Success and happiness, which is more important? If you ask me to choose, I will choose happiness without any doubt. I think happiness is more important than any other things in life. And how to live a happy life? It’s not an easy question and many people are confused about this. So I asked 22 personal development experts for advices. Their answers were interesting, profound and full of philosophy. I have to say I’ve learned a lot!
“There is no simple answer to this, but it roughly seems to come down to this: Face your fears head on. Take responsibility for your life. Do the best with what’s in front of you. Learn how your mind works. Challenge your thoughts. Stop chasing happiness, embrace all aspects of life.
As I pursued money, relationships, and success, I realized that happiness doesn’t come from the outside; it comes from within each of us. You have to become clear about what you want in life, and who you want to be.”
“Relationships are what makes us happy. Job and money do not.
Once you have basic needs met, more money does not make more happiness. So what does matter? The big factors in determining happiness levels are satisfaction with your job and social relationships. And by social relations, most researchers mean sex — with one, consistent partner.”
“Happiness is the process of becoming your ideal self. The best advice is also the simplest: Imagine who you want to be and then step towards it. Dream big and then do something. Anything. The simple act of moving at all will change how you feel about the entire process and serve to inspire you further.”
“Happiness is simply the ability to not want more; to find gratitude and satisfaction in the moment that you have right now. Happiness comes from combining what we love to do with something that is meaningful.”
“The way to be happy is to be thankful for the life you have and the people you have in it. If there is love (family and friendships) in your life recognize it, appreciate and don’t take it for granted. If there is health in your life, recognize it, appreciate and don’t take it for granted. If there are material things that you appreciate in your life, recognize it, appreciate and don’t take it for granted.
Focus on the most basic of things and be genuinely happy to have them, knowing that so many people do not and we’ve been blessed.
From there, you beat confusion by being decisive. Decide on a project that excites you. And do at least one small thing a day to make it happen. Get good rest, have energy, be thankful and move forward with confidence. Even if you don’t know what you’re doing (as we all don’t) be decisive, learn, adjust, and be decisive again.”
“Living life on your terms instead of a life dictated by other people’s opinions.
That’s the most important thing.
If you care too much about what people think of you, or what you’re doing, then you give away your happiness to them. And it becomes impossible to ever be truly happy.
But when you do things for YOU (the things you want), happiness is literally guaranteed.
It’s not easy, but it’s just the way it works.”
“There are many things that come together to promote happiness and it’s impossible to simplify it to one thing but I suppose the source of our happiness doesn’t come from what happens to us necessarily, rather it comes from the way we think about what happens to us.
So if we become effective thought managers and make an effort not to catastrophize, personalize, assume we know what others are thinking, compare ourselves negatively to others and focus on keeping balanced thinking between good and bad rather than negatives, we can increase our levels of happiness.
Adopting an attitude of gratitude helps too as we tend to focus on what isn’t right more often than the good things. It takes practice though as we all have intrusive, fearful thoughts but when we learn that thoughts aren’t facts and learn to ignore them more often in favor of more balanced thinking, we set ourselves on the best possible path for happiness.”
“Happiness is not something to be achieved. Happiness is something to be discovered—in your current circumstance.”
“Taking the time to understand who you are and what you want. Don’t try and live someone else’s life. Spend time with yourself in silence, be vigilant, meditate and use your energy as a litmus test. Often your energy will tell you if you’re on the right path or not.”
“There’s no one-size-fits-all easy answer to happiness — if there was no one would be unhappy. ?
That said most research shows that the most important thing when it comes to happiness is your relationships.”
“Being grateful for what you do have. Gratitude is one of the most widely recognized skills for being happy. Being grateful is about living in the moment. It’s about living for now and enjoying every aspect of life.”
“Knowing that happiness doesn’t mean being happy all the time.
Working at it a little bit each day by doing things that make me happy and being with people who make me happy.”
If you are content with Where You Are RIGHT NOW, Who You Are, What You Know, and What You Have, you will be able to create all things from a place of Peace, Joy, and Total Surrender.
Instead of having to Do, or Get something in order for you to feel Happy, Worthy, and, Valuable, you will create things from that pure and authentic place within yourself where all is perfect and nothing is lacking – not even you. Because we all know that humanity is suffering from the I Am Not Enough Syndrom…
To me, Contentment is the most important factor in achieving happiness, at this moment :)”
“Find something very difficult that you think would be very much worth doing. Then go do it and don’t give up.
The struggle produces happiness.”
“Everybody has the right to be happy, and happiness has no price tag. Happiness can be found anywhere and everywhere; you do not need anything to be happy.
Happiness is a state of mind.”
“What makes people truly happy?
Is it boatloads of money? Being fantastically good looking? Is it having charm, charisma and some special “it factor” that makes people you? Perhaps it has to do with inner peace, self-care, meditation and harmony? Or maybe it is just about self-assurance and confidence?
While all the above can surely help for finding happiness. They are all wrong.
At least according to a study that has been running for over 80 years. (The Grant study.) The initial study participants, plus many subsequent expansions of participants are all rigorously questions about many facets of their well-being and happiness, at many ages of their lives.
This study comes to a simple and definitive conclusion. By far, the most important factor in happiness is love, romance and healthy relationships with family and partners.”
“I think the things that really matter for happiness are meaning, relationships and self-knowledge.
We get meaning from doing work that matters to us, perhaps practicing a spiritual or religious pursuit, or engaging in some kind of project to improve the world or the lives of others. There are many ways to go about it but if we’re not doing SOMETHING that we think matters beyond ourselves, then it’s hard to feel meaning.
By relationships I mostly mean friendships. Like real, reciprocal friendships. Romantic relationships can be fulfilling too but they are also more volatile than friendships.
Self-knowledge is a little tricker to pin down, but it has to do with learning what makes you tick. Learning what you’re afraid of, what you are constantly seeking in life, your good habits and bad habits, and what you really need in more specific terms. I have found meditation the most useful tool here, along with reading about stoicism, existentialism, buddhism and other philosophical ideas.”
“If you asked me 4 weeks ago, I’d give you a totally different answer. I had to go through a really painful experience to learn that. The most important factor in achieving happiness is building meaningful relationships and creating memories and always living in the present. It’s not the success, it’s not the money, it’s not the achievements – it’s way simpler than that. It’s all about living in the present and actively engaging with people. We are social creatures and that’s what we crave the most. We all want to be understood and the only way to do that is to build a strong bond with the people around you and the people you meet!”
“Be useful. For more context, see: Happy, Smart, and Useful”
“In my opinion, the most important factor in achieving happiness is contentment. Contentment means you are already happy now with what you have. You don’t need something else in the future to make you happy. Those who aren’t content tend to have only fleeting happiness, but those who are content can be completely and consistently happy.”
“I believe that the most important factor in achieving happiness is the habit of consistently focusing on all of the good in your life. We all have things that we can be happy about and grateful for, even little things, that require us to constantly acknowledge and focus on. It’s too easy to take for granted how blessed we truly are. If you’re always focused on the little things, such as being able to wake up and experience another day of life, or for your heart that beats a hundred thousand times a day without you think about it, or for the people in your life, etc… that you’ll be truly rich and happy.”
There can be no true happiness until you become conscious of what Absolute reality is.”
Some interesting studies on happiness
1.According to the biggest happiness study from Harvard, the most important thing for happiness is relationships. And it does not mean you must have a lot of friends. In fact, quality is more important than quantity. The closeness of your relationships matters more.
2.Another new study proved the importance of close relationships further. Old study said more sex increases happiness. But it’s more than just sex, the affection during sex is more important for happiness.
3.You may already know that more money can’t make more happiness once the basic needs are met. But some new studies said that if you spend money in some special ways, it can increase happiness. And there are 3 ways:
- Spend money to buy life experiences
- Spend money on other people
- Spend money to buy more free time
I think this is also about building good relationships. And be yourself and live the life you really want. Money can be the tool.
4.As I remember, psychologists have emphasized this many times. Exercise can make you happy. Exercise can help you relieve stress and stay positive in your life.
5.At last, happiness is not about achieving the goal of being happy. In fact, you need to accept negative emotions. So you can’t pursue happiness too much, or you will feel less happy. You need to accept your whole life completely. As the Indian philosopher Osho said,“How can happiness exist without unhappiness?”
Main points of the experts’ opinions:
- Be the best of yourself
- Pursue dream and enjoy the journey
- Gratitude, feel content and live in the moment
- Good relationships in life
- Stay positive
All of the experts have provided some great insights here. The studies above just prove that they are right. Their advices are the cornerstones for happiness. Happiness is about knowing who you really are and what you really want to do and be the best of yourself. Happiness is about living a meaningful life. That means you should pursue your dream and enjoy the journey. You should help others to make your life more meaningful. And you will get support from others as a reward. Happiness is that you are so engaged in your life that you enjoy every moment of your life. Whatever your current life is, be the most you can be to live in the present. The journey matters more, keeping challenging yourself matters more. Accept your whole life, both the good and the bad, and stay positive.
So what exactly is happiness? Dr. Martin Seligman’s PERMA model is a great definition for happiness :
- Positive emotion
In the end, I want to thank all the experts for their contributions to this post. Thank you so much!
Source: Bruce Yu – Calmement.com