We live in a media-centric society, which means that we see the following messages multiple times per day: Happiness comes from purchasing, Happiness comes from consuming, Happiness comes from having new things. Rather than letting people tell us how to be happy, we need to learn how to create our own happiness.
Because we are all different, how you create your own happiness is different than how I create mine. We need to honour how others create their own happiness.
For example, Baby T1.0 creates his own happiness by doing a lot of silly things. He can spend hours playing Duplo and laughing at things that he built. He can sing to himself and have a silly dance party at the same time. The world is a happy place to him.
Recently Mrs. T was out and both the kids were sleeping. I was working on a spreadsheet while blasting Mer de Noms by A Perfect Circle on my headsets. I was at a happy place.
The fallacy of buying and consuming
Turn on TV or open up a magazine and we will find commercials and ads everywhere. Thanks to these commercials and ads, we have been taught from a very young age that buying things will bring happiness. So we mindlessly buy things believing and hoping that they will bring us happiness.
Take a look at all the seasonal holidays - Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Why is there so much emphasis on buying seasonal gifts for yourself and to give them to your love ones?
Stressed or depressed? Head to your nearest shopping mall and get some retail therapy.
Have a mid-life crisis? Buy yourself a luxury sports car.
Unfortunately buying and consuming things often result in more purchases and consumption. Buying and consuming a $10 item today may bring you extreme happiness. Next week you need to buy and consume a $30 item to bring the same amount of happiness. Next month you need to buy and consume a $75 item to bring that same amount of happiness. This results in a never ending cycle.
Create your own happiness
There are so much more to life than the endless buying and consumption cycle. We can all break away from relying on materialistic happiness - we need to find and create happiness from within.
How do you do that? It involves finding something that you love doing and ask yourself - do these choices make me a happier person?
For me here are a few things that bring happiness to me:
- A walk on a sunny day
- Being covered in sweat from a great outdoor activity
- Being on top of a pointy peak
- Hugs from Mrs. T and the kids
- Taking pictures with my camera
- Spending time with my family over a nice meal and having great conversations
- Cooking and making food together with Mrs. T
- Listening to songs from my favourite bands - Tool, A Perfect Circle, Radiohead, Pearl Jam, etc.
- Having a deep thoughtful conversation with someone, bonus point if it's related to personal finance or financial independence
- Researching the next dividend stock to purchase
When I find and create my own happiness rather than relying on others and materialistic things, I am at a better and happier place. It has taken me a while to realize this but I'm glad that I finally have such realization a few years ago.I am grateful to be on the quest for financial independence and joyful life with my life long partner Mrs. T. Without her I wouldn't be who I am today. I feel blessed and loved. Today 34 years ago took my first breathe. I have faced many challenges and done many adventures since then and I very much look forward to what's ahead for me in the future.
Dear readers how do you creates happiness?