10 Truths You Should Know Before Finding Happiness

The truth is, happiness is something that’s already inside of you. It always has been and always will be. In fact, I believe happiness is...

The truth is, happiness is something that’s already inside of you. It always has been and always will be. In fact, I believe happiness is our natural state of being – but it’s only through the conditioning of society that programs to believe otherwise. It’s only when we become aware of the conditioning and stop chasing happiness, that we really have the ability to find it within us.

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say,
    and what you do are in harmony.”

    ―Mahatma Gandhi
There would be days where I would be insanely happy and days where I felt immensely depressed. During the happy days I’d have no problem meeting people, exploring the city, feeling optimistic, and loving the world. My positive energy radiated from my personality and I attracted everything I wanted in my life.
10 Truths You Should Know Before Finding Happiness
But the down days were much, much worse. I’d sit in my bed, watch TV, and go back to sleep with continual thoughts of defeat in my head. I’d eventually drag myself out of bed to go hang out with some friends, but my mind would be somewhere else. Life seemed dull, gray, and flat out boring. I had a hard time talking to people, my anxiety skyrocketed, and my confidence dropped to an all time low.
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So what makes us happy? In general, the older you get the happier you get -- until you reach very old age.
According to a Pew Research Center survey, the happiest age group is men 65 and older; the least happy: men 18 to 29.

Stats About Happy People Survey:

  • Married people are happier than singles. 
  • College grads are happier than those without a college degree. 
  • People who were religious are happier than those who aren't. 
  • Sunbelt residents are happier than other U.S. residents. 
  • Republicans are happier than Democrats -- but both are happier than independents.
“The more you create, the more you deserve to consume.“
In all cases, the happiness they discover and gradually develop internally is seeded by the realization of certain fundamental truths.

It seems we are all here to realize these truths, in our own way, in our own time.  And once they resonate fully, not just intellectually, but emotionally and spiritually, we are then able to find the happiness and peace we seek…

1.  It’s impossible for anyone else to define YOU.

You are indefinable.  You are the only one in this world who gets to say who you are.  Circumstances and the opinions of others can only define you if you allow them to.  Do not give away your power and the magic of your essence by putting weight on negative situations in your life or the negative words of other people.

2. The past and future don’t exist.

Now is the moment.  The past is just a memory.  The future is a mental projection.  You can choose to dwell back in the past for learning and joyous reflection.  You can choose to dwell in the future for visualization and practical planning.  However, any time your awareness floats away to the past or future frequently for negative purposes, you are suffocating your ability to thrive in the only moment you ever have… the now.  Past and future literally do not exist right now – feel the freedom in this truth.
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3. About half of our happiness level is controllable.

According to The How of Happiness by researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky, about 40 percent of our happiness is under our control. The other 60 percent is predetermined by biological set points and recent life events. We are all born with different temperaments and, all else being equal, have a tendency to maintain a certain happiness level over our lifetimes, high or low. Some people are just "born happier" than others—think of a smiling baby versus a fussy baby. Life events like getting married, graduating from college, or being promoted can affect our happiness levels, but their effects diminish over time in a process known as “hedonic adaptation.” What was novel and exciting yesterday becomes "the new normal" today. We can, however, reduce the power of hedonic adaptation by deliberately practicing new attitudes and behaviors on a daily basis.  

4. You Can Be Happy RIGHT NOW!

The truth is, you can be happy RIGHT NOW.
You don’t have to wait for a moment in the future when everything is perfect.
You don’t have to wait until you make a million dollars, quit your job, buy that house or car, find that perfect relationship, or when you finally retire.  Again, this is deluding yourself into believing that something has to HAPPEN in order for you to be happy.  Don’t buy into that, it’s a lie.

If you aren’t already happy RIGHT NOW in your life, then there’s no reason to believe you will be happy in the future.

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5. You were born with everything you need.

There is nothing you are missing. There is no need to frantically become more, be more, do more, or get more. You are whole and complete, and were gifted every talent and insight you needed to thrive in this world in the moment you were born. Your only job is to accept this truth and then allow it to unfold.  Some gifts don’t become apparent until later in life. Some insights only become clear to you once you have life experiences that unlock such wisdom from within you. Trust in this and relax.

6. Forgiveness is choosing happiness over hurt.

We do not forgive others in order to free them of the situation, burden, guilt or regret.  We forgive others to free ourselves and walk into compassion and love by doing so.  It is in freeing ourselves that our energy level rises, our consciousness rises, and in doing so those around us benefit too.  The words of forgiveness have a positive impact on those we forgive, but ultimately forgiveness is a choice that allows us to be happy again.  This goes for both forgiveness of others and forgiveness of self.

7. A happy life is different from a meaningful life.

Researchers like Roy Baumeister have compared people’s perceptions of happiness versus meaningfulness. There is quite a lot of overlap between the two states: People who see their lives as meaningful are happier, and vice versa. But there are also differences: Happiness seems to be a transient state whereas meaningfulness is more enduring. We experience happiness in the present when our needs are satisfied, while meaningfulness involves tying together the past, present, and future in a way that makes sense and reinforces our positive attributes. For example, having more money may make you somewhat happier, but whether it makes your life more meaningful depends on how you spend it.

8. It’s not about earning more, it’s about personal fulfillment.

We’ve mentioned previously that having a higher income can help make you happy about your finances but you need to realize that it is not the amount. It is the control that it gives you over your money. That being said, you should know that your happiness is not entirely reliant on how much you are taking home every month. It is more on how you feel fulfilled about your work in general.

Notice how some people have so much income but they are not really content? They work day and night trying to increase their income but they still go home unhappy. That is because they are focused on the money – and not how they earned it.

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9. You can be happy right now, simply by deciding.

YOU control how you feel, nobody else does.  YOU decide and determine what every moment of your life means.  YOU have the power to look for the good, be grateful and experience happiness in any moment of your life, despite the circumstances or what’s going on around you.

If your brain comes up with a blank, then ask yourself, what COULD you be happy RIGHT NOW if you really wanted to be?
I’m so happy that I have the ability to share and influence others through the internet and my blog.

10. Challenges are gifts for your growth.

Without challenges you cannot unlock your full potential.  Obstacles are opportunities for growth.  The world needs the fullness of who you are, and it is through your experiences in life that you unfold into that fullness.  How can you demonstrate willpower and strength if your resolve has never been tested?  How can you role model love and compassion if you have never faced the opposite?  Knowing there is a higher purpose within dark times, is what leads you to be at peace in the midst of those storms, knowing that you are a diamond being forged under pressure.

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