What is happiness? Sometimes we think of it as an emotion, a fleeting feeling that can change from moment to moment. Other times we think of it as a reward that we experience when we accomplish something. If I get a promotion, if I get married, if I lose weight... then I will be happy. But how long does it last?
The truth is we are meant to experience happiness every day – not just when things are going right or we achieve a goal. Every person is meant to live a life of significant and lasting fulfillment. So how do we get there?
Here are 3 steps you can take right now to achieve more happiness:
- Understand the difference between pleasure and happiness. The reason we find it so difficult to find happiness is often because we are chasing the wrong type of joy.We look for things that make us feel good – a delicious meal, a high paying job, a night out with friends. All of those things are great experiences that we are meant to enjoy, but the pleasure is momentary. We only really get to experience short-term fulfillment, and as a result, we are forever chasing after our next “fix.”
Unlike short-term pleasure, authentic happiness is about lasting fulfillment, not just about having fun and feeling good. It is about asking ourselves, “How do I need to grow? What does my soul need?”
You are meant to enjoy the car, the money, the experiences that bring you pleasure. But if you assign them as the source of your happiness, you will be disappointed. Know that the way to lasting fulfillment is through growth and transformation, not external sources.
- Take ownership of your happiness. We often believe that happiness is based on an element of luck. Things are working in our favor, and so we feel good. And when things don’t go the way we want, we become sad. This thinking positions our wellbeing as a reaction to things happening around us, making us the effect instead of the cause.
Our circumstances do not create our happiness. We do. Think about times of the year that you consider to be “happy.” Your birthday, the holidays, your anniversary. You have decided that those days are going to be happy, and more than likely, they usually are. If we can choose to be happy on certain days, why do we doubt that we can do it every day of the year
Sadness is an indicator of what we need to change. It’s a signal that we’re somehow out of alignment with what we are meant to experience in this world. Knowing that we have the ability to tap into the happiness that exists within us is the key to unlocking lasting fulfillment. When we take ownership of our happiness, we open ourselves to the blessings of the Universe.
- Find a way to actively share with someone RIGHT NOW. The wisdom of Kabbalah teaches that our spiritual work is designed to make us more giving, caring, sharing people. This is meant to be the focus of our lives, and only when we are acting in alignment with this do we experience happiness.
There are times when we give to others out of obligation or guilt, and it doesn’t bring us happiness. This is because the consciousness behind sharing is so important. The more we share every day, the more it becomes part of our nature, and the happier we become as a result.
Real happiness is not some mythic prize that we are meant to endlessly chase. Nor is it a brief burst of joy. Chasing happiness in the future will never make us happy in the present. You have the power to create your own lasting happiness, and it starts right now.