“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.” ― Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Are you happy? If you are, how happy are you?
True happiness refers to the measurement of two kinds of happiness, namely experienced happiness and remembered happiness.
Experienced happiness pertains to those moments of relief, bliss, laughter, or joy that you have experienced within a day. Imagine your friend asking you randomly during lunch time about what you are doing and how happy you actually are at that very moment. That is experienced happiness, the kind of happiness that comes from the things that you do for a particular period of time.
On the other hand, remembered happiness refers to how you think about yourself in general. This is how you will answer that million dollar question “Are you happy with your life?”
This is how you remember those years you had in high school, the vacations that you went to, the holidays you have spent with your whole family, the early days of childhood with other kids, your history of jobs, or even your divorce. Remembered happiness is pretty much like the bigger picture or perspective on your state of happiness.
It is not surprising that experienced happiness and remembered happiness do not match all the time. For instance, millionaires in general have higher rate for their remembered selves compared to those people who only earn $50,000 each year.
However, a millionaire might have more responsibilities in life. He may experience more pressure in his work, with a larger house to run and a spouse who is more demanding.
It only goes to say that even if they are earning millions, these people might have lesser moments of spontaneous happiness during their day to day lives, and living their lives less happily.
Meanwhile, an ordinary employee who considers himself as less happy since he lacks the kind of luxury that he has been dreaming of might, in reality, experience great bliss and pleasure with their jobs, with their family or with their hobbies, thus, they tend to have more blissful moments in their day.
Experienced and remembered happiness might be entirely different things but once you have happy moments in your past and your present, then, you can say that you have reached the so-called true happiness.