A happy and fulfilling life is made up of two things: joy of life and meaning of life.
If you clicked on this post, then you’re probably somewhat dissatisfied in life . Maybe you have a very specific problem that is bothering you. Maybe objectively everything is going well for you, but you still feel empty or sad somehow.
No fear. Many, many people around the world are like you. That doesn’t mean that something is going wrong with you.
You are wonderful the way you are .
You may just not know what would make you happier, or you just haven’t spent time trying.
Both can change here and now. Take 10 minutes and let me explain what I’ve learned about happiness so far.
What Makes You Happy?
A happy and fulfilling life is made up of two things: joy of life and meaning of life .
The Joy of life
Joy of life results from the fact that we often do things that make us happy , e.g. meet our friends, watch a funny movie, eat our favorite dish, watch the sunset, cuddle, dance, pursue our hobbies etc.
The Meaning of Life
The meaning of life comes from the fact that we are at peace with ourselves, that we have goals that are in line with our values and ideals, that we know ourselves and that we are constantly developing.
Satisfied people have both in their lives. Anyone who tries to fill the emptiness in their life only through an ongoing entertainment program will inevitably fail.
You can bathe in chocolate, watch a funny film after the next, take drugs or who knows what. If the effect wears off, you are still the same person with the same life as before.
Nothing will have changed.
If instead you place your entire life on a higher priority goal (be it to create world peace or become the youngest CEO ever) and sacrifice every free time and joy for it, you will also fail.
If you no longer feel joy in life, at some point you will no longer see any meaning in your life and then you will ask yourself why you should get up in the morning at all.
So how to be happy with yourself?
You have to do three things:
- Recognize the problem
- Define the goal
- Get on the way
How to Be Happy Step 1: Recognize the Problem
Before you can change yourself or your life, you have to know exactly what you want to change. What is the problem right now? Which areas of life are you dissatisfied with? What keeps you from being happier?
For example, you could think about it now.
- Are you more lacking in joy of life, sense of life or both?
- Maybe there is a very specific problem that is preventing you from being happy? for example, does your job ruin you or are you unhappily in love?
- Maybe you do things that stand in the way of your happiness more often without knowing it? e.g, do you often compare yourself to others? Do you think too pessimistic? Do you suffer from strong self-doubt? or make another typical bliss?
If you’re having trouble determining why and what you’re dissatisfied with, this little exercise can help you figure out your dissatisfaction.
First of all, you have to first recognize what is in the way of your happiness, what you may have done wrong so far and what things are bothering you in your life.
How to Be Happy Step 2: Define the goal
The second step is to design a better future . It’s about thinking about how you want to live . If you are honest, what would you really like to do?
Where would you prefer to live? What kind of person do you want to be? What do you want to spend your time with? What do you want to be able to do? Who do you want to be with?
Which values are important to you? What makes you special? What do you enjoy?
For example, if you recognized in the first step that you forgot to enjoy yourself from time to time due to stress, obligations and too much discipline, then your goal should of course be to do things that make you happy.
But that alone is still not enough. You should now think specifically about what things are. And for that you have to get to know each other properly.
What do you enjoy most? Which hobby do you want to integrate once a week from now on? Are you a person who likes to go out with other people or will it contribute more to your joy of life to build model planes alone?
Finding out who you are and what makes you special is even more important if you don’t have enough meaning for life so far. And remember that.
Be honest with yourself .
We humans are not all the same. Just because your mother is happy as a lawyer doesn’t mean it is right for you.
Just because everyone should be able to work in a team does not mean that you like it. Just because your friend doesn’t care about a career doesn’t mean you share his views.
No, let me correct that… The best thing to do is never stop questioning yourself and your ideal life, because it is far too easy for us to get into a concept of life that does not suit us if we forget who we really are.
How to Be Happy Step 3: Get on your way
This statement is meant literally, because living a happy and fulfilling life is a lifelong process . There is no time when you are finally happy and nothing will ever change again.
But you will gradually notice that something has changed in you, that you can deal with challenges more easily, that you have more confidence in the future, that you have a more positive attitude towards yourself and the world, that you are more attentive to all the beautiful things in the world and smile happily at you more often.
However, only if you dare to implement your goals and if you are continuously interested in your own happiness. There will be opposition, there may be hail of criticism, maybe some people will turn away from you, maybe you too want to break away from some things.
In short: your life will change .
But that’s good.
You want change, because otherwise everything stays the same and that doesn’t help you either.
How to Start
Start by spending ½ to 1 hour every day.
For example, spend a week during this time every day trying to identify the problem. Next week you will start thinking about your ideal life. The following week you may be able to take the first step. So if you have a specific problem, start solving it.
If you have too little joy in everyday life, gradually integrate hobbies and activities that make you happy. If you have too little meaning in life, write a bucket list , set goals and start pursuing them.
You can also start very small, for example by only doing one section per month or per season. You set the pace, because you have to feel comfortable with it. It is important that you start and that you stick with it.
PS: If you’re into the science of happiness and positive emotions, check out this book, The Happy Life Formula. It’s all about creating more happiness in our lives so that we can become not only happier, but also healthier and more successful.
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If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
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- 101 HABITS THAT WILL MAKE YOU A SMARTER WOMAN
- 24 SIMPLE WAYS TO BE MORE MINDFUL IN YOUR DAILY LIFE
Thanks for reading this post. Be sure to check out the pages above for more inspirational and motivational tips.
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