Answer Out Loud: Are You Happy?

Daily Meditation #302–12/21/2022


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Are you happy?

When you wake up, are you eager for the day?

Or, instead, are you filled with thoughts like:

“I can’t wait for that vacation in the Bahamas this December.”
“Man, going to see my favorite band next month is gonna be the best. The sooner the better.”
“I think I need a pizza, tonight. What a long week. I feel miserable. A pizza and a binge of the new episodes of XYZ will be just what I need.”

Most of us operate like that.

We treat happiness like it’s a health gauge or some sort of refillable tank or bar — like we are video game characters and by doing X or drinking/eating Y will “refill us.”

Happiness is nothing of the sort.

It isn’t a target or a direct goal.

Happiness isn’t like telling yourself “I’m going to save $10,000 this year” and watching the gradual growth of numbers.

It is something indirectly obtained.

Happiness is created as a byproduct of leading a life of meaning. A byproduct of doing what you need to be doing.

I don’t mean “what you need to be doing” like emptying your cat’s litter — although ignoring responsibilities like cleaning will yield unhappiness as a byproduct, too — I mean “what you need to be doing” as in improving yourself.

As in living Eudaimonically, like we discuss daily here.

Paying attention to Physical Wellness.
Relationship Wellness.
Financial Wellness.
And, of course, Spiritual Wellness.

Good health, positive relationships, financial stability and spiritual attunedness generates meaning for us which can yield happiness.

When you eat well, move plenty, and pick up/put down heavy things, you wake up energized. You see your body improve. You feel more attractive and confident. You feel compelled to keep at it! This can help yield happiness as a byproduct.

When you nurture the relationship with your spouse and family, and remove the cancerous friendships, you will feel loved and appropriately challenged. Your negative traits can be healthily managed with their kind words. You should have more sex with your spouse as both of you will be attracted to one another. You and your positive friends can grow and challenge each other. This can help yield happiness as a byproduct.

When you live within your means, focus on balancing your finances, the stability created brings you great peace. Knowing the bills for the coming months already are “paid for” with cash in your mattress or envelopes is soothing. You know when it’s appropriate to “treat yo’self” and can do so without shame. You can lay your head down every night filled with the thought you are working towards retirement. This can help yield happiness as a byproduct.

When you take time every moment of every day to pray or meditate gratitude forth, it lays a sensation of “Man, life really is good!” over you. Spirituality can bring you nearer to God or to creation or the universe, helping you remember that you are mortal — that your time is finite — and you must endeavor to do good for yourself and the world. This can help yield happiness as a byproduct.

Meaning can be found in life with Eudaimonia. Living with the Four Core Tenets can create a great deal of friendships and relationships (with people and God, for some), enhancing your sense of self and your place in your community. 

It brings attunement to your self.

The Eudaimonic Path, its Infinite Mountain, is a challenging one, but it brings us nearer to meaning.

And meaning creates that ever sought after byproduct…


Follow for daily philosophical meditations.

These are distillations from my coming book “YouDaimonia: the Ancient Philosophy of Human Flourishing.”

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