Who doesn’t want to be happier in their life? But what is happiness?
It’s different for everyone and the challenge is finding what it means for us. Kurt Vonnegut says it so well: “And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”
In this video from Elaine Smookler, she asks people to notice that sometimes the reason we’re not happy is that we haven’t taken the time to figure out what that means for us. We get so caught up comparing our lives to others that we struggle to answer the simple question: what brings me true happiness?
Here are 3 things to consider when discovering what brings you happiness:
1) Try for Happier-ness: “I personally find it helpful not necessarily to think in terms of happiness exactly, but I’m kind of okay even with the notion of happier-ness—noticing anything at all that moves me in a direction of something delightful, starting to cultivate my own experience of what makes me happy. Because what makes me happy might not make you happy, it may not make your partner happy.”2) Notice your Comparing Mind: “We each have our own pathway in life and part of our challenge is we’re not used to even asking ourselves and noticing: what brings me happiness? So what ends up happening is we chase so many dreams that may or may not actually have anything to do with what would bring us happiness. We look around at other people and say, oh, that person has a new car. Oh, that person has a fancy house. That person has this… This person has that… Well, that’s wonderful. But, until you really know enough about yourself to see what opens you up what makes you happy, it can be really difficult to know which direction exactly happiness is.”
3) Wish Yourself and Others Happiness: “I would suggest that the notion of wishing for happiness for oneself and those we care about and even those we don’t care about is beautiful. But recognize that it may take a little bit for you to really know what makes you happy. And when I say happy I mean not just a “sugar rush”— [I mean] sustained happiness and well-being.”
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