What is happiness?
This question has rattled through the minds of countless individuals as they look to understand and increase their own happiness. The truth is simple; there is no single source of happiness. I can’t give you a magic chant or special food for achieving happiness. There are, however, simple frameworks the vast majority of us can use to better understand ourselves and lead more fulfilling lives. Before we get into that, let’s start by breaking happiness down into two parts; purpose and pleasure.
Pleasure is often thought of as happiness.
These are experiences where you are fully present and feel good. Pleasure includes eating delicious food, laughing, playing games, or losing yourself in the moment, among many other experiences. Enjoying the moments in which we live is integral to our happiness. Pleasure, however, is only one piece and cannot create a complete happiness by itself. Think about it and you’ll quickly realize long-lasting happiness takes more than simply binge eating chocolate and watching hilarious sitcom reruns for the rest of your life. There must also be purpose.
Purpose is the the big picture.
Purpose is figuring out how your daily actions contribute to your life. It’s deciding which direction you want to take your life. Having purpose provides meaning and depth to our lives in a way that pleasure alone cannot. Purpose includes things like improvement in a skill, completion of a project, or contribution to a cause. Knowing the point of your actions and how they fit into your larger life picture is essential to happiness.
Now that happiness has been defined, how do we create our world in a way that brings us these experiences and opportunities? How do we enjoy the small pleasures, while driving ourselves towards a higher purpose? Few of us wander into this type of life by accident; we must intentionally build a complete life around us. Each individual has a different path; our goal at How to Happy is to help you find your path.
It’s important to note there is no start or end in your path to happiness. Happiness is not a destination, it is a process you work at continually. Each day builds upon the last. Each day is an opportunity to learn, grow, and improve. This is your life, and it can only be compared to what you want out of it, nothing else.
We believe by balancing five major areas each individual can discover their path, through both pleasure and purpose. These areas are relationships, mental health, physical health, philosophy (spirituality), and finances. These are the areas that are massive but, when in balance, introduce happiness into our lives.
Building Your Life
It is unrealistic to experience happiness at every moment. Circumstances change and it takes continuous effort to keep these areas in balance. There will always be events that are frustrating. There will be goals that are missed and times you wonder if what you’re doing truly makes a difference. That’s normal and even healthy. Our goal is to build a life where we are more likely to experience positive feelings, while understanding and embracing the inevitable negative ones as well. It’s a long journey, but we at How To Happy strive to empower you with the tools, education, and motivation needed to achieve that happiness.
ANSWER THE EXERCISE IN THE COMMENTS: Write at least one pleasurable and one purposeful activity in your life.
I encourage you to participate and build a community! If you have any questions or topics you’d like me to cover, please let me know. I’d be happy to look in to them for you.
Reflect, Take Action, and Enjoy Life