“What is happiness to you, David?”. I bought a dress once with this quote from the movie “Vanilla Sky” (2001) and since then this stuck with me. Before I reached my middle 20’s I had never thought about what happiness is or what I need to do to be happy. I was just living and supposedly being happy.
Then I started to consider existential questions such as “Why are we here?” “What is the purpose of life?” “Does love really exist? Or is our mind an invention?”.
I believe happiness is a state of mind and lasts only a fraction of second (maybe a little more). Being happy demands certain conditions such as being healthy or having intelligence and freedom. If you are able to walk from one place to another, if you can ride your bike to school or work or if you can dance all night long with your friends you should feel happy. If you have the capacity to solve problems, the ability to organize ideas and arguments, if you are creative and funny you must be a happy person. If you are independent to follow your passion, to pursue your dreams, to travel, to eat your favorite meal, to discuss your opinions and beliefs, if you are a free bird, you are definitely a happy one.
There are a few other important things you must consider in order to live happily: friends, partner and family. They are your foundation, your support and your anchor. Being around your loved ones gives you the strength to overcome any situation. Your friends are your personal cheerleaders. They are there for you, rooting for your success. Your partner is your best investor. It’s someone who believes in your potential and took the risk to be by your side while you were in the process to become a final product. Your family is your mainstay. They are the ones that no matter what, will sustain unconditional love for you.
So, if I was David (Tom Cruise) and you, dear reader, were Edmund (Noah Taylor) when you shoot me that opening question “What is happiness to you?” I would say happiness is the combination of the things I mentioned: health, intelligence, freedom, friends, love and family with good and sad moments. I deeply believe that you have to face tough times and overcome conditions with a lack of one of the above to truly value the special moments when you have most of those.
*This article was originally written as an assignment for my English class. I liked the topic and thought that will be cool to share with you all here! I hope I’ll get an A for the effort. ;)