer really. The world around us is constantly changing, and so are the people around us. So who’s that person you can always count on no matter the storms? Who’s that person that will stand the test of time?
We must realise that we’re our own happiness. We must create a conducive environment for that which we seek to feel and experience. Hence each person’s definition of happiness will defer and the thing(s) that make each person happy would also differ therein.
Using myself as an example, I know that I love everything to do with music- so the singing of it, the dancing of it, the instruments, etc. So how do I use it to create my own happiness? I get in front of the mirror in my room and dance for no damn reason! Some wait for a party, or an admirer before they wiggle their butt!
But what about the sheer joy of dancing for one’s own delight? It doesn’t matter if you’re not a pro. Be silly, dance any which way you can, make silly faces at the mirror while doing it. Make yourself laugh and feel the endorphins circulating around your body. It feels good huh? We must be friends with ourselves.
A few years ago, during my last term of University, my house mate asked how it is that I was always happy. She couldn’t fathom how it was possible that from the time I was awake till the time I slept, I was mostly singing.
You see, singing is my thing. It doesn’t matter if I can do it well or not. It puts me in good spirits and I love to harmonise with the artists, dreaming that one day I’d be on stage belting a number with them, and so I sing my heart out! Do the things that make you feel good no matter your mood.
Years ago, I was in a very bad place, and this coincided with me buying a guitar which saw me through those days. I couldn’t play yet, so I’d just strum and marvel at the sounds, and feel somewhat better. Whenever I felt sad, I would just strum and hum. Now whenever I look at that guitar, I remember those days and how I could see the light at the end of the tunnel just by strumming its strings. Create the feelings that will see you through your darkest hours.
Also, I love having some down time by myself. While I was in college, I found myself alone during one of my breaks which was unusual in those days, so I went to the mall to look for a new jacket I had been planning to buy for weeks, and interestingly, I realised I was enjoying my own company when my close friend at the time messaged to ask where I was so she could join me. Long story short, ever since my realisation that day, I now give myself treats by going to the cinema alone after a hectic period of working hard. I feel good being in my own company, observing things and watching people as I go along, spending money I have earned with my own hands. Now that feels good. Create things that make you feel fulfilled and useful to yourself.
These seemingly little things I’ve shared are some of the things that make me really happy; and they are all dependant on no one! They don’t rely on external factors, so indeed, I create these happy moments and feelings of wholesomeness all on my own.
So you out there, still trying to find Happiness, look inwards and ask yourself, what makes me happy? When do I feel at my best? Your answers mustn’t be dependant on anyone but yourself.
Think hard. Heck, if you must, organise the whole thing, but come up with a recipe for your own happiness. There’s no guarantee that one person’s happiness will eternally work for you. You must do that work on your own. So stop looking outwards, especially to material things as those will surely fade away. I mean, if celebrities with all the money and status in the world could end their own life on various accounts, including unhappiness being a huge factor, then common sense dictates money doesn’t equate to happiness.
If you’re feeling bold enough, do share with me as I have with you, what makes you happy?
The images you see of me on the beach was a day created just for that. I dragged my sister along with me to the beach and made a fun experience out of an ordinary day. You see, Lagos has many beaches, but as is the culture of the city, for a beach day to occur, it’s most likely to be an event organised between group of friends or family. However, I didn’t see why I couldn’t just spontaneously head over to the beach and have a great time.
If there’s anything I’ve learned in the past year, it’s that every moment counts, and change is always constant. So why wait for a reason? Your being happy is reason enough.
Create your own happiness!
Location: Atican beach, Lagos, Nigeria.