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The multiplicity of happiness

Happiness, like so many things in life, is subjective. No two people will give the same response to this question: “How do you define happiness?”

We are all unique, and you will create your own meaning of happiness and of bliss. You may even rediscover and recreate your definitions of both throughout your life, perhaps even as you read this.

The multiplicity of happiness lies in the subtle experience of the word itself. On the one hand, the word conjures feelings of joy, visual images of gleeful smiles, or contented moments of idyllic bliss on a tropical beach. Whatever happiness feels like for you, it fills you up inside. Everyone wants to be happy.

On the other hand, striving to be happy sees most people trying to change everything and everyone around them, dictated by some deep-seated belief that it is an external experience. The oversight of happiness seekers is not realising that it is a state of being rather than an external experience. When people realise that they need to look within, and connect to themselves, happiness becomes a much more challenging concept and an even more challenging experience to find.

My role here is not to tell you what happiness is. My role is to help you rediscover it for yourself. However, just as I’m sure you have, I have experienced it in so many forms. Yet no matter the variation, the result was always the same for me: fleeting.

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A version of this was first published in the April 2014 issue of Complete Wellbeing.

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