What do you need to be happy? Is it a big house? A great career? The freedom to do whatever you want? Of course, the requirements for happiness will vary from one person to another.
However, there are many things common to most happy people. Since we all want to be happy, researchers have been busy on the topic.
Opinions vary, but these things are likely to add to your happiness:
1. Relatively few things that detract from your happiness. It’s easier to be happy if there are only a few things to prevent you from being happy. Just like it’s easier to get from Point A to Point B if there are few obstacles in your way.
◦ A good first step for increasing the amount of happiness in your life is to remove as many things as you can from your life that are making you unhappy.
◦ You don’t need a lot in order to feel happy, if you can minimize those things that detract from your happiness. If you need a lot to be happy, there are probably a lot of things in your life detracting from your happiness.
2. Control. You’ll struggle to be happy if you believe that you don’t have control over your life. People that feel powerless also tend to be unhappy. Regardless of your situation, there are things you could be controlling in your life but aren’t.
◦ Strive to build a life that gives you as much control as possible. For example, having financial resources provides a lot of control.
◦ Having a good social circle also provides a lot of options.
◦ Minimizing your dependence on others also gives you more control over your life.
3. Progress. Happy people are making progress in their lives. When you have a goal and make progress toward that goal, you’re going to feel pretty good.
◦ Life is dull when it stays the same. Life feels terrible when you’re losing ground. If you have a few goals and take steps to achieve them, you’re going to be happier.
4. A purpose. Having a purpose increases the amount of meaning in your life. The average person has never considered their purpose. That’s why their life is average.
◦ Take some time to consider the purpose of your life. You’re free to choose whatever you like. When you begin living with your purpose as a priority, you’ll experience more happiness.
◦ Your purpose could be living the most adventurous life possible, to master the piano, or to become a movie star. What do you want your life to be about?
5. People. There might be a few people that can truly be happy living a solitary life, but there aren’t many. Some people do well with a smaller, more intimate social circle. Others do well with a large social circle.
◦ But, it’s hard to be happy when you’re all alone. If you don’t have a couple of good friends, it’s worth the time to work on that part of your life.
6. Feeling needed. There are many ways to feel needed. Having children, volunteering, or even having a pet are great ways to feel that you have value to the world. When you feel needed, and you’re able to fulfill those needs, the level of happiness you experience in your life will increase.
If you had all of these things, would you be happier? What else do you think you would need?
Happiness seems to be elusive. You can’t just acquire happiness the way you would a slim waistline or a Bentley. Happiness arises from other things and situations. Think about what you need to be happy and make it happen!