Happiness is not why we are here on this earth. Making meaning of life through purpose is. Happiness emerges out of something. It is not the driver of things.
Therefore, happiness should not be the goal of life. Hence so many people are so disappointed when they come across suffering. “Oh, I thought I came to this life to be happy?” “I just want to be happy.” “I don’t want any pain.”
For a very long time, happiness was in the ancient scripts and religion that it belonged to the heavens up above. That God would grant us that happiness once this life was over. Whilst this is not a religious debate, but it’s to show how social constructs have changed and perhaps created more self-doubt and unhappiness, and how humans now make meaning of life. For as long as history has evolved, humans believed happiness would be something that would come in the afterlife. However, individualism have changed this for us. Now we are advised to find happiness on earth. To find happiness WITHIN OURSELVES ONLY - then would only someone be content and happy and at peace. That’s why we have a billion dollar self help industry, of which for the most of it does not work. This is also what then led parents to also wish for their children “I just want them to be happy.”
Wow. That’s a lot of expectations of one self and quite a big task. It makes sense why people can’t keep up with this. It simply cannot be that we are on this earth with the purpose to be happy.
Rather, it is about making meaning and finding a purpose of our mission on this earth. Values, principles, morals. These are what we have to be focused on, and then when we get started on this journey happiness will be a product of it.
Look for the purpose of your life. Not for happiness.