Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success.
Happiness is something everyone wants to achieve. While on the surface people may seem to be looking for money, recognition, or other things, what they actually seek is happiness. Unfortunately, many people never reach the level of happiness they desire.
While I can’t claim to be the happiest person in the world (I wish I could :) ), I do learn something about it. So here I’d like to share 20 ways to find happiness in your life.
But, before we start, we should agree on something: our happiness is our responsibility. Your happiness is your responsibility. Don’t blame outside condition or other people if you’re not happy. While things around you could change and go bad, it is you who decide how you will respond to them. You can decide to be happy.
With that in mind, here are 20 ways to find happiness in life:
1. Stop comparing yourself with others
Comparing yourself with others won’t do you any good. You will either feel proud when you are above, or feel jealous and frustrated when you are below. None of them brings true happiness. So stop comparing yourself with others and simply be your best.
2. Count your blessings
There are so many things we should be grateful for, but we often forget them. When you realize how blessed you are, you will certainly be happier.
We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.
You can start with some simple things we take for granted.
3. Find your inner voice
To find true happiness, you must first find your inner voice. Slow down and take some quiet time for soul searching. What will make your life meaningful? What is true happiness for you? By knowing what your heart says, it will be easier for you to align with it.
4. Reconnect with your childhood dreams
Your childhood dreams can give you clues about your true calling. So discover them and reconnect with them. Get them back into your life. Childhood dreams are important, which is why Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture is entitled Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.
5. Help someone
Giving is an essential key to happiness. While we often think that we will be happier when we receive, the truth is we are happier when we give. This is also one of the most difficult things to apply.
You can apply this by finding someone in need and lending a helping hand. The person could be your family, friend, or even a stranger. You could also donate to a charity.
Happiness is like a kiss…you must share it to enjoy it.
6. Spend more quality time with your loved ones
Relationships give us happiness more than any material in the world. So spend more quality time with your loved ones. In such moments, be sure that you devote your attention to them. Divided attention (with your work, for example) will decrease the quality of the time.
There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.
7. Apply the five languages of love
Love is an important way to happiness, and the five languages of love is a helpful concept to help you apply love. By understanding yours and others’ languages of love, you will be able to build better relationships.
8. Appreciate nature
The beauty of the nature can give you peace. Go out and see how beautiful the nature is. Watch how the birds sing and the sun shines, and let you be happy once again.
9. Pray or meditate
This is one of the most effective ways to calm your mind and get inner happiness. When you feel overwhelmed, a session of praying or meditation could help you clear your mind.
10. Know yourself
You will be happier if you understand who you are. Taking personality tests or drawing a simple life map could help you recognize who you are.
11. Say thank you
Sometimes we are so accustomed to people around us that we forget to thank to them. So take a little time to do that.
Smiling is a very simple thing to do, and yet it has great effect. There mere act of smiling can brighten your otherwise dark day.
13. Listen more than you speak
You will feel happier not only by understanding yourself, but also by understanding the people around you. One simple way to do that is by listening more than you speak. Try to understand what the other person means before speaking out your thoughts.
14. Stop judging others
Judging others will give you bad feeling toward them and there’s nothing good about that. Instead, you should look at the positive side of them. Sometimes it’s easier to see the others’ weaknesses, but looking at the positive side will brighten their day and your day.
15. Focus on what you can control
Trying to change things beyond your control will only frustrate you. Recognize what you can and can’t control, and focus solely on the things you can control. For instance, you can’t change how people around you behave, but you can change yours. So focus on changing your own behavior instead of changing theirs.
There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.
16. Forgive yourself
Have you done mistakes in the past? We could be intimidated by our past mistakes that we can no longer live to our full potential. But you aren’t perfect, and neither is anyone else. So forgive yourself and release the burden.
17. Forgive others
Besides forgiving yourself, you should also forgive other people who did wrong to you. Not forgiving them will only hurt you. Again, you should release the burden so that you can find happiness.
To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.
18. Accept yourself
You may have some personality traits that you don’t like. For instance, perhaps you are an introvert and you wish you are an extrovert. Or you wish you were born in a different background. This is one thing you can’t control (see #15), so just accept yourself as you are. You are unique, and that’s something you should be grateful for.
19. Know how to deal with problems
Problems will always come your way, so your happiness depends not on whether or not you have problem, but on how good you deal with them. Knowing how to stay calm and how to overcome failure will be helpful.
20. Be a promise keeper
You will find happiness if you stay true to your heart and one way to do that is by being a promise keeper. The more you keep your promise, the more you will be aligned with your conscience and the happier you will be.
While I’m still far from perfect in applying them, I can attest how these ideas increase my happiness.
Do you have other ideas to achieve happiness? Feel free to share them in the comments.
Photo by Sukanto Debnath