How to be Happy

How to be Happy

November 15, 2020

Aristotle’s definition of happiness is the meaning and purpose of life. It is the whole aim of human existence to find joy in the day-to-day experiences. Whether we want to believe it or not, we are solely responsible for how happy we are. But unfortunately, many of us do not fully comprehend what happiness really is.

What is happiness, really? Is it just an idea? An experience?

I would describe it as a sustainable feeling of contentment that arises from deep within; a heart condition.

I don’t mean giddiness, silliness, or ecstasy; no, happiness is something way more than these. The one concept that many people fail to understand is that happiness is the result of many decisions that you make on a daily basis. It may be conscious or unconscious. Most people prefer to blame their unhappiness upon their circumstances, but is happiness really a product of our circumstances?

We all know life is not a walk in the park; not even the wealthiest or the most beautiful people are exempted from a pain-free life. Challenges, disappointments, adversities, and hardships are all ingredients of life. All of us get to experience them regardless of our social, economic, emotional, or even spiritual status. All these are part of our human existence; without them, then life will be very bland. Sooner or later, we will realize that all things can be taken away from man except the final freedom, which is the ability to choose how we will respond to any situation.

Between a stimulus and a response, there is a gap. In this gap, we have the power to choose your response. Freedom, growth, and ultimately happiness lies in this response. This is not to say that it is an easy decision to make at all times. Consider happiness as a ‘set point.’ You know how you would work towards achieving a particular weight target, how hard you will strive to achieve it despite the limitations that you encounter in the process? Isn’t it just the same way that finding happiness works?  In the same way, you will work on maintaining that weight; you may work harder to achieve the same level of happiness as someone else. It is not a smooth process, but it is achievable.

Someone will then wonder if happiness is worth the effort?

Of course, life is more fulfilling when we are happy, and there are many reasons why this is true. Our daily interactions and generally, all our relationships with others depend on our happiness or lack of thereof. It is more likely that we will positively impact others when we are happy because the world is a better place when the happiest version of each one of us is walking around.

Albert Schweitzer acknowledges happiness as the key to success. Happiness is healthy; really, our physical health is directly impacted by our emotional and mental state. For example, I notice how my skin would get drier and rougher whenever I’m not in a sound state of mind. Mostly, happier people tend to be healthier in almost all aspects of life. That’s not all; happiness is connecting; if we smile or make a polite gesture or say something welcoming, chances are the majority of people will respond in kind. And happiness is attractive; people tend to be drawn to those who radiate happiness, warmth, and positivity. Basically, our happiness depends on the way we live our lives and our view of the world in general. This is to say; we create the lens through which we view the world.

Most people out there wear their stress and busyness like a badge of honor. It is almost as if being overcommitted gives them a false sense of achievement, makes them feel better than the rest of the population. But what is the use of such when it leads to loneliness and regret, and they realize that they have just been spinning on their hamster wheel so long that they have lost touch with the people and practices in their life that truly matter most?

Sometimes being too busy deprives us of the most fundamental things such as sleep and healthy food. These basic things are what make the difference between a happy person and the next person who looks almost lifeless.

But here’s the good thing- it is all dependent on us as an individual.

It makes me wonder, why is it so easy for us to make very important decisions pertaining to other aspects of life yet fail to take care of ourselves? Time mismanagement and stress can turn out to be long-term neglect of our needs, which may eventually lead to emotional or physical fitness and even mental breakdowns. Ultimately we end up being unhappy for something that we would have managed.

In a nutshell, happiness is a matter of taking charge of our life. In order to achieve this state, we need to take time out and contemplate the life we are currently leading. How is your work status? How is your relationship doing? What direction are you taking in life? These are the key ingredients for managing stress levels, which has a direct association with our degree of happiness.

We all should take time for ourselves, and do not overwhelm ourselves every now and then. We deserve a break because our state of being is very crucial to not only ourselves but also the people around us. There is a lot of power in realizing that the choice to be happy is actually on each of us. It does not depend on our family, work, or any of our circumstances. It depends solely on us.

If we want to be happy, we will be happy, and we will do whatever it takes to be happy. Do not just sit around and blame it on our situation or circumstance because happiness does not really have the right way or a specific formula that every single person must follow to find it. Just find that spark, that light, and the very one thing that you can hold on to and will allow you to see the good things up ahead-lighting the way through the dark. Follow it, and be aware of the fact that happiness is a possible option and it will make all the difference. There is nothing that will make you happy until you choose to be happy.

So then, if happiness is a choice, why not choose it?


  1. Kimberly Schimmel

    You are so right to say happiness is a choice. Many people passively wait for something called “happiness” to come to them instead of living their lives to the fullest and discovering the contentment that comes from being intentional about living,

    My husband had an aunt who modeled contentment her whole life. I never heard Aunt B complain. She was always just living her life, whatever happened: taking care of a sick husband, baking cookies, helping others, reading, shopping. She was content for 103 years!!

  2. Liz

    I have my one thing that I hold on to, which allows me to see the good things that are coming to me. My faith in Jesus is my one thing, without which I am not happy.

  3. Dani Barnes

    Happiness is a choice. I find a lot of people sit around and wait for happiness to come to them instead of going to get it or creating their own happiness. People also look for other people to make them happy. I feel it is important to first find happiness within yourself, this way you are never disappointed by another person. I am speaking from experience here. I put all of my happiness into another person once upon a time and when we split, i was left full of sadness and poor self esteem. I lost myself in that person. Years later I have learned to be happy with me and let others enhance the happiness that I have created for myself. Be happy.

  4. Lorie Winston

    The sad truth of life is people think their happiness depends on other people, but we are responsible for that as individuals . Happiness is truly a choice. I learned this the hard way and I honestly won’t wish that for anyone.


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