Updated: Sep 15, 2019
I have an example from my own life. I call it classic and I love it because it explains a great many things.
How did I get to the point of Nervous breakdown?
Like this: doing things I don't want/like and thinking that how you should live until you achieve what you want and THEN I will be happy. Like completely happy. And when I did, I wasn't. But is this expectation even realistic? Does such thing like complete happiness exist? In theory and idealistic world view (which I have a lot, by the way) of course it does. But speaking in a bit more real terms, in where we are, at what we do, in the world at large, at all of the people that we know (the ones that we ACTUALLY know) are there many people who are completely happy? I don't think so. Or at least in my reality. Yes, I think it is possible to be completely happy for a period of time, but all the time, non-stop, and happy about everything in the world? I don't think so. Not at this point in time.
Is it realistic?
Most of the growth in our lives comes from overcoming something. Even if it is an achievement or the problems we have faced, usually, after overcoming something successfully, even if the process was a difficult one, we feel a sense of expansion and satisfaction. We feel like we have somehow "grown" from the experience. Let's think about our childhood. It is unlikely that we will remember the first time we took a step, but we will probably remember how it felt after we learned how to ride the bike or how to swim. The process of learning it was (most likely) at least a bit frustrating: we didn't know how to do it the first time. We were probably sweating, concentrating a lot, and got upset when a bike would fall down. So I guess in the process we were not completely happy. However in the end, after trial and error, maybe a couple of bruises later, we were beaming with pride and joy. And at THAT moment, when we were able to ride the bike independently, we were completely happy. So from this, we can see that even from the beginning the life was inclusive of a number of different experiences, including happiness, but it was ever-changing with various emotional overtones. So why would we expect (or strive) to be completely happy now? It would shut off the whole range of emotions and experiences that creates satisfaction an growth. So I think that expecting to be completely happy is a bit unrealistic. Nothing wrong with wanting it of course, but expecting it could set us up for something that we might never achieve.
Is it GOOD to be COMPLETELY HAPPY ALL THE TIME?
If somebody came to me and told me that they are happy all the time, first of all - I would not believe them. It could be that I am wrong, but I doubt that it is possible with the exceptions of Ignorance and Disconnection.
IGNORANCE. It could be possible to be completely happy all the time if we completely ignored all the things that we don't like about our lives and our world. It could be that there is a person who is simply not aware of the or ignorant of the things that are not good in their lives and not good in the world. But if the person is AWARE of the reality of one's life and other peoples realities in the world, it is not possible to be completely happy WHILE being aware of those things (world starvation, wars, animal cruelty, crimes, lack of clean water - just to name a few).
Another explanation of a "completely happy person" who might even have some awareness of the environment and the world is DISCONNECTION. If a person decided that the things happening in his/her immediate and not so immediate environment don't concern them, they have created a bubble. Yes, we all have some sort of bubbles to some degree, aka our own versions of reality. However, those bubbles that isolate a person from the suffering of others completely might turn human in a bit of "inhuman". I am not talking about you lot (including me) - the sensitive souls of the world. We already have a loooooot of awareness of others' suffering, sometimes even to a degree that it can become unhealthy and paralyze us from moving forward. However, a complete disconnection could be really dangerous for the person and those in their environment: imagine being with a person who completely ignores everything you feel, including times when something really hurts (physically or emotionally) and they just have no awareness about how you feel whatsoever. Or even if they do, they don't consider it a big deal at all, because they have disconnected from their ability to feel the emotional intensity of the suffering… So imagine what it would be like dealing with someone like that: they would not really be accepted by other people because you cannot be connected if you don't feel understood and would eventually experience emotional isolation. On the other hand, people in disconnected person's environment would feel completely invalidated and bulldozed all the time, which would create an immense amount of suffering.
So what do we do then?
I think we should stay away from the trap of thinking that we should be happy all the time. We really shouldn't be completely happy all the time, nor we should strive to be so. Wallowing in the misery is not the road I would suggest instead, nor I would like to spend my days in. What I wanted to suggest is that we should get real about what happiness in life really is and start to focus on satisfaction, growth and ability to include complete range of emotions in our life. Think about it like a currency: a type of emotion is like a type of currency. We will be much richer and able to have more fulfilling experiences in our lives if we will be able to trade in all of the currencies of the world.