What is life? (Imagine me saying this with emphasis on a theatrical stage – in reality, I was pondering this a bit on the couch when sleep was eluding me). Life, then, is a grand and continuous adventure for each of us, which we are called upon to transform into a meaningful and substantial journey. I sit and wonder what could make a person balanced and happy, and the first thing that crosses my mind is the people they journey with and the moments they share.
But is that enough? Almost everyone has some favorite individuals with whom they share their moments. As I think about it more, I see that other essential factors are needed to add a note of beauty and optimism, a sense of fulfillment in “this fleeting world” (I’m back on stage). So, after the very serious dialogue with myself that took place on the couch, I arrived at the following “happiness achievement list” to see how many things you would check as already present in your life. Therefore, to be happy, you usually need:
To have interests and hobbies.
Certainly, having talent and inclination in some areas more than others is the first and significant step toward happiness and balance in your life. Do you, for example, enjoy reading books, playing the guitar, singing, dancing, or seeing the world through the camera lens, or do you write and travel through your stories? Then you are among the fortunate ones who have passion in their lives, like to engage in various things, and are quite comfortable with themselves. And besides everything else, you unload your thoughts and mind, forget yourself, and spend some creative time with yourself.
To have peace in your personal life.
Having a beautiful relationship with your loved one, or having a good relationship and communication with your parents, is important for you and everyone around you. These are the people who will stand by you, give you strength, support you, and generously offer their love. Maintaining good relationships with them is a prerequisite for a good and balanced life.
To love your work.
How many people do you know who truly love what they do? Personally, very few. And this is one of the main reasons why many people feel unhappy today – doing a job out of necessity, just to make ends meet and nothing more. If you belong to the lucky ones who engage in something they studied and/or enjoy, you understand how important this is for your overall happiness.
Your travels give you the opportunity to broaden your horizons, your way of thinking, and even to cultivate tolerance towards other people, cultures, and opinions. The more tolerant you become with the world around you, the more calm and accommodating you feel, increasing the chances of becoming happy. Remember, for example, the last time you traveled (whether in Greece or abroad), how many things did you learn, see, and taste? You came back richer in terms of knowledge, ideas, and experiences. And that’s what remains in the end. The moments that took your breath away. And travels are certainly one of those.
To entertain yourself.
Beyond everything else (which is not few until now, if we’re being honest), we also need regular doses of well-being and entertainment to escape a bit from everyday life and stress. A movie, a theater play, a coffee, a meal out, a walk by the sea are activities capable of giving us a short dose of happiness. After all, many say that happiness is not a continuous state but a collection of specific moments.
To cultivate real friendships.
Real friends are the people who believe in you, support you, rejoice in your achievements, and generally stand by you at every step. They are your second family, and as such, they play a significant role in your life and how happy you feel.
So, how many of the above did you check for your own life, and how many are missing? As for the latter, the things that are missing, try to think about how you could improve them. I understand that sometimes it’s not possible to change certain things. But if there’s even the slightest possibility you haven’t exploited, move! And remember to apply the popular saying as much as possible:
If you don’t like the place you’re in now, leave it. You’re not a tree.