What Is Happiness?
And why is it so elusive?
Everyone wants to be happy, right? But it seems that many people have no idea what being happy is. I recently typed ‘Happiness’ into AnswerThePublic.com and I was stunned to see the questions. I’m going to answer them here.
Are Happiness and Success The Same Thing? No, but they are related.
There are many people who have achieved success and never found happiness. Happiness cannot be bought with money. Studies have shown that beyond a basic level of income, more money doesn’t make people happier. And for many people, “success” may have come with long hours, little sleep, and no time to enjoy the fruits of their labors. So, no, success doesn’t guarantee happiness. However, happiness can make you more successful by improving your attitude and making you more open to new ideas. And a lack of happiness can reduce your success by reducing your motivation. Success can either increase or decrease happiness depending on whether you kept a good work/life balance to achieve it, so they are interrelated.
Are Happiness and Satisfaction The Same Thing? Close, but not quite.
According to Oxford’s online dictionary, satisfaction is “fulfillment of one’s wishes, expectations, or needs, or the pleasure derived from this.” This means satisfaction is dependent upon something happening to you. Happiness is a state of being, not a reaction to outside circumstances, so while this would seem to be something that might bring about happiness, it is not the same thing.
Are Happiness and Contentment The Same Thing? Nope.
Contentment is a state of being “good” with what is. If I were to describe this in terms of where the feeling exists in your energy field, I would say that contentment and satisfaction live in the 3rd chakra (solar plexus — your will center) while happiness resides in the 4th (heart) chakra.
Are Happiness and Pleasure The Same Thing? Not At All.
Pleasure is enjoyment, often physical enjoyment. It lives in the 2nd chakra. It is short-lived by nature, lasting only as long as the external stimulus which creates it lasts.
Happiness is internally created through a combination of perspective and focus.
So What Is Happiness?
Happiness is a feeling that exists in the heart. It creates a warm feeling in the heart chakra. It is internally created through a combination of perspective and focus. How you perceive the world around you — as hostile or supportive, as rigged in your favor or against you, as loving or uncaring — influences your happiness. How you perceive yourself — good enough or not enough, lucky or unlucky, lovable or not — also plays a big role in a person’s happiness. And, finally, what you focus on — what is good vs. what is bad in your life screens out the opposite. So if you’re focused on the positive, you are more likely to be happy. (All statements above are based on my 20+ years working as a coach helping people to increase their levels of happiness and success.)
The Formula for Happiness
Well, it’s a simple formula, but not always a simple one to follow.
- Believe good things about the world around you.
- Believe good things about yourself.
- Focus on and be grateful for what you have.
It’s that simple. If you do those three things, happiness will surround you.
May your life be filled with happiness and your successes grow as a result.
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