What Is Happiness?

Happiness is the one goal that just about all of us has in common. However, the definition of happiness varies so much from person to person, that it can be hard to get a handle on. So as this holiday season unfolds, now is a good time to think about what happiness actually means to you. Let’s look at this by the stages:

  •  Stage One―Happiness is when life is easy with no demands or challenges to worry about (for example, having a reliable and dependable caretaker who is also a provider of all necessities).
  • Stage Two―It’s getting away with something or achieving dominance over people. On the positive side, it’s sheer joy and the lack of unwanted inhibition!
  • Stage Three―Examples include; living your life “properly” by staying within the black-and-white parameters of your world, not drawing any negative attention to yourself , fitting in and doing what you “should” as well as doing your part to cause others around you, to “toe the line” as well .
  • Stage Four―At this stage; achieving acceptance, approval, fame, and positive recognition (e.g., winning an award) as well as keeping personal relationships happy and conflict-free translate to happiness.
  • Stage Five―For Fives, keeping all roles and relationships in balance and without problems, being effective and not overwhelmed,  achieving affluence , finding a hobby and making time for pleasurable  activities as another important way to balance your life and “recharge your batteries” usually do it.
  • Stage Six―At this target stage, the satisfaction of reaching a difficult goal or solving a tough problem, the feelings of excitement and being unstoppable that come from peak performance , the feelings of relaxation and inner peace , the bliss associated with the little things encountered in everyday life;  such as the glow of a nice spring day, writing poetry, reading a good book or listening to your favorite music;  exploring novelty and whatever makes you curious, doing what you really want to be doing (e.g., what you are most passionate about, which often provides the most fun and enjoyment). Also, when the distinction between work and play disappears, being with those you love and feeling deeply connected to them. Unconditional self-acceptance can do it as well as when you can call up your playful and fun filled lower stage hooks at will in order to  connect with those feelings of innocence that result.
  • Stage Seven―Happiness for you here comes solely from the happiness you bring to others. Achieving the desired impact on a person/people/or segment of the world you most care about, helping others and seeing them reap the benefits of your efforts; and being fully connected to and engaged in your principles and purpose.

The thing to remember is that ultimately your happiness is firmly under your control. This holiday season and beyond, how can you apply the principle of managing the unique ingredients of what makes you happy to your life?