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When individuals discuss how to reach happiness and what the term means, neither the question nor the answer are straightforward. As such, philosophers have divided the topic into two main ideas, each with a distinct approach towards it. These are:

  1. Possessing a healthy state of mind
  2. Leading a fulfilling life

Happiness is a road we design throughout our lives and build from within. It is a choice that we as humans have. In the same way, trying to obtain happiness through the hands of other people does not work, with such methods generally associated with frustrating attempts to fill our own emotional emptiness. Objects and people will not make us happy if depended on. This are only brief imaginary perceptions of happiness, and they are transient and short-lived.

On the contrary, a life built on values, morality and ethics will supply us with the means to live a content and happy life. A roadmap from when one is dependent upon their parents to when they are capable of fully providing for themselves and the people around them is a good example on how a happy and nourished life can be achieved. Key in this roadmap is when we are able to reach maturity and take responsibility of our own actions, as well as the consequences associated with them. This is made easier when we understand that it is not what might have happened to us in the past that determines how we must feel in the present – which can be a particularly difficult notion when we think of the worst moments in our life. Only by taking charge of one’s approach to future situations and letting go of the heavy stones they carry will one be set free. It is the way in which we learn empathy, forgiveness, support, patience and humility that will allow us to be content.

Normally, we can only sense happiness as a temporary feeling. It is not an endpoint, but another ingredient to the turbulence of emotions that we call life; for precedence teaches us that life itself is filled with uncertainties and unpredictability.

In summary, true happiness has to come from within no matter how you want to put it. A constant state of happiness is unrealistic; it just doesn’t happen. We grow and learn through our many successes and errors, with pain being an integral and universal part of the process. In other words, we can only make the very best of every situation. At the end of the day, it is up to us to designate happiness to the things we deem most important.