How to become a happy person: 10 + 1 tips
I’ve come to the rather «slippery» question of how to become a happy man. It is slippery because there are a lot of contradictory answers to this question, among which it is difficult to find the «right» one. And besides, the very notion of happiness is not quite defined, few people are aware of what exactly he is looking for, what he understands by «happiness».
How to become a happy person
This concept has acquired the status of a kind of abstraction, it has become a kind of «kingdom of heaven», only in a very local scale: everyone wants to get there, but no one knows what will be there and whether they will get there at all.
What does it mean to «become happy»?
«Becoming happy» has already become a kind of tired label, like a hackneyed advertising slogan, the meaning of which has long been eroded by too frequent use. Many people are perplexed when they hear the question «are you happy» and do not know what to answer.
Meanwhile, happiness is an achievable thing, just need to know where to look for it and many people, in my opinion, are looking for it in places where it is not. So what is happiness? Before I answer that question, let me first say what is not happiness.
Why is the search for happiness often unsuccessful?
Searching for happiness, for many people, is like wandering the mouse in a huge dark labyrinth with a single supposed exit and a bunch of false moves that lead back to the depths of the labyrinth. The mouse pokes in and out of the darkness, finds one of the false moves, rushes there, hoping that this is finally the way out. Running down a dark corridor for days, weeks, years, until she finally finds out that this path leads where she came from.
As soon as she has time to take a breath, after a long, exhausting journey, as again that there is strength, rushes into the next move in the wall. Again the hope is that this is the way out, again a few days, weeks, years of relentless running, again the same outcome … The mouse again finds itself in a labyrinth, already tired and aging, ready to repeat this senseless movement again until her life span expires …
Many of us have been searching for happiness all our lives, trying to find it in different things and not finding it there, throwing these things and turning to the new in their endless searches. Someone tries to find him in the possession of objects, money, in the change of places, in the change of love partners, in the thrill, in power, in work, in religion or passion for secular ideas, in satisfying all their physical desires.
But most often it happens without results, because happiness is not there. Possession of these things alone will bring you nothing but temporary satisfaction, followed by new needs that require saturation. Whereas the absence of these benefits, if you become dependent on them, will make you unhappy! Not very honest, is it?
What is happiness?
Happiness is not about possessing something, it exists to some extent, regardless of the things you have. And so it’s not so easy to find, so you can’t buy it, no matter how trivial it sounds. But at the same time, it’s hard to lose, because it doesn’t go away forever with the disappearance of something in your life. Happiness is not a temporary condition, but rather the result of some skills, it is what you need to bring up and develop in yourself.
But if we talk about happiness as a condition, it is better to call it your «metasostoyanie», that is, what stands above all the small and everyday misfortunes, forms a common denominator, summarizing your attitude to life and what life gives you in return. Happiness is not pleasure! It is not a temporary obsession, not euphoria, but measured, calm joy, harmony and balance, confidence and satisfaction.
Happiness is not achieved simply by summing up all your achievements, joys and subtracting from it your failures and sufferings. It is, as I said, more a reflection of your view of things, the state of your spirit, which exists independently of minor incidents in your life. in general, happiness is inside and is achieved by working on yourself and forming a correct, positive view of things, it will not be acquired by expensive purchases or change of places, first it must be achieved in yourself! And then everything else will come, outwardly.
Is it possible to become happy, just changing the place of residence, when together with the luggage you take away the painful burden of your mental problems, which will not be resolved simply because of the change of place. Is there a large amount of money, expensive cars will bring you joy of life, if inside you have a gulf of fears, doubts and dissatisfaction? These things can only give you a temporary relief.
In search of happiness
If you cannot be at least a little happy with what you have now, in the place where you live at the moment, if everywhere you see only the bad and blame the surrounding circumstances, then you, alas, do not see happiness in anything, if you do not work on yourself and correct, first of all, yourself. Of course, now it may seem to you that the absence of any benefits, cars, yachts, jewelry, expensive things makes you unhappy, but once you get them you will become happy.
No, this is a mistake. This is all those «false» moves in our imaginary labyrinth, which do not lead anywhere, but just comfort you with ghostly hope. But the mouse still runs into these passageways because it doesn’t know or simply doesn’t notice another way out, its brain tries to «find» a way out of the problem (or what it thinks it is) and searches the list of those options that it knows. Maybe our experimental animal has heard somewhere that other representatives of his species were eager for these moves and he does not know any other ways.
So the man is moving from extreme to extreme by virtue of some inner obsession. Dissatisfaction, suffering, lack of goals and aspirations make him look for a way out and try familiar solutions: money, sex, food, drugs, status, fame, religion, social ideas, power, meetings, subcultures. To rush from one to the other, but in the end, after temporary satisfaction, to return to the starting point — to suffering and dissatisfaction. The desire for happiness, harmony, integrity at the same time, escape from suffering — very strong motives of the man.
That’s why religious quacks find their flock most faithful among the poor, desperate, and unhappy. The same people become the most zealous and fanatical employees of corporations or drown their misfortunes in constant spending of money, thrills, drugs.
They want to be happy or at least not unhappy, but they don’t know where to go. Immediately they are in a hurry to offer ready-made answers: believe, work, consume. And people, accepting these answers, dissolve everyone in their illusion, who in the salvation of the soul, who in career growth, who in eternal spending.
It’s all phantoms, people don’t find themselves in them, even if they think so, it’s like forgetting the intoxicating effect of drugs, which drops out the pain, which still remains, just his body does not feel.
Happiness is independence from desires
Of course, I do not intend to go so far as to say that happiness does not depend on your financial situation, on your relationship, on where you live. Happiness is not the absence of desires, it is simply the absence of total dependence on the fact of their satisfaction. A happy person can still want both money and a car and a good job. But these desires do not make him their puppet, they do not put his inner well-being in complete dependence on himself! If he does not have these things, he still remains happy.
Yes, he has a goal to achieve these benefits and he is steadily moving towards its realization, which will make him more satisfied with his life, with its external attributes. But if he does not achieve this, it will not plunge him into despair, because he does not have a light wedge on these things, the main purpose is different and it lies on the other side of all material goods.
I’m sure it’s much easier for happy people to achieve such things, even if they don’t want them as much as those who desperately desire them but haven’t achieved inner harmony. Since happy people are more energetic, they are ready to achieve their goals and not to invent barriers to it, they are more free, more flexible and more reasonable. They are not blinded, not stupefied by obsessive desires.
And how is this metasostate of happiness achieved? How to become a happy person? I will try to give an answer to this question in several positions.
Secrets of happiness: 10 + 1 advice
Be prepared to take full responsibility for yourself
Don’t blame everything on the outside, on other people. It is your fault that you have become who you are first of all. And it is not even your fault that you have become, but that you have not been able to improve. You drink and can’t quit not because you are in trouble, but because you are not strong enough for that. You do not start yourself and do not do sports not because you do not have time, but because you did not bother to organize it so that it appears. Your life is who it is because you made it so!
It’s a bitter truth, I know a lot of people aren’t ready to hear it. They come to the psychologist and expect him to dig into their psyche and find a thousand reasons for their personal misfortunes in the patient’s childhood, in his relatives, in his psychotype, if only not in himself. Take responsibility for yourself — a courageous act, but he should not in any case lead you into a series of self-incrimination: «Oh, I’m so bad, I’m to blame, I’m terrible, I’m worthless, etc.»
No, it should serve as an impetus to metamorphosis, self-development, to be embodied in the intention: «Yes, I am such a siakoya, I have such problems and I am responsible for it myself, but that’s why I can correct it myself and make certain steps to do so».
Don’t you like the work? Change it. Don’t you have the necessary qualifications for this? Get it, use your leisure time wisely, learn new things! No time? Organize it so that it will suffice: watch less TV or surf the Internet. There are always solutions, you just don’t see them, or you don’t want to see them because of fear and doubt. As they said in one film, «There is no problem, there are only situations.
Don’t complain about life
Psychologists advise to speak out when something’s troubling. It seems to me that many people accept this advice too literally and are in a hurry to sit down with their problems on their ears. They don’t even try to calm down and think about the problem on their own, but they run to confess. Less complaining about people, circumstances, and life in general. Personally, I don’t see any sense in what is called «talking out», because if I talk about my problems all the time, it means I can’t handle them, I can’t take control of them. So I try to keep quiet about it.
Before you run to your friend, who may not need your problems, think about it. Is it such a problem? What are its roots? Can you solve it? If yes, then decide, if not, what to grieve for, because you have no influence on it, therefore, what to worry about? Most of the problems after the analysis lose their «problem essence», their emotional and negative component and become just annoying situations! (Yes, yes, that’s the phrase from the film) You’ll understand that you’re creating problems out of nothing. A cold, sober and distant analysis will make you understand this.
And to do this, you need to spend more time alone with yourself. Many people are used to bombarding their brains with avalanches of information: movies, the Internet, reading, games, work (about which I wrote in the article how to cope with the feeling of boredom), so, of course, they do not have time to think about their problems. While the solution can be so simple and obvious that they themselves will be surprised, and it will only take a little time to think about it.
Amor Fati. Accept your destiny
Amor fati is a well-known formulation in Latin that translates as «love of destiny». It expresses an attitude towards a changeable fortune in which a person treats all its vicissitudes, whims, adversity, without torment and suffering. Perhaps, such a perception of the world in its classical sense is a consequence of some fatalism, the belief that everything is predetermined in advance and nothing can change. But personally, I have other preconditions for amor fati.
I believe that, undoubtedly, a man makes his own destiny, but still, some of it does not depend on him. And since you can’t influence anything, you shouldn’t be saddened by the fact that your destiny has given you something: someone is luckier, someone is less lucky.
Do not think about what fate has not given you, it is better to pay attention to what it gave you. These may be the things you are used to noticing, because they have already become a given for you, such as caring parents, ready to help always, loyal friends, good health by nature. There is no need to be offended by life for all the misfortunes it brings down on you. There is something childish about it, immature, like resenting a child’s inanimate object, about which he bumped into some part of the body.
Don’t regret anything
Do not repent of past actions, dwell on the fact that you missed some chance, something in the past did wrong. You can’t change the past, but you can learn a lot from it. Make an emphasis on avoiding such mistakes in the future, take measures to do so. For some truth you have to pay the pain of past mistakes, so do your best to formulate as many useful conclusions from the past as possible, do not bury your life under the tons of meaningless remorse and moaning about the past, live on.
Find your goal
Before you reach your life goal, you have to find it first. It can be very difficult and it does not come at once. It takes some awareness, sobriety, freedom from illusions and other people’s views not to follow false goals, or not to exist with the absence of a life task at all. Find some goal beyond the boundaries of the ordinary existence of the average man, which is to work monotonously until retirement and mass purchases in supermarkets on weekends, think about what else you want from life in addition to a career and trips to warm countries on vacations.
If you think of something better than working in an office or doing household chores, you don’t need to give up on your dreams just because you want to live like everyone else. Think of your own scenario, make a plan, understand what you want from life and start to implement it gradually. Moving towards your goal is a huge source of happiness. If you have a goal, it will be much easier to put up with hated work and everyday routine, because you know that every new day brings you closer to this goal.
But, I repeat, it is not as easy to think of as it seems. Many people do not see their goal and do not know what they want or observe only a false goal, the implementation of which will not bring them the desired. How can you get to know yourself better? How do you know your desires better? How to understand what you really need. How do you find your calling? Practice will help you do this. About it further.
Develop the ability to «be happy»
Of course, it’s easy to say «find a purpose», «have a positive view of things», but it’s not that easy to do. Well, a person can’t rebuild his or her model of perception overnight and start to see more good in life just because he or she was told so. It doesn’t happen like a click in the head: «Yes, something I’m really fixated on the negative sides of life, it’s time to change my view of things» and from now on he becomes happy.
Alas, this does not happen. That’s why a lot of advice on how to become happy turns out to be meaningless. Without some daily practice it is unlikely to work out. The ability to look positively at things should be brought up in yourself day after day, it requires a certain discipline and it is much more difficult than to have such a worldview, in which for you only a negative layer of being is exposed.
The latter is often the default state, i.e. what you have in you from the beginning, and will remain with you if you do not make any effort to eradicate it. A positive view of things, the ability to find a goal, vitality must still be formed, and this must be worked on. A good start to this would be meditation (how to meditate: 5 steps). This is not necessarily an element of religion, magic or esoteric, but an exercise that will help you to get to know yourself better.
Meditation increases your mood, but in itself it will not make you happy, but will give you the opportunity to understand what you really need to find happiness! It will help you to find your goal, know your deepest desires, get rid of illusions, heap of random thoughts, passions and doubts. It seems to focus, will direct your mind in the right direction so that it does not rush in the space between the different extremes.
It will help to get rid of unnecessary «cockroaches» and fears, to find a clear and sober look at what is happening, both outside you and inside, will allow you to control your emotions, to control your body. This practice is the «base» of self-development and finding happiness and harmony. It is also important as a stretch for a gymnast: stretching muscles by itself is not a gymnastics, but prepares the body for certain exercises. So meditation prepares your mind for self-development and happiness.
Develop a positive perception of the world around you
I’ve already written something about that above. There is something else I would like to tell you about. The world around us does not exist by itself, our perception is very significant. And the way we see it depends a lot on us. Someone who has all the necessary benefits for life: money, a car, a family still complains and is unhappy, and someone lives a modest income and sees in his life only good things.
Perception differs from person to person and therefore two different people see the world differently, even if both live in the same conditions. One perceives life as a set of possibilities, as the greatest value, everything makes sense to him, and the other sees it only as a cage and a prison full of suffering and sorrow.
Often people do not understand that the world has become «bad» not because there is an «idiot», a «hypocritical government» around it, but because they see only bad things in it. And their illusion is that they have elevated the thing of subjective order to the rank of objective, universal. They may think that the problem is not with them, but with those around them; they are constantly tormented by dreams of a better life somewhere far away, or life there, but under different circumstances.
«When I go there, things will be different,» they think, but they have no idea that even in the new place they will see only the bad and they will not go anywhere away from their perception, even if they fly to the moon.
I remembered an interesting dialogue from one film, which, in my opinion, explains this idea:
— I want to fly to Paris, I feel bad here, but it will be better there, different there.
— Really? Are you sure about this? And you know who will meet you at the airport?
— I don’t know who?
— You yourself.
As I said, a positive view of things should be brought up in yourself to make it a habit. To do this, meditate and try not to dwell on any negative things. With meditation it will simply penetrate you less.
Try to understand the people around you
Call relatives more often, make contact with friends you haven’t talked to in a long time. Expand your circle of communication. Support people in their troubles. Don’t just focus on yourself, but also look at what other people have in common, what they think, what their motivations are, and why they are, what their views on life are if they are different from yours, try to understand them, and understand that the person is entitled to this viewpoint as well, what these beliefs and tastes are.
Try to understand people. This will broaden the horizons of your perception and help you to stop focusing on your troubles and failures, you will learn a lot of new and interesting things, draw important conclusions for yourself that will positively affect your development. Avoid labels like that «moron», that «hard worker», the third «drunkard», get to know people better, do not think in the plane of stereotypes, it limits your experience and hardens your thinking.
Positive thinking happens not only in relation to the world, but also in relation to people — try to see in people, first of all, the good, forgive them their shortcomings and weaknesses. And healthy and full communication will open for you a whole new world and inexhaustible source of happiness!
Be able to ignore the opinions and attitudes of others
That doesn’t mean you don’t give a damn about people’s opinions and do what you think you’re gonna do. Just don’t let in all the negativity that people around you can catch up with. If you act on your conscience, sure that you are doing everything right, then forget what people around you think. People envy someone else’s happiness, someone else’s freedom, someone else’s courage if these things serve as a reminder to them that they themselves have missed out because of their passivity, laziness and cowardice. Don’t take it personally, leave your enemies alone with your negativity, don’t let them pass it on to you.
Do not deify your desires
You should not constantly dwell on satisfying your desires and worry that it is not always possible. You do not need to feel sorry for yourself and be capricious like a child about the fact that you did not get what you wanted. That you did not go today by car, because it broke down, that on Friday night you had to visit a relative instead of sitting in a smoky bar, as you used to, that you have broken the TV and now you will miss your favorite show, etc., etc. Do not get attached to your habits, desires, it will make you dependent on them! Remember that happiness lies on the other side of satisfying your daily whims, it is to be as independent of them as possible!
Train your desires, do not let them have power over you and keep as their puppets. Immediate desire — it’s only a matter of a short period of time, you should not leave everything and run to saturate it, it has little meaning in the context of your entire life, all your happiness.
Such desires distract you from your global, strategic goal — to achieve happiness. For example, you didn’t go in for sports (or meditate) today, but stayed home and drank beer, because you really wanted to. Beer will give nothing but temporary pleasure, for which you have to pay. And a short run (or meditation), let it not make you an athlete, but will strengthen your health with each new activity. And it is lifelong health and lies beyond the boundaries of current needs, it is something more important. By the way, your happiness also depends on health, so I do not advise you to run it.
The ability to neglect the current goals for the sake of global goals contains a symbol of maturity, «maturity». Children and adults who are not mature do not know how to do it. This skill is necessary if you want to achieve long-term goals and achieve happiness.
Remember, being happy is a lot harder than being miserable
Focusing on the good is harder than looking at the bad.
Being friendly and smiling is harder than being annoyed by others.
Seeing the good in people is harder than seeing the bad in them.
Moving towards your goal requires a lot more effort than just going about your daily whims.
Taking responsibility for yourself is harder than blaming everything on others.
In short, happiness is not that easy, which is why we see so many unhappy people, although they don’t seem to have so many reasons to be unhappy. Happiness has to be achieved, you have to prove that you are worthy of it, otherwise, it will remain an unattainable ideal, «the kingdom of heaven» and annoyed with the label …
After long aimless wanderings in a dark labyrinth, the mouse stopped to take a breath. She finally wanted to stay put and think about what she was looking for in those walls and why she wanted to. While she was thinking, her eyes gradually got used to the darkness that reigned in this labyrinth: now they began to distinguish between separate objects, the surrounding things began to take shape, began to look through the first colors.
And the more the mouse looked into the darkness, which gradually dissipated, the more it noticed the interesting. From the darkness began to appear a variety of colors of the surrounding world, as well as the amazing scale of the imagination of his space! It turned out to be so huge and so beautiful that our little rodent was surprised that before he saw it only a gloomy labyrinth.
The mouse was surprised to find around many other peacefully wandering creatures: some were in cozy minks, others fell to the source of food, others were having fun and socializing. And as soon as she didn’t notice it, all this crazy and pointless running! Where did she run to, if everything is here! From that moment on, the long and joyless journey ceased.
I want to be happy, where do I start?
That’s all I want to start with. I understand that there is a lot of material and work to be done, too. But where do I start? I don’t think so at once! Of course, it is necessary to start gradually and from a small one. You don’t have to try to change your life drastically. On my site, I offer a free online self-development program. It consistently, step by step, offered articles for review and some practice that you will perform as you go through these lessons. Following these recommendations will help you to achieve happiness, success, harmony and well-being.