Does Happiness Exist?

The ultimate question of the Western world. Does happiness exist? How can we obtain it? Why can’t we always be happy, despite our best efforts?

The movie ‘Hector and the Search for Happiness’ attempts to answer these questions, in a comical but thoughtful way. Starring Simon Pegg (of ‘Hot Fuzz’ and ‘Paul’ fame) the movie sets the scene of a rigidly routine-based psychologist who doesn’t even realise he is unhappy because he is so numbed by his orderly life. Things are set in motion when he experiences a small niggle that awakens him to his numbness, and then as he continues to listen to his patients, he realises that they are looking to him to find happiness in their lives when he doesn’t even know what that means. Eventually, after his tensions are released by shouting and screaming at one of his most neediest patients, he decides to take a trip around the world to decide if he can define and find happiness.

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courtesy of artist Unsplash

Throughout the movie, he comes up with several happiness tips that he learns from people he meets (some are nice friendly people, some are not so nice). Below is his list.

Hector’s List of Happiness Tips

1. Making comparisons can spoil your search for happiness.

2. A lot of people think happiness means being richer or more important.

3. Many people only see happiness in their future.

4. Sometimes happiness is not knowing the whole story.

5. Avoiding unhappiness is not the road to happiness.

6. Does your partner bring you predominantly a) up? or b) down?

7. Happiness is answering your calling.

8. Happiness is being loved for who you are.

9. Fear is an impediment to happiness.

10. Happiness is feeling completely alive.

11. Happiness is knowing how to celebrate.

12. Listening is loving.

Hector makes some insightful discoveries along his journey. Eventually he realises what he has been missing in his relationship with his long-term girlfriend and when he finally comes to terms with the things they will have to do to change and compromise to make their relationship work, we can see that while he is happy that his relationship will not end, there is also fear and sadness which accompanies the happiness emotion.

A good film with a fabulous message. Everyone has a right to be happy. But how do we gain happiness as a constant way of being? How can we be happy when our house falls down or our family is ripped apart?

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The answer to this, and all questions, is in God. joy is not dependent on our circumstances but on our relationship with God. When we put God first and allow him to work his power in our lives, he fills us with the deepest of contentment, happiness and blessing. In the book of Phillipians, Paul urges Christians to be filled with joy (Phillipians 3:1 and 4:4). Worldly happiness is dependent on circumstances, which is what Hector found. Society tells us that if you buy this car or have this job, date this guy or have this many children, you will be happy. Have you found this to be true?

God’s List of Happiness Tips

1. Get to know me and build a deep trust in me.

2. Ask me for help and I will breathe my power in your life.

3. Talk to me as you do your daily things.

4. Praise me always, whether you feel high, low, bored, angry, depressed or stressed.

5. My joy is resilient and long-lasting, even in the midst of suffering.

6. Joy comes in knowing that whatever may come, I use everything for your good.

7. Joy is hoping in me.

8. If you believe in my son, Jesus, and that he died and rose again to save you, I will fill you with joy and you will see your life through fresh eyes, hope and perspective.

9. The secret to a joyful life is to be continuously filled with my Holy Spirit.

10. When you believe in me, your life and attitude are not defined by outward circumstances but by your relationship with me, the Living God.

Pezibear

courtesy of artist Pezibear

©2015 by Rachel Leathers

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