“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” — Mahatma Gandhi
In the pursuit of a more fulfilling and joyful life, take a moment to consider: Is happiness something distant, like a finish line, or is it woven into the tapestry of our daily choices and perspectives? As Mahatma Gandhi wisely noted in the opening quote, can real happiness thrive when our thoughts, words, and actions align? Amid the myriad philosophical debates and the enticing promises of self-help, perhaps the genuine keys to happiness are nestled within our existence’s simple yet profoundly transformative aspects. What if the path to authentic happiness is much closer than we’ve ever realized? In the following paragraphs, I will discuss eight ways to find happiness in your life. I encourage you to reflect on your journey and discover moments of joy scattered throughout.
1. Embrace Simplicity
Studies show that happy people don’t have high aspirations or dreams. Being content is their foremost mantra, focusing on critical life areas. If you are content, you are happy. Striving for realistic goals will keep you comfortable and satisfied, and you’ll receive pleasant surprises. Author Loch Kelly espouses this idea in his book Shift into Freedom: The Science and Practice of Open-Hearted Awareness, in which he writes: “Evidence shows that only 10 percent of our happiness is based on external success. According to Killingsworth and Gilbert, as little as 4.6 percent of our happiness is derived from the specific activity that we’re doing.” To be truly happy, accepting and cherishing what you have is essential.
2. Find Fulfilment In Your Work
Happy people enjoy their work. They don’t pursue it for money or fame, but for the satisfaction it brings to their lives. We don’t discover happiness being stuck in an unfulfilled job because the money is good. While being remunerated for your skills is rewarding, money represents one aspect of job satisfaction. Therefore, pursue something you enjoy doing. If you are not respected in your job or if your colleagues are not friendly, it’s best to pursue a career that provides inner peace. Many people waste their best years trying to make money for their families. Your happiness is a high priority too. Author Jonathan Fields echoes this sentiment in his book How to Live a Good Life: “What about money? It matters. But not the way you might think. If you live in poverty and can’t cover your basics, every dollar earned increases happiness and life satisfaction. Once your living expenses are comfortably covered, though, more money has little, if any, effect on happiness.”
3. Embrace The Present Moment
Refrain from getting stuck in previous failures. What’s gone is gone, and avoid thinking about the future. You still control what happens but cannot predict your next step. So what’s the point of worrying about it? Live in the present moment and enjoy this moment in which you are alive. There is much to be gained from being present moment orientated such that you take in the beauty of life around you and release stress levels. The well-acclaimed Buddhist author Ezra Bayda affirms this message in his book The Authentic Life: Zen Wisdom for Living Free from Complacency and Fear: “In short, happiness doesn’t come from making happiness the goal—it comes from being able to appreciate the journey, particularly the present-moment experience of our life.”
4. Opt For Joy
Don’t hesitate to step away to re-establish your goals and have a flexible approach. This understanding requires an open mind and positive thinking. You have to choose happiness. You are never stuck with a single perspective. You decide how to deal with conditions in your life. You either accept failure while developing a positive attitude or shift into negativity, which does nothing to help you move toward happiness. No matter what happens, there will be another day, and conditions will continually change. Accept changes with an open mind, and life will unfold better than you imagine. “Real happiness comes not when you choose to be happy, but when you discover the things that will make you happy and then do them,” affirms author Jonathan Fields.
5. Cultivate Connections
Humans are social creatures. There is no denying it; you can’t acquire happiness unless you are in contact with others regularly. Love is vital for your health and well-being. If you distance yourself from others, negative emotions abound. In this time of technological connectedness, people are more isolated and lonely than ever, giving rise to mental health issues. Cherish those close to you. For instance, research has shown that married people get more life satisfaction than their single counterparts. This sense of fulfillment underscores the significance of fostering close connections and intimacy to promote well-being.
“Happiness is not something readymade. It comes from your own actions.” — Dalai Lama XI
6. Focus On Your Path
While it’s good to be ambitious, envy will only make you unhappy. Comparison with others has a specific limit. We can become overly invested in the lives of others and lose track of our journey. Everyone’s circumstances differ from yours, and comparing yourself to others will only take you down a road of emptiness and misery. While other people’s lives may look cheerful from the outside, there is always a hidden story behind the scenes which we’re unaware of. It will help you to learn things from others, but more competition won’t help you to maintain your peace of mind. Focus on your dreams and goals, and enjoy your achievements and success.
7. Release Worries
Most of us worry about something, but 90% of our worries do not come to pass. We worry about the future, but we know the future is uncertain. Most of us think of the worst that can happen and continue to worry and fixate on it. Stop worrying and live your life for today instead of worrying about what will happen tomorrow. Don’t worry about what others think of you. When you stop worrying, you can be your true self. Remember, no matter what you do or who you are, you can never please everyone. If you please some people, you will offend others. So it’s essential to be yourself. I enjoy author Mary O’Malley’s perspective in her book What’s in the Way Is the Way: A Practical Guide for Waking Up to Life, where she states: “If your happiness is dependent on Life being a particular way, it is a given that the flow of Life will eventually dissolve the circumstances that are bringing you happiness, just like the tide washes away your writing in the sand.”
8. Nurture Positivity
Without a positive outlook, there can be no happiness. To follow the advice mentioned above, try to maintain a positive outlook toward life. As I have seen in my own life, everything happens for our highest good, even if we are unaware of it at the time. Have you recently been fired from a job? A new and exciting career is waiting for you, which you would not have considered if you were in the same position. Add a twist of positivity to everything that transpires in your life, and you’ll find your life changing for the better. In his book Falling into Grace, spiritual author and teacher Adyashanti touches on this idea: “Most of us don’t want to be bothered. We don’t want our search for happiness to be difficult. What we want is to be given happiness on a platter. But to find true happiness, we must be willing to be disturbed, surprised, wrong in our assumptions—and cast into a bottomless well of unknowing.”
Considering this, take a moment to reflect and write in your journal a recent instance that filled you with joy—a small delight, a meaningful connection, or a personal triumph. Share the details in your journal, including the emotions and sensations it brought forth. Consider how you can weave more of these moments into your tapestry. In the symphony of life, pursuing happiness is not an external conquest but an inner harmony. By aligning our thoughts, actions, and intentions, we weave a tapestry of joy uniquely our own. As we journey forward, let Adyashanti’s wisdom resonate: “There’s no way to become happy. We need to stop doing the things that make us unhappy.” With this profound insight, we stand empowered to shape our reality, embrace the present, and forge a path toward lasting happiness.