Is it necessary to have struggled to be happy?

I was on the Yoga Journal Community website this morning and I came across a blog post by a man who is happy. He, as many of us have struggled with body image and material grasping for years. With the help of his yoga practice (in his case Journey Into Power by Baron Baptiste) he started turning inward and deriving his happiness from inside, rather than external appearance and goods. He can now says he his happy. Hari Om!

I often wonder, and have not yet decided on my answer to the question:
Do we have to have struggled to be happy?
Most of the people I know who feel content with their lives and live with gusto have overcome something negative and have "worked" for years to find contentment.

This leads me to more questions:
Is happiness just relative to negative points in our lives?
Has anyone not had negative events or circumstances that they have needed to overcome?
Why are some people seemingly, "naturally" happy while others have to work hard at happiness?
Does anyone not want to be happy?

It would make me happier right now if I had some succinct, thoughtful answers to these questions. But I don't, and yet I am still happy. But is this enough happiness, since I could be happier if I did have answers? Ah, more questions.

But I'm having a good day. I feel happy right now, at this moment. I like the music I'm listening to. I like that I just read a post on a blog about a man who is happy. Nothing earth-shatteringly elating going on with me at this moment, but I'm happy. More on happiness and contentment.
Listening to this music as I write:

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Yoga With John said...

It seems to me that
suffering carves a groove, that becomes a vessel for compassion.

Deeper the groove, deeper the potential for empathy and compassion.

Current research in Time Magazine has shown us to have a preset happiness level at birth... within a year of a devastating event, or an event like winning the lottery, the person usually reverts back to their setpoint.

I would bet that a practice such as Yoga or meditation would change our setpoint.. Sure has reset mine, but then, I've suffered along with the rest of us too, and now have plenty of potential for compassion.

be well


Florian said...

Beautifully put, John. Thanks for your input. I'll have to check out that research on the preset happiness level. Sounds interesting.