How to Live a Happy Life

What is the secret to living a happy life? Is happiness something that results from an action or state of being? Or is happiness a choice you can make regardless of the situation? I believe, in more cases than not, that happiness is definitely a choice.

Success does not bring happiness. In fact, if we equate happiness with success, we will never achieve the amount of success necessary to make us happy. There is always more success than we can achieve. However, as long as what we do is JOYFUL and MEANINGFUL, happiness will ensue.

Money is not the root of happiness. Some unhappy poor people have the illusion that money will make them happy. Have you ever noticed how many unhappy rich people there are?

Fun will not guarantee a happy life either. Fun is temporary. Happiness is ongoing. Fun is during; happiness is during AND AFTER.

An awareness of what brings happiness requires a great deal of thought for many of us. It requires the discipline to overcome natural inclinations to do what is most pleasurable at the moment, rather than what is most happy-inducing.

In order to live a happy life, we have to ask ourselves, “Will this (having this thing, taking this action, relating to this person, purchasing this item, or even dwelling on this thought) have me become happier or unhappier?”

Listen to Your Unhappiness

Dissatisfaction is what makes personal improvement possible—whether it be better emotional ties to others, better personal ethics, or better personal health. Indeed, anything that becomes better does so as a result of previous dissatisfaction. Cherish human dissatisfaction, but do not allow it to prompt unhappiness.

I try to be happy unless something happens that stimulates me to be unhappy. In this case, I will be unhappy until I decide to be happy. This is based on my “choice-response” philosophy. I have a choice as to whether to allow dissatisfaction to direct my feelings. When my feelings are not what I would like them to be, I start thinking of something else, or I change my activity.

Tip: The key to living a happy life rests with ourselves. We have a moral responsibility to be happy. We owe it to our family, our co-workers, and our friends—indeed to anyone who comes into our lives. If for no other reason, people act more decently when they are happy.