Finding happiness in oneself is something that is often easier said than done.
With the stresses of daily life, finding peace can become somewhat of a struggle, which most people are often all too familiar with.
Even those who outwardly may appear to have the perfect life, and completely happy, are often battling demons.
Hey, if happiness were so easy to achieve, wouldn’t we all have it? This isn’t the case.
Although it might be hard, even some of the most inspiring and influential people have suffered from unhappiness and depression.
Below are just seven influential people who have found happiness:
It’s often hard to believe now that the beautiful, talented, Oscar-winning actress, U.M Ambassador, humanitarian, and mother of six suffered from unhappiness, however in her teens and her 20′s, this was very much the case.
In her early years of fame, Jolie often spoke about her love life, her sexual life and her interest in other women. She openly spoke about her depression, and a few days before her marriage to Billy-Bob Thronton, nearly hired a hitman to kill her. Following this, she was sectioned under Californian law.
However, a couple of years later she began to turn her image around, by becoming involved in the UNHCR, and adopting several abandoned children with her husband, Brad Pitt. She has cited her happiness has come from finding true and genuine love, both with her husband and her children. She has also been quoted to finding solace in her work, often diving herself into her films and charity work.
She’s a working, billionaire mother who was the brains behind the immensely popular Harry Potter series. Although her life may be charmed now, working as an active philanthropist, and has often lost (yet regained) her billionaire status of her generous donations to charity, J.K Rowling’s life wasn’t always so charmed.
Living as a single mother, she was cramped into a tiny apartment following her divorce. She often recalls suffering from suicidal thoughts, and tried cognitive behavioral therapy. It was shortly after this that she began writing Harry Potter, and since found her happiness in writing. She has often said that she would just get lost in her writing, and found it more effective than her behavioral therapy. She has been quoted as saying that “My personal happiness lies within knowing that life is no checklist of achievements. Qualifications are not what makes your life.”
Sir Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill is often regarded as one the best wartime ministers to ever exist. He inspired his country to victory in World Ward II, and his words of optimism and hope received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953.
However, during the very period, he was hounded by periods of depression, and manic thoughts. It is understandable, considering the horrors of the war. He referred to his disease as his very own ‘black dog.’
However, never one to bow in the face of adversity, Churchill overcame his depression by occupying his mind with work. He would often wake up at 6am, and not go back to sleep until as late as 2am. This is reflected in his quote on personal happiness, where he has said that “The best way for me to achieve happiness is to try to achieve the impossibly perfect, and spend the rest of my life trying to achieve it”. Churchill also found great happiness in humor and jokes, which often lightened his spirits.
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have often spoken out about their love and happiness for one another. They have been married since 1988, and have seen going strong ever since.
Tom had been quoted as saying that when he met Rita, he realized what marriage was meant to feel like; simple, easy and carefree. They have both been quoted as saying that their secret to a happy life with one another is always to ensure that they make enough time for each other.
Although widely considered one of the best world leaders ever to exist, Lincoln was no stranger to unhappiness. His biographer, Joshua Shenk, reports that he suffered from two major breakdowns between the ages of 26 and 31. He was completely suicidal, and has been quoted as saying that ‘I am the most miserable man living.’ However, like a lot of those who are unhappy, Lincoln found humor to be his antidote. In order to boost his spirits, he would often tell funny jokes and stories to his friends. Humor gave Lincoln a method to connect to people when he felt most isolated. He would usually invite his colleagues and friends over, and take great pleasure in telling them elaborate, witty stories which lifted everybody’s mood. He has been quoted as saying that he believes happiness to be a state of mind, saying that ‘folks are usually as happy as they make their minds to be’.He also found a great relief in poetry, which he described as ‘giving his life purpose.’
Funny-man Jim Carey is one of the last people you would assume to struggle with unhappiness and depression. With his roles in ‘Dumb and Dumber’ and ‘Bruce Almighty,’ Carey has established himself as a master of upbeat comedy. However, he has attributed a lot of his humor to his depression. He released in 2004 that he has been deeply unhappy for most of his life. His mother was often sick, and they struggled with poverty, and so Carey resorted to humor to lift their spirits.
Despite his best efforts, Carey found himself addicted to Prozac for many years. However, with the help of medical professionals, he managed to become clean of anti-depressants. He states that he realized that ‘life is beautiful without having to take drugs’, and simply being alive in this world is enough for him to be happy. Carey has said on numerous occasions, that despite being wealthy, famous and having lots of opportunities, this is not what keeps him happy. Carey focuses on more compassion and the beauty in the world to find happiness.
He may have been on the of the first to walk on the moon and inspired millions of people, but that doesn’t exclude Buzz Aldrin from the struggle to find happiness. In his book ‘Return to Earth.’ He experienced a deep depression due to the struggles of fame, which eventually led to his hospitalization.
With the help of therapy, medicine and meditation, Aldrin was able to find inner peace with himself once again, finding that leading a quiet life gave him the happiness he craved.