What does happiness mean to you? How would you answer this “simple” question?
What Is Happiness?
Happiness means different things to different people. No surprise here, right? In addition, happiness might also mean different things at different stages of your life. As I see it, it’s usually like a roller coaster with highs and lows. It usually goes like this: it begins as a very simple concept, then it gets more elaborate and then it gets simple again (hopefully). Go back to your childhood, what made you happy? Now compared it to your “adult” concept of happiness. Is not as simple any more, isn’t it? Is it possible to go back to simpler times? Sure, as long as you are willing to recalibrate your priorities and mindset.
What does it mean to recalibrate priorities? Making an self-assessment exercise. Think about what’s important in your life right now, and whether those things are really that important. Tip: material-related goals usually only work in the short-run. If your happiness is related to having certain material things in your life, once you get them you’ll feel “happy” but only momentarily. People with this mindset, often feel tempted to “collect” material stuff because in their minds, they are building something that is going to finally lead them to happiness. However, what many of us don’t realize is that happiness is not a destination but a way of life.
Having said that, there’s no such thing as a happy place, as a destination. However, one can “work” towards being happier.
How To Work Towards “Happiness”
Here are a couple of areas you could try to improve in order to get closer to your happiness.
Being confident means that you believe in yourself. Please do not confuse confidence with arrogance. Confidence is something internal, it’s about self-love. Arrogance is about wanting to appear superior to others. It’s not the same. Therefore, be confident but not arrogant.
Being healthy definitely helps you to live a happier life. However, health is such an underrated luxury. Normally, people only pay attention to health once they start losing it, which is a shame. In addition, a healthy body will get you a healthy mind. Therefore, don’t forget to exercise and eat well.
Having a purpose might help you live a happier life. However, purpose is just as relative as happiness. What’s the purpose in life? That’s homework right there, nobody knows the answer but you. Any purpose in life is legitimate, as long as it doesn’t have negative effects on other people. If you believe that your purpose in life is to be the “best pancake maker” in the world, then go ahead. You’ll find happiness when you are trying to fulfil your purpose in life.
This suggestion might sound selfish, but it’s actually very healthy. One of main sources of discontent in our life happens when we compare ourselves to others. Therefore, stay away from that and start focusing more on yourself. It doesn’t matter if you believe others around you are happier or more successful than you. You should be focusing on yourself and what are you going to do next.
As you can see, happiness is an attitude. If you look at life with the right lenses, it won’t be as bad as you thought it was. Therefore, work on your mindset. Having said that, practice actions that will lead to positive changes to your surroundings.