We often consider happiness as a blissful feeling that washes over us in the moment, when things have gone our way. Fleeting and sweet, it’s gone too soon to be replaced by worries, more goals to feel it again. Right? Wrong.

We often consider happiness as a blissful feeling that washes over us in the moment, when things have gone our way. Fleeting and sweet, it’s gone too soon to be replaced by worries, more goals to feel it again. Right? Wrong.

Happiness is not a trait, it is a state of being and it can exist for as long as you want it to. It doesn’t need to be earned, but it does need to be trained to be mastered. To truly understand what happiness is, here’s what you need to know about happiness itself.

People aren’t happy because they’re healthy. They’re healthy because they’re happy.

It’s no secret that happiness is as essential as any vitamin you eat to induce a healthier system. When you’re happy, everything functions better: your thoughts are relaxed, you perform better and even feel better. Several studies like this one have shown that happiness is induced with longer life, a better immune system, a healthier heart and reduced illnesses. This is why…

Happiness Begets Success, Not Vice Versa

The proverbial rat race to become successful is, in a rather misplaced way, a pursuit of happiness. Be successful, earn money and you will be happy. At other times, our deal with God is, be good, and you will find happiness. In reality, we have it upside down. Happy people are successful people, because they don’t let negative opinions get in the way of their goals. An achievement or a goal, whatever it may be requires a positive state of mind to deliver action and acquire it with solutions. Which leads me to the next point…

Don’t Be Bullied By Negative Opinions Or Downs In Your Life

Your perception of life will decide if your positive state of mind should be altered. Events such as losing money or a job are facts of life, ones that you have no control over at times. Should they be treated as what they really are, which is an occurrence or spouted as a harbinger of doom?

Altering your mind state to be unhappy about your losses is detrimental to the goal you strive to achieve. Reduce your ‘bad’ events to just events, ignore their innate ‘badness’ and don’t chase happiness as though it were a reward that is received only when good things happen. Celebrate it instead as a perpetual state of being to fulfil your purpose. Because happiness is…

Now… Not The Future

The term ‘looking towards a brighter future’ can deliver some serious expectation issues if you’re chasing happiness by solving every curveball thrown your way. Instead of waiting for an occurrence that may or may not deliver happiness unto you (marriage, a child, a better job or whatever it is you think delivers happiness), you have to practise being happy today. Happiness does not magically appear when you solve conundrums or acquire objects, it has to exist simply because you decide you are. It is a product of your thoughts and ideas that are not related to external environmental factors, but instead your own deliberate activities. Of course, one cannot be happy all the time, so you have to…

Practise it. Make Happiness a Habit

Robert Louis Stevenson says, “The habit of being happy enables one to be freed, or largely freed, from the domination of outward conditions.”

You have to work from the inside to see results on the outside. Waiting for happiness to come knocking at your door, or running after it, is not being happy. A doughnut for instance will not give you ultimate happiness. But by resisting the doughnut and leading a healthier life, you are keeping your body happy. You are responsible for cultivating your own happiness by mastering the art of selecting your thoughts, deciding what works, and then paying attention to the aspects that keep negativity at bay, and focus on happiness. Our responses, attitude shifts and behavioural activities are a form of habit that we have learned and practised over time. Habits can be modified or outgrown by taking a conscious decision just like brushing your teeth every night. You are in control of your happiness. Understand that…

The Pursuit of Happiness is Not Selfish

Happiness is a virtue, not a moral or a reward for being virtuous. Thinking of it as something to be earned is an instant deterrent in itself for one then lives in the expectation of attaining it rather than practising it as a present state of mind. Happiness comes from acting unselfishly without the expectation of reaping something more. Unselfishness grants freedom from constraints such as pre-set opinions, and fear of failure to attain pure creativity that is focused on achieving excellence. 

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