Day by day, we're in search of something that some of us know nothing about. Whether we realize that we're searching for it or not, the common person is generally yearning for happiness. In some cases (a small percentage based on experience) contentment comes very naturally. I don't have enough life exposure to determine where this feeling of natural ecstasy stems from. One could place accusations on such theories, such as parental upbringing & family habits, social environment, chemical imbalance (or balance for that matter), or possibly even just fortune. Who am I to determine where your happiness stems from though ? I can merely speculate based on logical findings in my 21 years of observation.
I'm not here to judge, for I would be a hypocrite, but I am here to expand my own mind and along the way possibly expand a few others. None of us will ever see the entire picture as to why someone else might be happy, or unhappy, that is for the person to determine, and possibly make adjustments accordingly. I believe everyone in the world can achieve true happiness through optimistic endeavor. This doesn't necessarily mean getting rich, being beautiful, or having a flawless companion..those things are easy to come by, end of story. I believe it's the underlying story, what it took to get there, and the attitude you had while achieving your goals. Happiness is not just a physical emotion, it's a psychological actuality. Serotonin and dopamine are increased and decreased every day by activity, physical and mental, and uncontrollable circumstances. It's a person's assignment at birth to calibrate their actions and involvement to match those that increase happiness. Most people on Earth will go through life never encountering or even fathoming what true happiness is, while considering themselves happy. Maybe this is what happiness is about..manipulating yourself to believe that you are genuinely happy. This facade is only surface deep.
Now, the kicker. It's is your individual task to make yourself happy. We are put here in certain circumstances uncontrollable to us. The life you had growing up, whether ideal or poverty-stricken, can affect, but does NOT determine your future, and is NOT an excuse for why you're "unhappy." It's your own personal choices that actuate your happiness. Eliminating antagonistic existence is the only way to access happiness, to be simple, cut out the unnecessary stresses. It may be a relationship, work, diet, or anything, really. I am not here to determine what you can do to make yourself happy, only you know. I'm undertaking knowledge to pave myself a better road to true happiness. As I diagnose and dissect the cause/effect of different things I grow greater in my own strength and motivation to increase my own peace of mind.
SO, in trying to devise an ultimate point of this clutter, I've realized that it's not okay to settle. Many of us view our life at a point where it's acceptable, not exceptional. It's natural for humans to always want more, so why can't we strive for it ? The economy [more like our current government] might be in shambles, but by no means should that effect your happiness. It won't come overnight, heck, it might even take a few years, but little goals we can set for ourselves on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, and then carry out will greatly modify your well-being. Who ever said once you've accomplished your life goals, you should stop making new ones ? Now that all the crickets are stomped, I'll answer that one; NOBODY! Therefore, if we have nothing to thrive towards, we will never thrive. In my point of view it's pretty simple, keep yourself goal-oriented, and nix the unnecessary stress in your life. Don't take this as advice, I can't tell you how to make YOU happy, I'm just providing a few essential ingredients to the recipe of life, the masterpiece is for you to create.
side note..added 1/14
Came up in a random brainstorm...
We hold these truths to be self–evident,
That all men are created equal,
That they are endowed by their Creator
with certain unalienable Rights,
That among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Even our American constitution encourages the seeking of happiness :)
"Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence."~ Aristotle