Happiness is one of those overused words blowing around like fallen leaves in the Autumn. Nearly everyone says they want to be happy and yet very few people can describe what happiness is. Even the dictionary seems ill-equipped to divulge to us the true meaning of happiness. In this article, we’ll cover what happiness is and the steps to attaining that elusive feeling.
Having worked with hundreds of clients on the issue of happiness, I’ve noticed a specific pattern. When you ask people if they are happy, they’ll tell you, “Sure. Everything is going OK.” The problem is when someone says they want happiness, they often believe happiness is akin to contentment. Contentment is the feeling that everything is OK or is going well. People who are truly happy experience happiness differently. True happiness is excitement about the life you have chosen to live.
If you notice, I wrote above, “the life you have chosen to live.” Truly happy people have accepted that they are in charge of their life. Yes, they’ve had bad things happen to them. Many people I’ve met who are truly happy have had stressful experiences full of abuse, disappointment, illnesses, and traumatic loss. The difference between these people and others who are just content are the happy people have decided to use a specific philosophy. They live their lives at cause.
Living your life at cause is the first step towards happiness. Living at cause means accepting that bad things are going to happen in life. They happen all of the time. Most people blame other people, God, the government, or just plain bad luck. People who experience real happiness accept that a bad thing has happened without blame and ask themselves what they can learn from the experience. They take ownership of their own life and feel incredible control and happiness for this decision.
Probably the most exciting aspect of living at cause is these delighted people have let go of the fear of living. They take risks that others fear. They leave their comfort zones and seek out growth and excitement simply because they no longer fear to be a victim. They feel in control of their lives. These people accept that life is full of challenges, and each challenge brings them new opportunities and experiences—situations in life that make them feel alive and happy.