What is True Happiness?


Harvard Business Review

True happiness is not something that people are only able to have when they are older. Even through hard times, people can find true happiness and learn about the significance of each moment of joy in life.

Kylie de Best, Editor

True happiness is something everyone strives to have at some point in their lives. However, many believe it to be only in fantasies and unattainable in the stress-induced and hurtful world we live in. With these two words being spoken with so much passion and emotion, what is true happiness? 

Our lives can be very dull, repetitive, and lackluster to many. Each day seems to go by very fast, and we often have the same problems and lifestyle dragging us down. As we yearn for change, there are still ways to get out of this routine and start to see some significant positive changes in our lives.

Though there is no real set definition of what true happiness is, I believe that those who have gone through a rough time in their lives can experience what true happiness is at its fullest once. They understand how meaningful each moment of happiness is, and they cherish the good in their life. I can compare these hard times to growing pains. We have to go through growing pains in order to blossom, and they help us become wiser and flourish in the world. The wisdom gained from true happiness is a reflection of all you have been through and helps you be present and reconnect with the world. These are some good points that everybody can learn from and can apply to their daily lives. 

One big misconception I have heard before is that one cannot find true happiness until they are older. True happiness is not a reward one gets  from hard years of stress and work. In the end, you will likely feel very burnt out and long for the happiness you felt during your childhood, which is the youthful and free-spirited energy that tends to fade away as we get older. 

We may be happy after finishing a test or getting an award. However, this is only a temporary and external feeling of happiness. True happiness is something deeply impactful to a person and long-lasting. As stated by Human Window “When I think of the word ‘happiness’, I think of an experience or an emotion that is pleasurable and exciting. I think of something that can often come from an external source. When I think of ‘true happiness, I think of an experience that comes from a deeper place. I think of something that comes from an internal source.”

“True happiness is not something that comes right away in people’s lives. If we remain hopeful and strong through the many challenges presented in our lives, we can learn to reflect on our past and find a time of peace where we are satisfied with the path we are going on in life.”

— Juliana Neemeh (11)

Having true happiness is very genuine and intentional, and that external factor is not needed to be responsible for every source of happiness. It is how proud you are of your growth. In reality, true happiness may be something we have to work for and have patience, but those little moments where we find hope and reasons to keep going can bring us to finding our true happiness.

 Everyone in the world has been broken at some point, some more than others but that does not mean we are in a place of despair. Trying to eliminate everything bad in our lives is not possible, as we must accept that the world is too unpredictable to allow for a fully Utopian society, and escaping from reality will only cause new problems. As said in the song “Fly to my Room” by BTS, one line that stands out is “sometimes you get to know, broken is beautiful.” You can learn to accept that you do not put these broken pieces together and that even the shattered pieces can have meaning in them in your life. 

Though going through a hardship can leave you as wise and bring you true happiness, this is not the case for everyone. It is common for people to have something negative going on in their lives at some point. Though your situation seems very stagnant and not improving, sulking upon it and letting it burden you will most certainly not make anything better, and will bring even more negativity and problems in your life. 

It is important to accept that there are some negatives in our lives and in the worlds, and a bunch of ups and downs. Those little bits of happiness will lead to more, and being grateful for them and recognizing and appreciating them will only lead to more happiness.

Something I like to think of is what little light you have will penetrate through the darkness. The stars in the universe are surrounded by darkness, but their light shines through it. Once they shine, they glow for years to come.

As true happiness brings us on a journey through hard times and self-discovery, it is something that is very special to have. Juliana Neemeh (11) shares an important message, saying “true happiness is not something that comes right away in people’s lives. If we remain hopeful and strong through the many challenges presented in our lives, we can learn to reflect on our past and find a time of peace where we are satisfied with the path we are going on in life.” With everything we may go through, let the growing pains happen, understand that being broken does not destine you for failure, and let the light in you shine throughout a universe of darkness.