For many years, whenever I’ve been asked what my goal in life is I’ve said happiness. However, I’ve never really thought through what that means. I think I always thought that happiness was something that happened to you, so one day I would wake up and be happy. Nice idea, but I’ve now learnt it is something you need to work at.
I recently read Making Happy People: The Nature of Happiness and Its Origins in Childhood (read my review) and fairly soon afterwards came across these two posts Happiness formula and What is happiness? which both also consider the components of happiness. As I came across these close together, I took this to be a sign that I should consider my happiness. I don’t want to give the impression that I’m unhappy because I don’t feel that way, but I don’t see any harm in trying to identify ways to make myself happier.
I have reviewed the three sources and developed a list of some of the components they consider to contribute to happiness and I’ll work through each one in turn (but probably not in this order).
- relationships with other people
- engaging in meaningful activity
- having a sense of purpose
- embracing change and new ideas
- avoiding materialism
- experiencing flow
- time management
- removing sources unhappiness