Is there a recipe for happiness? I think there is. I think the reason were not happy in our day to day lives is because we fail to see the simplicity of the answer that is right in front of us.
I ask again, is the recipe for happiness right in front of us and is it so simple we don't see it? I think so. Go with me on this one and you determine whether I'm on target or way off in left field.
Let's assume for the sake of argument that every person alive was born with a hole in their soul. And lets say that we need something to fill that hole. Scientifically it could be a natural mechanism that drives us to move; food, sex, sunlight, recreation, habitat, water, ect..
Being the evolved creatures that we are this mechanism has evolved to a point where, even though we may have met all the requirements that nature asks of us, we still need to do something else. That something else has led us to create skyscrapers, masterful works of art and even war.
Something in us has given us a need to be creators. Whatever your faith or lack there of it cannot be denied that man desires to create and will even go so far as to deny himself the basic necessities of life in order to create.
So, the first part of the recipe could be creation whether it's art, music, writing or just raising your kids to be brain surgeons, we need to feel like we are creating or at least feel as if we are part of it all. This helps to fill the void.
Hope. Hope is a funny concept. My wife and I had a little bit of trouble when we first got married and we joked about being afraid of being in love. Perhaps, but I think now, looking back on it, that we weren't afraid but we had hoped to find love one day and when we did the hope we had been clinging to was no longer necessary and we found an empty hole that hope once filled. Where am I going with this? You need hope, even if that hope never comes to fruition, even if it's a silly dream to become a rock star one day or an astronaut. Hope is one of the most important ingredients to happiness.
Lastly, but not un-importantly so, is the need for completion of obligations. I think a lot of this falls into the category of fulfilling your basic needs but society complicates things to the point where you have to do things and regardless of how far they may stray they will break down into survival and fulfilling your basic needs. 'I gotta fill the gas tank. To get to work. To pay the bills and buy the food and bottled water and...' you get my point.
The other aspect of obligations is that they hang over your head and though you may try to ignore them they will eat at your subconscious, irritating that pesky hole in your soul. So, get done what you need to get done and see how you feel. Hey, you could even get ahead of the game and feel that much better. Get your debt paid off, get your kids a check up at the doctors, get that work done that's due in three days, today. One step closer to happiness.
Remember what I always say, 'The worst they can do is kill me and then I wouldn't have anything to worry about.'
My father always said, 'If you don't have any money you don't have to worry about what to spend it on.'
-NK (peace, love and hairgrease)