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What is happiness?

Picture of Baskar Sundaram
Baskar Sundaram

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Most of us believe that we do not need a formal meaning of happiness. We know when we feel it, and we often use the term to express a series of positive emotions, including joy, pride, contentment, and gratitude.

Happiness is not something you obtain, but rather it is something you inhabit.

What this means is that finding happiness is not achieved by fighting for it, but rather it is the product of a particular set of ongoing life events.

Here are three important things people should know about happiness:

Happiness Is Not The Same As Pleasure

When people seek happiness, they are seeking pleasure: great food, time for movies, a new car, gatherings with friends, losing weight, becoming famous, and so on.

But while pleasure is good, it is different from happiness. Pleasure is associated with happiness but does not create it.

People who direct their energy on materialistic and superficial pleasures end up more troubled, more emotionally weak and less happy in the long-run.

Finding Happiness Does Not Require Lowering One’s Expectations

The failure to meet our expectations is not the opposite of happiness, and we can argue that the capability to fail and still thank the experience is a fundamental building block for happiness.

So, raise your expectations. Elongate your process. Lie on your death bed with a to-do list a mile long and smile at the infinite opportunity granted to you. Create ridiculous standards for yourself and then savor the inevitable failure.

Happiness Is Not The Same As Positivity

Discarding negative emotions leads to more difficult and more prolonged negative emotions and emotional dysfunction.

Negative emotions are important and healthy for keeping stable baseline happiness in one’s life.

Now to tell about what drives happiness, we can say:

Happiness is the process of becoming your ideal self.

Happiness should not be a goal, it should be a Habit.

The good thing is wherever we are born, whatever childhood we had, when we grow up we all have the opportunity to be in charge of our lives and be happy.

The happiest people on earth do not have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

You have the ability to control how you feel, and with practice, you can form life-long habits for a more satisfying and fulfilling life.

A happy life.

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