Generally, when people say they are happy, it means they are satisfied with their life. Most of the time, they experience pleasant emotions, such as delight, enthusiasm, joy, pleasure, or contentment, while experiencing few unpleasant emotions. This type of happiness is called normal happiness.
Indeed, normal happiness is associated with the things that people have in their life, like good relationships, enough money in the bank, a successful career, and decent health. When people pursue normal happiness, their motivation focuses on short-term gains at the expense of personal growth, relationships, or well-being, for instance, working for more than 8 hours in a day in pursuit of money and success while neglecting intimate relationships and health. This means that the pursuit of normal happiness is conditioned on the belief that people’s happiness is connected to certain things outside of themselves.
On the other hand, true happiness is far different from normal happiness. True happiness is defined as a deep sense of vitality, peace, and inner well-being that is always within the core of an individual in most circumstances. True happiness is simply feeling a deep sense of gratitude for being alive. It is independent from a person’s life situation, which is contrary to normal happiness, since normal happiness is grounded on certain things that happen around the person.
However, this does not mean that truly happy people do not feel fear, sadness, or anger. In fact, they have the ability to feel these emotions fully and deeply, yet they try not to get caught up in them. They remain aware and focus on their emotions and thoughts and do not lose sight of themselves.
Experiencing true happiness is not only about being kind, living mindfully, practicing gratitude, and changing one’s thoughts; one needs to fundamentally change the way one lives one’s life and one’s way of being in the world.