According to Wikipedia, Happiness is defined into two distinctive fields. These are; being psychologically happy Or being philosophically happy. Lets quickly touch on these two distinctive interpretations.
In psychology, happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being which can be defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Happy mental states may reflect judgements by a person about their overall well-being.[
In philosophy, happiness is translated from the Greek concept of eudaimonia, and refers to the good life, or flourishing, as opposed to a mental emotion.
Generally speaking in western society, happiness seems to be a blend of these two areas.
So, to answer the quandary correctly, we need to define 3 areas. These are; unintentional sabotage, defining parameters and choosing our travelling companions. Let’s look at the first below.
- Our first pitstop to defining your happiness is uncovering if you’ve (for whatever reason) sabotaged your own efforts to be happy. Do you constantly look at the “yeah but what if this happens” predicaments? You’re the saboteur. Do you look at the past as the measuring stick for future experiences? You’re the saboteur. Do you look at other unhappy people and believe it’s your lot in life also? You’re the saboteur. You will experience more of the same happiness levels until you make the effort to tell a different story to yourself. “The ancestor to any action is a thought” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Our second pitstop is if you’ve defined the parameters of what makes you happy? Once you’ve defined it, write it down. Once written, you’ve set up the brains’ reticular activating system (RAS) that searches for and identifies with situations that match your premeditated happiness criteria. So now instead of saying ‘i just want to be happy’ you’ve identified what will make you feel this way. This is a critical step and will put you ahead of millions of people who are walking aimlessly through life without identifying who they are and say to themselves after a few glasses of wine that ‘i just want to be happy’. Make it clear for what THIS MEANS in your MIND without delay.
- Thirdly, once you’ve defined your happy place, you’re on course. But there’s one final area you absolutely must address; Your TRIBE. You must choose your travelling companions wisely. You can’t be on a journey of such significance with people that perhaps would rather watch TV.
Below are 4 quotes on the subject you may resonate with from thought masters;
“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”
― Ernest Hemingway
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
Now what about you?
- Don’t sabotage your own efforts to be happy. Give yourself permission to feel happy. Toy with happiness in your mind until it feels familiar.
- Define your happiness (write it down on a small piece of paper and place it in your wallet/purse).
- Once you define your tribe wisely you can stay on course for the long term with a supportive network to see you through any bumps on the road.
Its important to note that these are not bullet-proof, iron-clad, sure fire ways to your happiness goal. They are however guide posts that will allow your version of happiness to flow to you much easier and with less resistance. ‘Choosing happiness’ regardless of happenstance is also a concept not discussed here.
We’ve heard from many eastern spiritual masters who believe happiness is an inside job. Looking at the above takeaways, it seems they’ve already ticked those boxes…