Growing up, I defined happiness as achieving materialistic things such as houses, cars, money, shoes, clothes, jewelry, designer bags-etc. However, it wasn't until I lost those things that I discovered they were the depiction of what is found in happiness. Yet, they do not define HAPPINESS. In fact, Merriam- Webster defines "Happiness as a state of well-being and contentment : joy. The word contentment means that "one is okay with the state of being despite having or not having".
It is cliché for people to say that they are happy without actually being happy. I used to look happy externally while suffering from sadness internally. It is possible to have the house, the car, the beauty, the figure, the financial stability, the perfect relationship, the education, the status, etc.- yet still be unhappy. True happiness begins within. The happiest people aren't the wealthiest. They aren't the most attractive. They don't have the most friends and aren't the most popular. However, they have something most do not - THEY HAVE THEMSELVES!!!!!
It took me years to discover that I was so caught up in the metamorphosis of life that I forgot how to be myself, love myself, and take care of myself. I related happiness to having education and I invested $79,000.00 into it and still felt empty. I equated happiness into a career and despite being laid off several times, I devoted 11 years to an industry that has yet to see my worth or value. I believed that happiness was being married and I spent 10 years trying to salvage something that wasn't meant to be. I determined happiness to be in people and I lived for them, dressed like them, talked like them, lived like them - only to wake up one day and discover I was no longer "LIKED BY THEM".
At the burial of my father's funeral, I decided to bury everything about me that wasn't me. Everything I had pretended to be for the sake of "going along to get along". I buried who I perceived was happy and walked away on a mission to find happiness within myself. While that was 5 years ago and everyday I am steadily evolving...... I believe I have now reached the point of true happiness.
Seeing as though most would tie it to an amazing guy, beautiful children, business, net worth or genetics, I would mostly tie it to God, HIS Love, His Grace and HIS Mercy. I would tie it to the HIS Word and the fact that I had finally learned "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." ~ Philippians 4:11
I learned to the true definition of Happiness....... I DEFINE IT?