August 27, 2023

Rachel Strella

The Truth About Happiness


As I've grown older, I've come to recognize that happiness is a profoundly individual experience and one that has been a very personal journey for me. During the pandemic, I enrolled in a 10-week course on Coursera titled The Science of Well-Being. My intention was to enhance my own happiness. While working through the course, I discovered some thought-provoking insights. For example, many of the things we believe will bring happiness often miss the mark. Our society seems caught up in what the instructor labeled “miswanting.” Pursuing things like wealth, the perfect appearance, and even ideal love doesn't guarantee the contentment we imagine.

Years ago, I purchased a book called "Zen and the Art of Happiness," which I've come to consider a personal guide to feeling good. Its central premise is simple: Every event in our lives, regardless of its nature, is, in fact, the best possible event for us. The author says that events are just events. It’s the reaction to the events that channels our happiness or unhappiness. 

I understand this philosophy on an intellectual level. Putting it to use is the challenge. 

Getting Real 

Life is hard. We encounter painful situations, deal with individuals who harbor less-than-noble intentions, and witness a lack of empathy in the world. Amid these struggles, can we genuinely hold onto happiness? 

Yes, it's possible. But it's far from easy. 

The pursuit of maintaining a positive outlook requires persistent effort, at least for me. It's about finding a way to embrace happiness even when the odds are against us.

Digging Deeper

In our recent podcast episode, my co-host Vixen and I took a deep dive into this topic. We openly shared our personal stories about happiness, explored the relationship between mindset and contentment, and discussed our “happy places.” Our conversation led us to consider some age-old questions, including: “Is ignorance bliss?” and “Can money buy happiness?”

Here's a thought-provoking tidbit: Did you know there's an income threshold beyond which our emotional well-being plateaus? It's true. After a certain point, the correlation between income and happiness dwindles. 

Intrigued? You'll find this and more in the #LightHerProject podcast episode titled "Happiness: Does It Exist?" Tune in now!

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