By: Diane Lang
When we ask everyone the question: What do you want out of life?
The answer we always is get is: I just want to be happy but then the question remains – what makes you happy?
To start off what is happiness: Its defined as: “The quality or state of being happy” by Dictonary.com
That is a general definition but happiness is personal and everyone has a different definition.
Ask yourself – what is your definition of happiness?
You can’t be happy if your not sure what happiness means to you. So, before you go any further start thinking what makes you happy? How do you define happiness? What does happiness look like to you?
If I visualized my happy life what would it look like? What would be included? What would I feel like?
For many, being happy could mean a whole life overhaul? For others, it might just be tweaking certain areas of your life but you cant make that decision until you can define happiness in your own words.
Are you happy? Once defined then you can ask yourself – Am I happy? On a scale of 1-10. 1 being the least happy and 10 being the most, where do you rate yourself?
I have had clients who don’t even feel like a 1. We don’t want to judge our answers, its just a place to start. We want to look at the scale as a beginning and figure out where we are and where we want to go. We want to take baby steps. So, if you feel your a 4, the question is: how do I get to be a 4.5 or a 5? What changes do I need to make? Always take baby steps and set up realistic expectations.
After you define happiness and where you are on the happiness scale then you can ask yourself: How do I define success?
Remember happiness comes before success. if we try to be successful first we get stuck in the:
I will be happy when__________!
For example: I will be happy when I get a raise?
I will be happy when I get married?
I will be happy when we move?
This puts us on a hedonic treadmill where we are always looking for something else to feel happy and successful.
True happiness comes from within. It comes from Intrinsic goals which are goals with a purpose and meaning to you. So start your journey with defining happiness and set goals that allow you to cultivate your happiness. Happiness is like a muscle we can build on it everyday.
How do you define happiness?