What is your Definition of Happiness?
Have you ever really sat down and thought about it?
Are you certain you know exactly what would make you totally happy in life?
Even though most people would answer that last question as 'yes', the truth is that most people don’t really know their own personal Definition of Happiness (in other words, they don't really know what would make them truly happy or even what the real meaning of happiness is for them).
Most people just go
through life striving to "be happy", without really knowing what it will
take. It’s no wonder many people never get there. It's also part of the reason many "famous", "wealthy", and "successful" people are miserable - and even commit suicide (we'll get to this in a minute).
For now, though, it's important to know that one of the most critical steps in the journey to the happiest possible life, therefore, is to know the destination. That destination is described by your own personal Definition of Happiness. And it is different for everyone.
But, once you define what happiness means for you personally, you will be in a much better position to identify the steps required to get there by creating your Happiness Plan — which is your “map” for the journey.
What It Is...
Your Definition of Happiness is not a personal mission statement or declaration of your purpose in life.
It is much more basic and self-focused. It simply means answering the question: what would make you a happy person if your life included everything in your personal Definition of Happiness?
As Linda Ellis put it so well in her hugely popular poem called The Dash, it's really all about how you want to live your life (you can get get your own copy of The Dash by clicking here - or you can just "experience" the poem by clicking here).
And there is no right or wrong definition. This is about you, your values, your passions, your purpose in life, and your identity (if you don't know these things yet, then click here to learn to discover your identity, click here to determine your purpose in life, click here to better understand your passions, and click here to understand your values). All these are key foundational parts of the "process" to true life-long happiness.
The main requirement is that your personal Definition of Happiness states your true feelings and includes everything required for you to be as happy as possible.
What It Takes...
Everyone has some idea of what it would take (the "criteria") for true happiness.
I have found that it is best to not have
too many or too few criteria required for your happiness. For example,
if you have only one criterion for happiness, and it doesn’t work out as planned, it
will be unlikely that you’ll be able to be as happy as possible. So, for example, if
your Definition of Happiness was simply to "become wealthy", you could never be truly happy if that didn’t happen for some reason. This could be part of your definition, but it should not be your entire definition.
Similarly, if there are too many criteria for you to meet in your definition, it might be difficult to get them all aligned and you will likely not achieve maximum happiness either.
I go through several chapters on how to create your personal Definition of Happiness in my book, BeHappy! (get a free autographed copy sent to your home or office by clicking here).
Here are the basic guidelines:
As you contemplate your own requirements for happiness, consider questions like:
The most important thing about creating your definition is that it must be your definition. It must fit you and be meaningful to you. You should even feel some emotion when you read it, because once you have achieved a life totally consistent with your definition, nothing can make you unhappy, regardless of the difficulties and challenges you experience in your life.
So again, crafting your Definition of Happiness is a very important step to true happiness.
Key Point #1: To be as happy as possible in life, your Definition of Happiness must be fulfilled as completely as possible.
Key Point #2: If you are truly happy according to your specific personal Definition of Happiness, nothing can make you unhappy — even intensely negative situations or circumstances.
To really get the most out of this process and create the best possible Definition of Happiness for you, do the exercises in Chapter One of BeHappy! This provides much more explanation and background for designing your definition.
If you don’t have your copy of BeHappy! yet, click here to get A FREE AUTOGRAPHED COPY (yes, I'm giving my book away for free right now). Or, if you just don't want the book, click here to at least find out your true Definition of Happiness.
BeHappy! my friends
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