“Happiness comes from within. It is not dependent on external things or on other people. You become vulnerable and can be easily hurt when your feelings of security and happiness depend on the behavior and actions of other people. Never give your power to anyone else.”
― Brian L. Weiss
Definition of Happiness
Happiness is the joy you feel as you’re growing into your full potential.
This is the definition of happiness according to Shawn Achor, the author of the book The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work.I wish I knew this definition when I was younger.
Thinking happiness can be pursued, I spend most of my early 20s chasing money.
As a result, I did everything in my power to climb the corporate ladder so I can earn more money.
In addition to working long hours, I was reading numerous research and academic papers on the latest chemical engineering technology hoping that it would help me advance my career.
Now I still do that but the purpose is to expand my knowledge and professional growth.
Earning more money is just a byproduct of that.
Whereas as before, I was strictly doing it for money.
Although money is important, it doesn’t control my life rather money supports my lifestyle.
Having money to buy luxurious and superficial things can be fun and amusing, but that feeling is ephemeral.
If I give money the meaning of everything, then in return I’ll do everything for it.
Now I emphasize on experiences rather than on materialistic things because experiences bring me joy and happiness.
By creating interesting and unforgettable memories, I can always relive them in the form of journaling or sharing them with others.
Going after what I want in life by challenging myself on a regular basis, I feel joy and fulfillment because I’m doing what’s most important to me.
Understanding my top core value of continuous growth, I live out my life according to that.
Just like when each vertebra in my back is stacked together in a straight line, I feel aligned, centered and grounded knowing that I’m living my authentic truth.
That’s when I experience true happiness and fulfillment.
The Happiness Equation
Influenced by society, your current model for happiness is to first become “successful,” do great work, then you’ll be happy.
However, in the book The Happiness Equation, Neil Pasricha describes his model for happiness.
Contrary to what you’ve been told for many years, his model describes first to be happy, then you can do great work, and as a byproduct, you’ll be successful, however you define it.
This makes perfect sense because you can only do great work when you’re in a positive state such as feelings of joy and happiness.
It’s not possible to do great work if you dislike the task because you don’t care about your effort.
By giving something a deep meaning, you can cultivate love and passion for your work over time.
When you do great work, you’ll be successful because you’re working on something that has importance to you.
Now the million dollar question becomes “How can I be happy?”
Happiness Is A Choice
If you want to be happy, then you can start right now because it’s simply a choice that you make.
You can either choose to be happy now with what you already have or you’ll never be happy regardless of what you’ll have in the future.
If you’re chasing something in the future thinking that thing or person will make you happy, then you’re sadly mistaken.
You might feel happy for a short period of time after getting what you want, eventually that feeling will go away.
Then you’re forced to chase something else that you think will make you happy.
That’s an endless path without a final destination.
Therefore, the source of happiness must come from within which doesn’t depend on external things or people.
Because happiness is the sum of all the joyful moments in your life, you can still experience joy in challenging times.
Even in the midst of a hardship, you can still do things that bring you joy and spend time with people who you care about.
Gratitude plays a key role in your overall happiness because it allows you to focus on the positives that are already in your life.
Even among times of struggle, you can still appreciate what you already have instead of focusing on what you lack.
The more you practice to appreciate what you already have, the more grateful and happier you’ll be.
A common mistake that you make is to anchor your happiness on people and things.
Because once those people or things are gone, you’ll no longer be happy.
Therefore, the formula for happiness is to constantly do things that you enjoy, appreciate what you already have, and challenging yourself to unleash your full potential.
That’s because you will always have control in choosing the activities that you do and how you feel about doing them.
You’re the only person who can truly make you happy.
Other people and things can only add to your happiness, but not the cause of it.
Happiness is not something you can pursue because it’s choice that comes from within.
It’s something that you simply do.
First, understand yourself and know what activities you enjoy doing, then start doing more of them.
Everything that you have is already more than you’ll ever need in this lifetime.
Don’t take them for granted by showing appreciation and gratitude.
In return, you’ll start to experience genuine abundance.
To express your gratitude outward, you can start helping others.
As a result, you’ll give more meaning to your life for a greater cause that’s bigger than yourself.
You can start by donating your time and volunteer at institutions whose mission you believe in.
By doing meaningful activities in your life, you feel fulfilled.
And happiness is just a byproduct of that.
Filled with more meaning in life, you wake up every morning with clarity.
Feeling excited and purposeful, you look forward to each day and how it will unfold.
Please share this article with anyone who you think may find it valuable.
If you have any questions and/or comments on choosing happiness, please leave a comment below or send me an email.
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