How Do You Define Happiness?
Some Answers Work Better Than Others

Authored by William G. DeFoore, Ph.D.

How you define happiness has a lot to do with how happy you are. If your definition of happiness is out of reach, for example, then being happy is just too difficult for you.

We will take a look at the most common ways that people describe happiness, and then help you define it in a way that will help you and not get in your way.

Take a look at this chart, showing three ways to define happiness. Two of them don't work well at all, and one puts you in charge and can work very well for you.

Define Happiness

Is Your Happiness Out Of Reach?

You may think that happiness is not a possibility for you, or that it just can't happen in your life. It's not unusual to think that way.

True happiness is foreign to many people, but that doesn't mean it's completely out of reach. It's really much closer than you think.

Let's look at some examples of how happiness can seem out of reach:

  1. Some people don't really believe in the possibility of true happiness. Your beliefs are powerful, and can actually affect outcomes in your life. If you don't believe it, it probably won't happen.

  2. You might base your happiness on something that's just not likely. An example of this would be, if you decided that you'd have to be married to a movie star you've never met. Happiness is just plain out of reach as long as you define it in terms of highly unlikely events.

  3. You might think that happiness would only come if you won the lottery, or inherited millions of dollars. With this thinking, happiness will always feel out of reach to you.

  4. You might sometimes find yourself thinking that you'd be happy if this problem or that problem would just go away. Ever have that thought? A lot of people think that way, but it just doesn't lead to happiness.

  5. Maybe you think that other people can make you happy. That's also a very common belief, but it depends on other people acting like you want them to...and that just doesn't happen enough.

Each of these approaches will keep happiness out of your reach. Lets' keep going here, so that you can define happiness in a way that works for you.

Do You Define Happiness As Being Outside Yourself?

Pursuit Of Happiness

A lot of good folks just like you think that happiness comes from people and things around you changing. By now you've probably noticed, however, that you just can't get them to act right.

Most people are directed by their own needs, dreams and goals, not by what you want them to do. This is one of the biggest challenges you will face.

Let's learn some more about seeking happiness outside yourself:

  1. Sometimes it seems like a new house, a new job or a new city will be the answer. While this kind of change can be helpful, you'll probably find that you take your problems with you everywhere you go. It's important to resolve things as much as possible where you are, before trying to make a change for the better.

  2. One of  the most common beliefs is that money will make you happy, and it's true that money can really help with happiness. The proven fact is, however, that while money can help in the short term, true lasting happiness doesn't come from financial wealth.

  3. Another big problem that most people face is blaming their unhappiness on external systems, people and circumstances. Again, those things outside you can certainly set you back, but they don't determine your long term happiness.

Now you're ready to get to the real answer...finding happiness inside you!

How Do You Find Happiness Within Yourself?

No matter how you define happiness, it comes from inside you. Even when it seems to be caused by something outside you, the feeling actually occurs and originates from within.

The more you accept this and work with it, the more you are able to create ongoing happiness for yourself. Let's look a little closer at how this works:

Define Happiness
  1. When you decide to seek peace and happiness within yourself, you're finally on the right path to succeed.

  2. Making the choice to enjoy and appreciate the many simple, beautiful aspects of yourself and your life on a regular and ongoing basis will help you to access and feel the happiness inside.

  3. Seek out and focus on music and art that you really like. Pay very close attention to it, and savor the feelings that come to you while you do.

  4. Journaling, meditation and inspirational reading will help you to calm yourself and move closer to the core of who you are, where your inner peace and joy reside.

However you define happiness for yourself, you probably would like more of that wonderful happy feeling in your life. 

How Do I Learn To Meditate?

I've been meditating (Dr. DeFoore here) for many years now, and I really encourage you to explore this further for yourself. The benefits to your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well being are beyond measure.

A lot of people don't understand meditation, and think that it is some sort of religious or metaphysical thing. In fact, meditation is just the practice of being still and quiet for periods of time. Many groups and organizations have developed their own style and focus for meditation, but the basic practice is pretty simple and straightforward. 

You can develop your own style of meditation, one that works best for you. Listen to previews below of a program I developed called:

You will hear an overview of the forms and styles of meditation, so that you can choose and develop your own personal preferences. You will also learn the basics of how to meditate, including several meditation techniques.

You will learn what meditation is, and what it is not. You will learn about postures to use, equipment you might (or might not) need, and guided vs. silent meditation. There is no right or wrong way to meditate.

How To Meditate

If you agree that the best way to define happiness is to recognize that it comes from inside, then this program is for you. Your satisfaction is guaranteed.

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