Happiness is what we experience when things, all the important things, are going well. If your career, relationships, health, and any other important factors are all on the up, then you will without doubt feel happy. Happiness is a measure of how well we are doing in the world, how well we are surviving. It might have occurred to the reader that we can only be happy when all the important things in our lives are progressing in a desirable manner. So, your career and health may be great, but let’s say a close relationship is falling apart. Everything might be good apart from this relationship. Just one thing going wrong out of many will be the cause of unhappiness. Happiness is a very delicate state, requiring many parts of our lives to be how we want them to be at the same time. Of course, this is a rare event, and as such, happiness is an unstable state.
Unhappiness is the direct opposite of happiness. It only takes one area of our lives to be unsatisfactory for us to be in a state of unhappiness. It is much more likely that, at any particular time, a person is unhappy. As such, unhappiness is a very stable state. Most people would deny that their lives are unhappy because it would be an admission that things are less than perfect. Even so, it would be useful if people could learn to enjoy their unhappiness, simply because they will spend most of their lives in this state.
Striving for happiness is a fool’s game. It really is like trying to balance a pencil on its end; the least little disturbance and it falls over. Unhappiness is a base state and can be amplified through efforts to achieve happiness. It really is best not to try and be happy and to live with things as they are, short of trying to address some very serious cause of pain.