Virtues are behaviors that show high moral standards, and they represent the finest qualities and strengths of humanity.
When we cultivate and live by the virtues, happiness is a natural result.
Aristotle maintained that virtue is the basis of happiness, and that happiness depends on cultivating virtue, in his words, “he is happy who is in accordance with complete virtue…” Nicomachean Ethics 1101a10
Let’s look deeper into how the virtues create a foundation for happiness.
One of the fundamental virtues is courage, and courage is the ability to overcome our fears and move through them with bravery and determination. In this regard, courage is the opposite of fear. When we cultivate courage it gives us both the bravery and conviction to achieve some aim, and when we accomplish our pursuits and goals, happiness is a natural result.
When we speak of the virtues of the heart, I like to refer to them collectively as the virtue of humanity. Humanity as a virtue includes kindness, empathy, love and compassion. These virtues are all the nice warm and fuzzy ones that make us feel good as we connect to other people. The virtues of humanity are there to be shared, given away freely and embraced from the heart. When we are in the feelings of the heart, happiness is a natural emotional state. For this reason, we can’t really separate the virtue of humanity from happiness, they are two sides of the same coin.
To have more happiness, chose a few virtues and start to cultivate them into your daily life. They will improve your internal feelings, build better relationships and provide you with valuable life skills.