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The Elusive Nature of Happiness: A Journey of Self-Sufficiency

coaching May 21, 2024

Happiness is a concept that has intrigued humans for centuries. Despite the numerous attempts to define and understand it, nobody really knows what happiness is or how to achieve it. This mystery has led to various interpretations across different fields and philosophies. Biologists say it's chemicals in the body, visionaries claim it's having a purpose, and Buddhists say it's living free of desires.

However, amidst these diverse viewpoints, I believe that happiness must be sought actively, cherished in small moments, and appreciated for what it is, rather than lamenting what is missing.

The Biological Perspective: Chemicals in the Body

From a biological standpoint, happiness is often described in terms of chemical reactions within our bodies. Neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins play crucial roles in our mood and overall sense of well-being. While understanding these mechanisms can be enlightening, it often reduces happiness to a mere physical process, neglecting the emotional and psychological complexities that accompany it.

The Visionary Perspective: Having a Purpose

Visionaries and motivational speakers frequently emphasize the importance of having a purpose. According to this view, happiness is found through achieving goals and fulfilling one's potential. While having a purpose can indeed provide direction and motivation, it can also create pressure and dissatisfaction if those goals remain unattained or if one's purpose is constantly shifting.

The Buddhist Perspective: Living Free of Desires

Buddhism offers a unique perspective on happiness, suggesting that it lies in living free of desires. This philosophy teaches that attachment to material possessions, people, or outcomes leads to suffering. By releasing these attachments, one can achieve a state of inner peace and contentment. However, this approach can be challenging in a world that often equates success and happiness with material wealth and external achievements.

A Personal Perspective: Cherishing Small Moments

While each of these perspectives offers valuable insights, I believe that happiness must be sought actively and cherished in small moments. It's about appreciating the little things in life, rather than constantly yearning for what we lack. This approach involves a shift in mindset—focusing on what we can salvage and value, rather than what we are missing.

The Art of Self-Sufficiency

When you spend many years of your life missing what you don't have, the way I used to miss the country I was born, you become an expert in becoming self-sufficient. This self-sufficiency is not about isolation or independence from others but rather about being the engineer and driver of your own happiness. It’s about taking control of your emotional well-being and finding joy in your own terms.

Simple Steps to Happiness

  1. Seek Actively: Don't wait for happiness to come to you. Actively seek out experiences and moments that bring joy and contentment.
  2. Cherish Small Moments: Learn to appreciate the small, everyday moments that often go unnoticed. A sunrise, a kind gesture, or a moment of silence can be profoundly fulfilling.
  3. Value What You Have: Focus on what you have rather than what you lack. Cultivate gratitude for the people, opportunities, and experiences that enrich your life.
  4. Be Your Own Source of Happiness: Understand that happiness is an inside job. While external circumstances can influence your mood, true happiness comes from within.


Happiness is a multifaceted and deeply personal journey. While biologists, visionaries, and Buddhists offer valuable perspectives, the key to happiness may lie in actively seeking it, cherishing small moments, and being self-sufficient in our pursuit of joy. By shifting our focus from what is missing to what we can appreciate, we can become the engineers and drivers of our own happiness. It's as simple as that—there's nothing more to it. How can you apply this ideas to your tennis?

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