I watched another supposedly inspirational movie today called Hector and the search for happiness. I think it’s the male version of Julia Roberts in Eat,Pray,Love. The movie itself wasn’t extraordinary like some of my favourites (Shawshank Redemption, Seven pound etc) but it prompted me to ask myself the question: what is happiness? what makes you happy?
Webster’s dictionary defines happiness as the state of being happy and happy as being pleased, delighted, or glad. I don’t think I will discuss happiness as that’s a relatively complex topic open to a lot of subjective interpretation. Being happy though is an equally really tough word to define. It’s easier to express it as an emotion, wherein it’s most often associated with smiling or laughing. I don’t think I’ve seen a person in an angry state of mind be happy. I believe being happy is a state that is very conditional. It can last for days or just even a few minutes really. It’s a state of mind that dictionaries or language in general can’t easily express.
Getting back to the movie, Hector, the lead character, is a psychiatrist with a very typical routine lifestyle travels around the world to find out what it means to be happy. He finds out in the end that his happiness ultimately lies in his feelings for his girlfriend and finding happiness in his very monotonous lifestyle. His love for his girlfriend basically poured happiness into other spheres of his life as he probably found a purpose to his life.
I think many of us have often thought or said to ourselves we wanted to do a world trip to figure out what we wanted to do, to find the meaning of life or to discover the meaning of happiness. I very often experience bouts of Wanderlust myself and have wanted to go to China, South Africa, Paraguay and a dozen of other countries. I also feel like I’m eternally soul-searching. I ask myself if there’s a career that I’d particularly love and be happy with. One that I can go to everyday with full enthusiasm and happiness. Medicine is fulfilling but residency in particular can be very stressful and taxing with a lot of demoralising as well as humbling moments. I’m sure every career has its advantages and disadvantages but for the moment I am trying to figure out which specialty in particular would make me happy. I am happy on my personal front but again there are some bad days at work which creep into my personal life.
What makes you happy?
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