The adjective that everyone uses for the dreaded question is not the appropriate one, in my opinion. Happiness is not a steady state. One cannot be happy right after getting up from bed, but one can be content in every waking moment. Let us play the following game. I ask: are you content? If you answered yes without hesitation, you passed the test. If you paused or if your answer was no, you failed the test.

If you failed the test, and if you want to change your reality, that is easily doable. Contentment is a state of confidence, where one knows that what one is doing is what one ought to do. That there is nowhere else where one must be, but where one is now. That there are no things one is postponing, that we are doing what our hearts are telling us to do, without questioning it—because it simply feels right.

It is very easy to spot a content human, and being in the company of one is always a good thing, whether the context be happy or sad. If I am content and a tragedy befalls me, such as the loss of a loved one, I’ll be sad and grieving, but also content and grounded. I will not feel a desperation like the one that occurs in clinical depression.

It is just as easy to spot the discontented. Conversation is contrived, there is an eeriness about their movements, their voice is nervous and sometimes trembles; rather than being in the moment they actively make the attempt to escape the moment. For the discontented, joy hardly comes by, as they are most of the time anxious and nervous. It is a superlative example of our unconscious intelligence, that we are able to spot all these little details about a person in a flash. As soon as a discontented human enters a room, we all notice it, as if they were carrying a bag with rotten food.

The biggest causer of discontentment is the seeking of external validation, as opposed to seeking internal validation and self-respect. In an attempt to elevate their social status, the discontented sacrifice much more than they gain. I find it hilarious, and I relish that there is a garbage collector out there that is happier than every single Doctor that chose their path because of the glory and prestige it afforded them. What a merry sense of justice I feel, I rejoice! Imagine trying to learn how the cell and the mitochondria work, when it is the last thing you care about. Imagine studying volumes of terse legal code just to get a fancy piece of paper with its fancy letters.

To those seeking help, my recommendation is to acknowledge the power of the human mind, its ability to effect change, and I would warn against taking substances like SSRIs. Your psychiatrist will conveniently forget that antidepressants will make you fat. After all, the pockets were lined.

Just take little steps and start making those changes that you know must take place. You’d be surprised how quickly you can crawl out of the darkest holes. If your answer to my question was yes, then I’m happy for you. If it wasn’t, I hope it will soon be!

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