Happiness, to a certain degree, is rooted in purpose. We all like to feel like we are a part of something bigger, as it lends a reason to our existence. No matter who you are, we will all live, die and be forgotten... but this thing that you were a part of might live on much longer. It is our only counter to the mortality that plagues us all.
I think that on some level, we all want the world to be better off because we were in it, which, of course, can mean a lot of things to different people. That said, I think that one constant in terms of finding happiness simply involves wanting to share whatever happiness you do have. From there, it compounds exponentially. If everyone did that, think about how much better everything would be. If we all shared our happiness, there would be more than enough to go around.
I think that it all comes down to contributing some kind of positive energy to the world. Energy, of course, can neither be created nor destroyed. Rather, it merely flows through us. When making art, we connect with something intangible. Through dedication to our respective crafts, we try to fashion ourselves into the ideal instruments for capturing this energy and expressing it to others. We do what we can, but it takes practice, and whoever said that practice makes perfect lied. Practice makes better, but no matter what, there is always better.
Music gives me happiness. When I play an instrument and sing a song, I experience joy. Not always, mind you, but more often than not, I do find the act of playing music to be rather meditative (plus it sometimes has the bonus of feeling a bit like exercise). When I focus only on expressing this positive energy that I am fortunate enough to connect with, I experience a zen-like state. Through this, I find happiness.
Taking this one step further, when I am able to share this energy with anyone who is willing to listen, I feel like I am contributing something to the world that is bigger than me. I am sharing this energy, which offers another kind of happiness in itself. I believe that it is rooted in one of the most primal instincts that drives most plants and animals: the desire to procreate, which, in turn, can lend a person a deeper sense of purpose.
I speak from my own experience, and I do not mean to suggest that I am always happy--but when people all around the world are listening to these songs that I wrote in my sunroom, it makes me smile. The joy that I experience in playing the music and writing these songs is multiplied by every listener.
When I create something that surprises me, it feels like I am receiving a gift from the universe, and I see no greater purpose than to share this gift with others. I aim to be a conductor of one, a tiny lightning rod adrift in the Milky Way.
I believe that the best we can do is to make the world better because we're in it. I also believe that everyone has something positive to contribute, even if you don't know what it is yet or haven't quite got the skill to express it properly. Be patient. Be dedicated to your craft. Understand that there is always more to learn.
Happy Friday. I mean that. Think about what you could do that would make somebody else happy and do that thing. Write a song. Bake a cake. Compliment a stranger (in a non-creepy way). Then see if it doesn't make you happier in the process.