Happiness as a concept is unique to human beings. Animals can have sensations of security, satisfaction, pleasure and enjoyment. But happiness is something over and above these sensations. Happiness is something sublime â€” a feeling that is higher than the sensations. Although it is very difficult to define happiness, we can identify some of the key elements of what constitutes happiness: it is not a momentary sensation. It is a long-term feeling; happiness does not erode. It has an element of permanency and durability and is basically self-generated â€” it does not depend on outside factors; happiness is associated with peace of mind. It brings tranquility, and at the same time peace of mind is a prerequisite for happiness; happiness spreads to others. It is never at anyoneâ€™s cost.
Throughout our lives, we keep aspiring for many material and emotional things like money, power, status, physical pleasures, sensations etc. We apply all our intelligence and spend much of our time and energy in chasing these things. We pursue the acquisition of these things with such energy and enthusiasm that we forget these are not ends in itself. They are means to a greater thing â€” happiness. However, out pursuit of the means to happiness often causes us all the unhappiness. This is so because we often do not remain conscious of the end goal, that is happiness.
Unless we consciously desire happiness, and nurture the things that would make us happy, we would only be engaged and lost in acquiring the means to happiness, while happiness itself would elude us. We have to cherish happiness as the main objective of life. â€” Stress Management