More than anything else men and women seek happiness as Aristotel concluded many hundred years ago.
Indeed either we are doing good or bad things, foolish, impulsive or prudent we do it hoping that it lead us to happiness.
Everybody understads happiness in their own way. But happiness is not something that have happened.
“This fulfillment showed him the eternal error men make in imagining that their happiness depends on the realization of their desires” L.N. Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
Doesn’t matter what we set as an aim – wealth, beauty, acknowledgement, relationship.. Achievement of those will lead to new frustration, new finding of oneself and new goal.
Think about feeling of happiness. When we feel it the strongest? When the staff we do brings us pleasure and energize for further challenges, when your job is useful, when you have quality time with family, when you can help people.
All mentioned above describe the feeling of life satisfaction and all these are in our consciousness.
And what do we feel buying new piece of furniture, car, dress, etc? Short joy. And then it makes our lives more comfortable (in best case) but it’s not giving feeling of happiness by itself.
That’s to say our feelings and our satisfaction with life depends on self interpretation of events and on inner harmony.
It’s mportant to learn to derive pleasure from each moment. In our consciousness moments are feelings, thoughts, memories. All these processes need attention. But in modern society our attention is constantly distracted. Political, economical, cultural, office news, advertisement, sales, social networks.. The list might be continued.
Overloaded information clutter up our minds as it needs to be processed. There is no place for our own thoughts at the end. We are constantly under stress how not to miss something and to cover all.
Freud noticed that civilization is built on suppressing human desires. Society demand from us socialization and conformity to certain expectations.
We are living in society of ambitious striving for doing all at once, tireless and always energized people. Thus we are competing for achieving those ideals trying to fulfill somebody else expectations. Earlier or later we feel deep disillusionment when we got reflection finally.
Of course to give the recipe for happiness is impossible as for everybody it’s a peculiar way. But it’s possible to make the person think over if he is on the right way.
We get used to consume information and goods. But to be comparable to harmony we should moderate our consumption, fence off information noise, simplify rhythm of life and look around. Breath. It will give opportunity to think, priorities, emphasize values which will beacon deciding about anything. And finally it will allow to feel ourself as masters of our fate.
Thus simplicity is not asceticism, it’s not end in itself. Simplicity is a key to happiness.