Happiness is a hugely important part of a great life. It’s tough to define, but we know it’s absence when it’s gone. Learning to define and discover your own sense of happiness is important when it comes to building the lifestyle you really want to be living. Here’s why happiness is so difficult to define.

Because It’s Personal

This is the crux of the problem. Happiness is a deeply personal thing. Sure, there are crossovers, there are things that make almost everyone happy, such as health, wealth, love, etc. but these aren’t the kinds of things we’re talking about. Finding your happiness is all about finding a hard-working state of equilibrium, seeing you being more and more productive, and developing as a person. It’s not about the end result, it’s about the journey. It’s not about that fancy car, that promotion or that new gadget, it’s about work that you enjoy doing to pay for a lifestyle you really enjoy. These things aren’t goals unto themselves, the goal is to be doing something meaningful that you enjoy in order to live the kind of lifestyle that you want. It’s that simple.

You’re not actually going to be happy if you lose weight or get a new haircut or buy that new car. This is transient happiness, it comes, it feels nice and then it goes. You’re back to your baseline. That baseline is what you really want to be improving and that’s a case of actually refining and improving your life. Cutting out things that pull you back, and aligning elements like work and passions, or prioritising family properly. This is the path to truly loving your life and building the kind of happiness that you really want. Neglecting these core aspects is always going to result in you missing out on the real opportunities for happiness while distracted by things that don’t really matter. This is one of the big problems with being distracted by materialism and consumerism. You don’t need that new gadget or those new clothes, you just feel like you do. Break away from this, and start focusing on the parts of your life that really, truly matter to you.

Everyone’s Happiness is Different

This is another important factor that’s vital when it comes to determining what it is you should be doing. Just because one person’s happiness lies in family and friendships doesn’t mean that another’s shouldn’t lie entirely within work and passions. People are all different, especially when it comes to what they want to spend their lives doing. You cannot base your judgements on what is important to you based on what other people around you appear to enjoy, this just isn’t going to work out in your favour. You need to accept the potential reality that you could be a little bit of an outlier, someone for whom the definition of happiness is a little outside the norm. You need to consider all the possibilities, and make sure you’re paying real attention to your needs, passions, interests and the things that actually matter to you. It’s only through considering everything, paying attention and thinking outside the box that you’re going to stumble onto real happiness.

Because True Happiness isn’t its Own Goal

This is the other vital point.

Happiness isn’t the end goal, it’s the by-product of pursuing the right things in life, it’s all about getting after the things that matter and paying attention to yourself.

Happiness is really just an expression of you being working hard in the right direction while everything is going exactly how it should be. If enough things are going right and you’re feeling great about things, nothing can knock you off your swing. Add some gratitude and self-care into this mix and you’re going to be unstoppable. That’s real happiness. It’s not some airy-fairy goal, it’s the opposite of boredom. It’s being hardworking, driven, self-aware and grateful for your life. It’s knowing you’re moving in the right direction in life while feeling in control. You’re not trying to end up feeling happy, you’re trying to build a life that ticks all these other boxes instead.

continue to part 2