On my life's journey, I seek to empower men and women every day. As a life coach I want to assist people on their path to inner fulfillment and a joyful life. My daughter wrote a piece on "happiness" for a school project. Being insightful, grateful and compassionate at such an early age makes me a proud mum...I wanted to share her thoughts with you:
Happiness–the state of being happy. Some people say you can only measure how sad or how depressed you are. Rarely does anyone look at how happy you can be or even attempt to measure that.
This is what I know about happiness:
Accept who you are and appreciate what you have in your life; do not rely on objects and appearances to make you happy–happiness is grown from what money cannot buy.
It can come in many different shapes and expressions. Such as laughter, which is one of the best ways to express happiness and joy. Laughter is so much more than just an expression of joy; when people laugh together, they tend to talk, touch and make eye contact more frequently–laughter connects.
One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy. An indisputable truth is that you can only make others happy if you are happy yourself.
Be active, have a sense of purpose, and surround yourself with people you love and who love you.
Live for yourself and don't worry about what others think.
Happiness is also not a permanent, consistent, everlasting emotion. It is not something you just hope to have in the future. You have to do and work at things in your life that bring you happiness. People tend to think certain events like getting married, buying a house and other so-called milestones are going to make them happy or happier. In reality, happiness comes from feeling fulfilled, deep inside.
There are always going to be ups and downs in your life, but I think a huge part of happiness is learning to appreciate life with its ups and downs. Make the most of everything and learn from whatever is presented to you.
Maslow states that people are motivated to achieve certain needs. Once a certain need is fulfilled, a person then seeks to fulfill the next one.
According to Maslow the hierarchy of needs is this:
1. Biological and physical needs: air, food, water, warmth and sleep.
2. Safety needs: protection from elements security, order law, stability and freedom from fear.
3. Love and belonging needs: friendship, affection, love, family and relationships.
4. Esteem needs: achievement mastery, independence, status, dominance self-respect and respect from others.
5. Self-actualization needs: realizing personal potential self-fulfillment seeking personal growth and peak experiences.
Basic things like these five points are ways to sustain a more happy life and it is proven that strong social relationships are one of the biggest predictors of overall happiness.
Gratitude is a huge part of happiness. When you are thankful for what you have, you don't have a constant want for something else, something more or something different.
Being content with everything you have, and all that you are, where you are, and who you are with at this very moment, is the highest form of happiness!
This does not mean you do not have goals and desires. You are still allowed to want, and you “should” still want. However, the attitude towards it is different.
In Bobby McFerrin’s immortal words: Don’t worry, be happy!