What is happiness?

In his YouTube clip, Dr Russ Harris describes how the Three Myths of Happiness can actually make you feel more miserable:

When we believe that happiness is a constant emotional state we can achieve, we can feel worse because we don’t realize that emotions, including feeling happy, are ever changing and always in response to our environment and our perceptions of what’s going on. We may also believe that we’re defective in some way when we don’t always feel happy, which is never helpful.

He defines true happiness as more than just feeling happy. He believes it can only be experienced when we are “living a rich, full meaningful life in which we feel a range of emotions“.

Happiness is therefore not the goal. 

As one of my preferred Gurus on Happiness, Winnie

the Pooh, would advise, it’s about “finding the joy in ordinary things”. 

Calvin and his furry friend Hobbes would agree that it’s  all about living in alignment with your values  (“I wondered, is it better to do the right thing and fail or is it better to do the wrong thing and succeed”) and mastering self love (“Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you”). 

Here are some other experts’ views on what is happiness and how to experience it:

  1. Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. – Dalai Lama
  2. Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. – Mahatma Gandhi
  3. Happiness doesn’t depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude. – Dale Carnegie
  4. Happiness comes only when we push our brains and hearts to the farthest reaches of which we are capable. – Leo Rosten
  5. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude. – Denis Waitley
  6. Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence. – Aristotle
  7. Happiness is the interval between periods of unhappiness. – Don Marquis
  8. Happiness always looks small while you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and you learn at once how big and precious it is. – Maxim Gorky
  9. Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. – Eleanor Roosevelt
  10. Happiness is like a kiss. You must share it to enjoy it. – Bernard Meltzer
  11. Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present. – Jim Rohn
  12. Happiness is different from pleasure. Happiness has something to do with struggling and enduring and accomplishing. – George Sheehan

What has been your experience? How would you define happiness? 

I can help you navigate your own way to your meaningful life.

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