Talk to anyone on the street, and ask them what their definition of happiness entails. Chances are, they'll respond with an all-encompassing answer, one that covers every aspect of life and materialistic satisfaction and circumstance. Some where in the back of every one's mind is the vague notion of what the answer to that question actually is.
I am not going to pretend I have everything figured out. I'm still learning a lot along the way, and the best thing to do in any situation is to stand by your ideals one hundred percent of the time. If you don't, going against what you know is your true nature will eat you from the inside out, poisoning your mental health.
The idea of happiness to me is rooted in balance, in dynamics. Its like that trite saying "you can't have the good without the bad" (or any other sort of bastardization of the quote). I believe in balance and karma. I believe in living by what you believe in, following only the subjective morality compass that every decent human being is ingrained with. Making your own rules and beliefs, following your own rule and beliefs.
This has nothing to do with religion or Christianity. I do not believe that morals are a religious institution. Before organized religion, I'd like to delude myself into thinking that people were decent human beings for the sake of it and nothing more.
But, I am getting off topic. This could be entirely its own blog post (and maybe soon it will be). Balance goes hand in hand with karma. Its not only the difference between selflessness and selfishness, but its taking the bad in stride while continuing to live for the good. Without frustrations at work, would your days off spent with loved ones mean as much? Without a general distaste for humanity, would nights spent holed up in your apartment with your nose buried in a book be the exact medicine you need to get through the night?
I find happiness in the little things: moments, circumstances and memories. Give me a cup of coffee when I get out of the shower and you'll see a smile on my face. Give me the company of Robin, a couple bottles of wine, and records playing and I can get through any day or night.
I take comfort in the unity that music can bring. There were times when it felt like the world was crashing around me, and amidst the rubble I had friends and family that stood guard, giving me the strength to go on. Checking back in with those memories makes me grateful that there are people out there that will always do that, no questions asked.
I don't desire a ton of money or a fancy house. I like the feeling of being hungry. Instead of surrounding myself with shallow, flaky friends, I keep the company of those who will have my back all of the time, no questions asked.
These are not extravagant concepts. These are wants and needs boiled down into the simplest of ideas. When everything in life is boiled down into the simplest of terms, everything else important can be fleshed out accordingly. Mental inventory can then be taken and clarity always comes.