Why does everyone have a different definition of what happiness is? What's yours?
This is one where I am going to side with classical philosophy. I feel that happiness is a quality, which is the summation of a person's entire existence; what they did, who they were, the effects of their actions, all of it. It is like a sporting event. You can't really call it until it is over.
That said, in a more immediate sense, it is the ability to see the world for what it really is and choose to find some measure of peace and contentment inside yourself, anyways.
I have met men, who in their home countries had prestigious jobs, who here in the U.S., work as dishwashers, custodians, or cooks. In many cases it is an issue with an accreditation transferring or a language barrier issue. In one case, the gentleman, a chemical engineer in Mexico, a dishwasher here, said "With this, when I go home, I leave work here (at work.)" That was enough for him and he chose to be at peace. It wasn't that he was too stupid to know better. It was a choice.
While working at a McDonald's, when I was younger, I met another man, who had the, arguably worst job in the whole place. Those soiled diapers, baking in the summer sun of Georgia, out in the parking lot; yeah that was his job. You can use your imagination from there. I asked him one day; "doesn't this ever bother you." He said "Life is just too short."
To me ignorance might be this thing that some people call bliss, but it is not real happiness. That takes work and is a far finer thing. As for me, I am still working on it.
Everyone has their own meaning to happiness because happiness of a person comes hand in hand with the things one lack or something that they never get fed up with.
For an example think of a nice song (or book) you heard when you are passing by someplace. You wanted to listen to that again but couldn't because you didnt know the name. If its relatable, can you recall the joy of finding that song and listening to it after trying many times? You will listen to that song over and over again. But can you also recall how you didn't feel the same enthusiasm by listening to that song when you got tired of it?
I think that's the reason each of us have our own definitions of happiness, because our likes, interests and tastes are different to one another.
In my case happiness is having control and confidence in being yourself.
Not everyone needs or wants the same thing as someone else. What makes one person happy might not matter to you or someone else.
What makes me happy is that my kids grew up to be good people and are both in graduate school because they want to have a secure future and be totally independent people.
What makes me happy are animals. Right now I have 4 dogs (3 are rescues), 2 doves (I love hearing them coo and make their own strange mating sounds), a Sun Conure who screeches when she's talking about something (in bird talk; she only whispers a few human words) and I have an adorable sugar glider.
What also makes me happy is kindness and respect from other people. Something I don't get from my husband.
Everyone is searching for the same thing but they don't realize they are the answer.
You are the sought.
You are happiness.
Knowing your self is what happiness means/
Don't travel the world looking for diamonds when you have them in your pockets all along.
To have the feeling of oneness with nature and your environment and all the people around you. To have the confidence and energy to be natural and act spontaneously. I find that when and if I am happy like this, I can pass on my happiness to others. I can cheer up people who are down and keep people happy. I do still feel perplexed though when somebody appears to want to make people unhappy. With people like this, I think Dispassion is needed.
If you are happy you will surely know it ! You wouldn't care to define it, nor would you ask someone else's definition or opinion of it.
I do not care to define happiness because I am very happy!