Cultivating Fulfillment in Life with Courage, Humanity and Wisdom
How to be Happy?
This is an important question to ask ourselves, as happiness
can be very elusive. Somethings that we think may bring us
happiness, can end up bringing us other feelings, and many
people often confuse happiness and pleasure. When we
mistake happiness for pleasure, we can end up dissatisfied
and seeking happiness in ultimately unfulfilling ways.
What is Happiness?
Happiness is a natural emotion that we all seek and relates to how satisfied, fulfilled, and content we feel. It also relates to our well being and positively influences our health. When people ask themselves questions like "how to be happy in life," they are often wondering what will bring a genuine sense of meaning and contentment.
While chocolate and fine foods may bring us pleasure and a sense of happiness in the moment, it doesn't give us long lasting contentment and meaning. In fact, it may bring us adverse feelings if we over indulge and look to food to feel the empty spaces in our lives.
Authentic happiness comes from a deeper place than merely being gratified with pleasure, and is characterized by having a life purpose, being in meaningful relationships, cultivating our inner strengths, sharing with others, and cultivating virtues such as transcendence, courage, and humanity.
The 5 Keys to Happiness
1. Life Purpose - When we have a life purpose it gives us a
sense of meaning, and our purpose can answer the age old
question of, "what is the meaning of life?" One of the meanings
of my life is to help other people, alleviate pain and suffering,
and assist people in reaching their fullest potentials. This
purpose gives me a deep sense of meaning and brings me
2. Develop Healthy Relationships - Research in the field of positive psychology and the works of Martin Seligman, have demonstrated that authentic happiness is also found in having healthy relationships. Some of our happiest moments in life are characterized by being with other people. Friendships, family, marriage, the birth of children, and being with people, are all important keys to happiness.
3. Cultivate Your Inner Strengths - Knowing your core strengths is a good way to make yourself happy. Our inner strengths are often connected to our purpose in life, and in the positive psychology framework connect to the virtues. When we identify our strengths we have a foundation for doing what we are good at - and passionate about. Our strengths are often connected to our life purpose, passions, values, and skills. By developing our strengths to the fullest capacity, we establish cornerstones for being at our best, and having a successful and happy life. Read more at the page Inner Strengths.
4. Share Your Talents and Skills with Others to Make a Difference in Their Lives - Once we have discovered and developed our strengths, we can benefit our lives with them, as well as the lives of others. When we share our strengths with people, it can be a great source of happiness. Our strengths can be used to bring value, beauty, service, love and kindness to others. Research on happiness has also found that much of our happiness is found in our relationships with people, in giving to others, being of service to people, and sharing in loving-kindness.
5. Cultivate the 7 Virtues - The seven virtues are a major source of happiness, as they represent our finest qualities and are essential to personal development. Courage can give us a lot of fulfillment when we overcome our fears and anxiety, and move forward in powerful ways. Courage is also necessary for accomplishing our life dreams and purposes, and allows us to move through obstacles and hardships. The other virtues of humanity and justice are also important to our happiness, and both virtues connect to our relationships with other people. In positive psychology the virtue of humanity connects to the character strengths of love, kindness, empathy, social intelligence and emotional intelligence. All of these character strengths are essential to happiness, as they represent the heart of having good relations with people. When we make a practice of cultivating love, kindness, and good relations, our life can be fulfilled with genuine relationships and intimacy.