Defining Happiness

I have read so many definitions of success that I started to wonder myself — what does success really mean? Is success something that defines my happiness, but how do I define success? And what is happiness?

Some people state that success is the combination of power, money and influence. Some say it means to have the power of choice, freedom, sense of achievement and satisfaction. As it usually happens, it always depends on our perspective.

In my opinion success is very personal and can only be measured by the individual. We live in a time defined by many rules and standards, created by the society we live in. These rules define standards that we all try to fit in to and we live by the rules that we think are right and everyone should obey. But is it really that simple? Of course so many of us know that it’s not as obvious as black and white, good and bad. Life is a little bit more complicated than that.

“ Vishen Lakhiani, founder of Mindvalley has a term for these rules — “brules.” What exactly is a brule? To put it simply, it’s a bullshit rule which we blindly follow, simply because “that’s the way things are.” It’s akin to walking through life with your eyes shut, simply treading the path that others created… without considering if it’s really what you want. “
(The power of Questioning Society’s Rules, Vishen Lakhiani, Mindvalley)

When I first heard his theory, I felt like I finally found an explanation to so many of my frustrations. Rules set by the society teaching us to obey from when we are little, and live in certain frameworks without giving ourselves a chance (in many cases) to find our own unique path that’s different and right for each individual.

With the world becoming smaller and more connected, we push the idea of freedom and democracy but at the same time we live in fear and on the edge of war. I like to believe that love, openness and tolerance is what will save the human race from failing and destroying ourselves once again.

Coming back to the topic of success… for me it is strictly personal. I have always said that for me success equals happiness. It was as simple as that.

However lately I started asking myself: What does happiness mean to me?

It is a beautiful and cheesy and sometimes easy answer that being successful means being happy, and the other way around. I also think that it could be very vague and sometimes meaningless as well.

Me at the MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, NY.

I am currently reading a book called The Happiness Project written by Gretchen Rubin. She has inspired me to be a little bit more specific with my own happiness and decide what makes me happy every day, to find those things and pursue them.

I still have a little bit of work to do but my 5 areas and rules of my happiness are as follows:

1.Do Not Regret Anything in Life

2. Be Present — live in the now, that is the only thing we actually get as a gift so I would like to enjoy every moment of it (good old carpe diem)

3. Stay Balanced — find balance within myself to be able to be an anchor for other people; find balance with body and mind

4. Grow as an Individual Every Day — never give up and never comply

5. Travel to Learn and Learn to Travel (traveling is something that brings me joy, allows me to learn and makes me appreciate what I have)

Recently I have attended a conference organized by AIESEC, an organization that I was a part of for almost 5 years, I came back to deliver a workshop and talked about social movements.

The YouthSpeak Forum (conference I was attending) was rich in great and diverse speakers so besides playing a role of a facilitator I got to listen to some great keynotes and speeches. One of the speakers, Jay Shetty was speaking about success and happiness and different perceptions we have about succeeding in life. I was listening to him speak and agreeing with every word he was saying, success is not simple, success is not easy, success is different for everyone, it is failing, it is falling, it is trying, it is standing up to fall again and rise even stronger. Success is living a purposeful life. Success is living YOUR life. Success is happiness.

Jay Shetty at the Youth Speak Forum in Poland
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