The pursuit of happiness is one of the basic elements of human existence. We all just want to be happy.
Every person does indeed deserve happiness, and what is more, happiness is contagious. The more happy people there are around, then even more people will find happiness.
We owe it ourselves to work on our own happiness and we owe it to society as well. Because our own happiness will help others, and inspire others to find happiness. If we are unhappy then we are likely making others unhappy as well (even if unintentionally), and it is extremely unlikely we are doing much to contribute to the happiness of others.
So why are so many people unhappy and what is the secret to happiness?
Tackling the Primary Roadblocks
First, there are actually three important roadblocks to our personal happiness that we must work through.
Roadblock One - The first, and most critical hurdle to finding true happiness is that we do not know ourselves. What is it that is really important to you personally?
While for one person creating something might be the path to happiness for another person it might be nurturing others. We are too often focused on the wrong goals because we listen to popular culture or other people.
Roadblock Two - Another roadblock in our pursuit of happiness is giving too much power to things that do not matter. Too often we spend a lot of time and energy focused on things that do not matter in the long run.
Identifying The 6 Keys to Happiness
Key One - The most important key to your personal happiness is determining that you will be happy. For many people, their personal happiness is not a priority in their life. Do not put the happiness of others before our own. While doing so may please our children, spouse, or boss, this is not the path to happiness.
This does not mean you should make yourself happy at the expense of others, but you must remember that the reverse should also not be true -- your happiness should not be sacrificed to make others happy. This is a big paradigm shift for most, but remember, you can go a lot further with helping others being happy if you-yourself are in a happy place.
Key Two - Once you have determined to make your pursuit of happiness a priority you need to determine just what it is that makes you happy. Spend some time reviewing the happy times in your life. Think about memories that make you smile or activities that make you joyful. Can you find a common element or theme? Then that is one of the keys to finding true happiness for you.
Key Three - Now that you have identified what makes you happy you need to engage in that activity. Perhaps you need a creative outlet? Join a writing group, take an art class, or learn an instrument. Do you need physical activity? Then find a way to get back into a sport you love or start a new one. All that is necessary is that you find a way to reconnect with this key element.
Key Four - That said, true happiness for most of us is not dependent solely on finding that one key (mentioned in key three). For most of us, we also require special people in our lives to be happy. Perhaps you have lost touch with someone important and can reach out to them? Or perhaps it is simply a time to plan some special time with family. It is important to our own pursuit of happiness to stay connected with those we love.
Key Five - Another essential to finding true happiness is to give of ourselves as well. Helping others in both small and large ways can help make you happier and more content. You might even be able to find a way to combine giving and engaging in an activity that makes you happy. For example, if you love to make people laugh you could organize a community talent show as a fundraiser for a local charity.
Key Six - Finally, make a list of all the aspects of your life that do make you happy. So many of us get down because we dwell on the negative, but usually there is something about your life that makes you happy. Make a list of these items so you can have a quick mood enhancer when you feel down.
As you can see, happiness does not simply happen. A person does not suddenly stumble across happiness. Happiness is the result of careful tending and a person who wishes to be happy must tend to their own happiness.
That said, the pursuit of happiness does not have to be challenging or arduous. Finding true happiness can be as simply as determining, identifying, engaging, connecting, giving and reminding yourself of the 6 keys to personal happiness.