What is happiness and how to feel it?
“My goal is just to be happy this year. How can I achieve it?” I get asked this a lot.
Usually, I tell that people who want to be happy have the wrong goal.
Everyone chases after happiness, but who really understands it? The answer is not many people. According to the WHO, over 300 million people worldwide of all ages suffer from depression.
Through this post, I’m going to share a few key gems from my own experience that will change the way you look at happiness.
Are you ready to start understanding happiness?
First of all, stop pursuing happiness.
It sounds counter-intuitive. Almost non-sensical. But hear me out. We think the ultimate happiness means being happy all the time, every single second of every single day, to have zero pain and negativity.
But the truth is, there’s no such thing as “permanent” happiness.
In fact, you can’t feel “happy” unless you have something to compare it to. When are your happiest celebrations? Usually, it’s after you’ve overcome something. On the contrary, by actively avoiding things you feel pain or negative about, you are robbing yourself of future happy experiences.
What are the steps to understand or achieve happiness?
The first step to achieve happiness is to embrace the other side of the coin: embrace the times of sadness, times of challenge and negativity. Steer them into experiences that give your life meaning and growth and strength.
To be happy, don’t make happy your goal. Turn “suffering” into your spark.
As human beings, we experience our world through feelings, be it physical or emotional.
But your mental perspective shapes how you interpret an experience and can either amplify or minimize the amount of pleasure or suffering that you actually feel.
You experience unnecessary suffering when you focus on one side of the coin – the negative side. But suffering can be positive – if it is helping you work towards something meaningful. Think of it as a raw material.
When you see things this way, “suffering” will become your fuel.
The next step then is to make sure that your “suffering” is always constructive.
Start pursuing the right things.
Most of us pursue possessions (such as gadgets, a car, or a house) or experiences (such as travel) in order to generate feelings of happiness.
These things may be worthy pursuits, but usually, they are one-off and short lived. And once it’s gone, you need to look for the next thing, and then the next thing after that.
Depending on these for short bouts of “happiness” can only get you so far. Do you want to break out of this loop? Here’s the secret that has completely transformed my life:
Stop pursuing better things. Instead, pursue better time.
We put enormous effort into improving the quality of the things we have (better house, better car, better phone, etc.) In comparison, how much effort do you spend on improving the quality of your time?
Pivot your value system. Imagine what would happen if you decided to earn quality time the way you earn money.
Changing your understanding of happiness is crucial for truly living a happy life. To help you remember, I want to share with you a great quote on Happiness by Eleanor Roosevelt that sums everything up:
Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. – Eleanor Roosevelt
Feel free to download it, make it your wallpaper, or share it with someone to keep motivated and determined.
One step further to understand happiness:
Gaining quality time as an engine of long-term happiness means gaining freedom in how you get to spend that time.
It may sound counterintuitive, but to really gain freedom for yourself – you need to understand freedom through discipline. Instead of it being a set of restricting rules, discipline is a framework you can adapt to structure your life and help you make better decisions.
I hope today’s bite-sized knowledge has helped you to make some positive changes! I would love to hear your feedback – if you want more like this or if you’d like me to share other topics, please send them to me.
Look for my next package soon!