“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 when I was younger.
Thinking happiness can be pursued, I spend most of my early 20s chasing success. 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 it would help me advance my career. Although I still do this now, my purpose is to expand my knowledge and professional growth.
Earning a higher income is just a byproduct of that.
Whereas as before, I was strictly doing it for monetary gains. Money is important, but I don’t let it control me. Rather, I allow it to support my lifestyle.
Having cash to buy luxurious and superficial things can be fun and amusing, but that feeling is ephemeral. That’s because if money is everything to me, I’ll do anything for it in return.
Now I focus on experiences because they bring me joy. By creating interesting and unforgettable memories, I can always relive them in the form of journaling or sharing them with family and friends.
Going after what I want by challenging myself on a regular basis, I gain satisfaction because I’m doing what’s significant to me. Understanding my top core value of continuous growth, I live 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 by embodying 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 your current belief, his model encourages you to first be happy. Then you can do great work. And as a byproduct, you’ll be prosperous.
This makes perfect sense because you’re more likely to produce positive results when you’re in a positive state. It’s almost impossible to generate high-quality outcomes 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 contributing to something you find meaningful. Now the million dollar question becomes:
“How can I be happy?”
Happiness Is a Choice
If you want to be happy, you can start right now because it’s a simple choice you can make. You can either choose to be happy with what you have now or you’ll never truly be regardless of what you’ll obtain in the future.
If you’re chasing something thinking that thing or person will make you happy, you’re sadly mistaken. You might feel content for a short time after getting what you want, eventually, that feeling soon dissipates.
Then you’re forced to pursue something else you think will make you satisfied. It’s an endless and vicious path without a final destination.
Therefore, the source of fulfillment must come from within which doesn’t depend on external things or people. Because happiness is the sum of all the pleasant moments, you can still experience joy in challenging times.
Even in the midst of 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 by allowing you to focus on the positives which you already experience.
Even among times of struggle, you can still appreciate what you have instead of focusing on what you lack. The more you practice treasuring what you already possess, the more thankful you’ll be.
A common mistake you can make is to anchor your happiness to people and things. Because once they’re gone, you’ll no longer be joyful.
Therefore, the formula for happiness is to constantly do things you enjoy, value the things and relationships you already have, and challenge yourself to unleash your full potential.
That’s because you always have control in choosing the activities you do, who you spend your time with, and how you feel about performing those engagements.
You’re the only person who can genuinely make yourself whole and happy. Other people and things can only add to your level of happiness, but not be the cause of it.
Happiness is a choice that comes from within. First, understand yourself and know what things you enjoy doing, then start implementing more of them.
Everything you have is already more than you’ll ever need in this lifetime. Don’t take them for granted. Show your appreciation and gratitude for them.
In return, you’ll start to experience true abundance.
To express your gratitude outward, you can start helping others. As a result, you’ll give more meaning to your life to a greater cause that’s much bigger than yourself.
You can begin by donating your time and volunteer at institutions whose mission you believe in. By contributing to a worthwhile mission, you feel fulfilled.
And happiness is just a byproduct of that.
Filled with more significance in life, you wake up every morning with clarity and excitement. Feeling energized and purposeful, you look forward to each day and how it will unfold.
I am on a mission to help 1,000,000 people, but I can’t do that without your help. Please share this article with anyone who you may think will find it valuable and helpful.
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