What is happiness for you?
Maybe you had trouble answering this question. You’re not alone. Most of the people that I ask this question to don’t have a clear answer. Here, we’ll explore the answer to this complex question together as well as look at the challenges involved in being happy.
It seems happiness only happens when we’re doing leisure activities or we’re on vacation, but what about the rest of the time, when we’re in our routines, while fulfilling obligations?
This was one of my big questions on my life journey: how to be happy in life at any time I choose?
The challenge of staying happy in a life where you must work hard to get things
We are living in a world where we’ve gotten used to the idea that we need to work hard for things that we want, and our being in reality depends on our credentials and outward successes. Therefore if we want something, we have to strive for it, most of the time through hard work, especially for the things we desire most. It’s valid in a material world. In our society, you need to work hard for money. You also must put a lot of effort into social relationships and prove yourself in order to build rapport and gain trust from others.
This is life in reality; it’s measured by our outward performance.
But in the case of happiness, it’s different. Because your happiness is independent from the external world. Your efforts, your performance, or your success are very important but they aren’t necessary for happiness. Happiness is already inside of you, part of your inner-self. The external world fills a different role in your life. It doesn’t provide happiness directly, but gives you a place where you can use and experience the happiness you already have.
These words are to show you how you can find happiness at any moment. Reality (the external world) is where you experience it. Because in the case of happiness, it doesn’t matter what you do but only how you do it.
Yes, it’s true that it’s easy to be happy in leisure time, especially on vacation, but what about being happy in your everyday life?
After realizing the challenges of being happy, we can see that happiness can be an elusive destination. Although happiness seems basic and obvious on the surface, I needed an exact and operational definition.
Let’s understand, What is Happiness?
Happiness is a state of being in life and covers most pleasant feelings and emotions.
‘State of being’ is the important thing and the key for finding happiness: happiness is not a goal, it’s your being, self, i.e. who you are: you don’t need to achieve things to be happy but just keep being yourself and experience yourself in your reality. Everything that happens in reality is there for you to experience. Life in not about: accumulating money, proving yourself, collecting successes and achievements, or buying more property – all of this is important in reality, not as an end goal but as a means to experience your being in reality.
So, we can define happiness as you experiencing yourself being in reality, while enjoying the world. This can happen when you express yourself with your actions, trying new things and challenge yourself.
If you take a closer look at happiness by remembering happy moments, you can see that you don’t need any ‘production’ to be happy, you can be happy with the ‘small things’ in life, and every moment can be like that.
Here are 12 keys you can implement to put you in the happy version of your life.
12 keys to be happy in your everyday life:
1) Live in the moment: When you are in the present moment, life opens up possibilities for you, which means you live a full life. You can enjoy, experience, fulfill, act, decide, create, feel, and be only if you’re in the present moment. In fact, to be in the present is your being, to disconnect from the present is to disconnect from your being.
2) Set personal goals: life is in a state of endless change. You can determine what the changes will be, you just have to decide and set goals. The starting point of every goal is realizing what has to be changed in your life and then decide what that change will be. You can see it as navigating your life- you always need a destination point. Goals can be big, like a change in career, or only what you want to get done this afternoon. It’s making plans for the future but staying in the present, which means that after you set each goal or plan, you live it and allow the reality to do its part.
When you set goals and make plans and then continue to live in the moment –no room for worries and concerns– you have a chance to be happy.
3) Accept the unexpected: sometimes life brings with it unexpected things. Disappointment, frustration, or anger don’t help, and only negate the chances of being happy. See the unexpected as an opportunity for your personal growth. Self-improvement allows you to experience yourself, which means happiness.
4) Feel grateful: appreciate what you have and bless it; you have created it. It’s the celebration of life.
It’s easy to forget what you have in life because of concerns for the future or regret about the past, but life is in the moment and when you appreciate what you have, you can enjoy it.
5) Let go and enjoy the ride: let go, release your attempts to be in control of life. If you recognize a problem, just make plans to fix it and let go. No need to worry, be concerned or to be in control. When you release your control and let go of negative emotions and feelings, you can enjoy any activity.
6) Be creative: to be creative, start with getting rid of habits. This is not easy task, therefore it’s a process made up of everyday decisions. It’s an attitude of doing your best in any action and not only finding the comfortable and secure in life. It’s fulfilling your potential and giving all that you have in any act.
7) Create your reality: be dynamic, make decisions, take actions, and take advantage of opportunities in life. They are all made for you. Make the best of them. Don’t wait for things to just happen but take action.
You create your reality and the sooner you realize that truth, the sooner you will be living the life you want.
8) Be positive: It’s sounds naïve to be positive in the world we live in, but with everything mentioned above you can understand that it’s all about your attitude in life, so why not to choose a positive attitude?
9) Focus on what you want: you can only pay attention to one object at a time, like a flashlight that you can point. When something goes wrong, it’s easy and tempting to focus our attention on what is not working, because we want to fix it, but when we do so, we only empower it. The way to change things is to focus on the change itself, which means the things that you want, not the problem itself.
10) Let go of the ideals of success, perfection, and being the best: reaching ideals seems like a good goal in life but ideals are responsible for making you unhappy. Perfection is an unreachable goal. It’s like a person who tries to get a perfect body and becomes anorexic. This is an extreme example but it exemplifies the pitfalls of attempting to fulfill ideals in life. Success works the same way: you want to be successful and it motivates you but success only holds for a few seconds, maybe minutes, and life is longer than that. You need something else to motivate yourself, which is why you need your personal goals not for the purpose of succeeding, or being the best, or being perfect– they are hollow goals– but to move forward and experience yourself while having new experiences.
11) Make time and room for yourself: in daily routine, it’s easy to forget about yourself. That’s why it’s highly recommended for you to have a place for yourself before or after obligations (work, errands, chores, etc). It’s a place where you feel comfortable and quiet, to be with yourself: a place on the beach or a place in the park or a quiet coffee shop that you can visit on your way home. It’s a time when you can feel free from obligations, feel freedom to be quiet and peaceful within yourself, just to be. Even if just for a few minutes every day.
12) Listen to your inner world: your inner world is the key for your life: it’s your desires that motivate you, your feelings while you have experiences in the external world, and your thoughts that are your inner communication. In daily life, it’s hard to listen to our inner self because the external world is noisy. You can choose many ways to improve your listening to your inner world, one of them is practicing meditation.