True Happiness Is More Than Just Thinking Positively
True happiness is more than thinking positive thoughts. Happiness is having
your needs met, but it’s not about having everything, or even the best, it’s
about being satisfied with what you have while also being able to work for the
things you want. While you do have to do more than think positively to really
and truly feel happy, it does start with your thoughts. However, true happiness will
manifest with your actions.
Is in the mind of the beholder
While the dictionary defines happiness
as “the state of being happy” which gives you very little information about the
idea or feeling of, or state of happiness. Let’s look at some different things
that happiness can be, but realize that in truth, happiness is in the mind of
are Met – When a person experiences true happiness, they usually don’t even have any needs
that aren’t being met to the level they want them to be met. It doesn’t mean
that someone is not having a hard time it’s all about how you make what you
have fill your needs.
Satisfied – When you are happy you tend to feel simply satisfied with your
life. You think about your life and feel good about it. You feel very satisfied
when you look around your life and see all the fortune you have whether it’s
where you live, who you live with, or just about yourself doesn’t even matter.
Content – A happy person tends to feel really content about the things in
their life. They feel content about their job, their home, their things, their
health – nothing is nagging at their mind about anything causing stress. But
remember happy people do have stress, they’re just better at feeling content
even when things aren’t perfect.
You Are at
Peace – A happy person often feels a lot of peace surrounding their
life and family. They tend to know that everything will turn out okay and are
good at turning negativity around to positivity.
Definition – The truth is, true happiness is how you define it personally for
you. It’s not about getting tons of stuff unless you want that. It’s not about
finding a spouse unless you want that. It’s not about having kids unless you
want that. It’s all up to you and how you define happiness.
Journey – Happiness is not a destination that you get to one day and stay
at. It’s a lifelong journey that will have many ups and downs and struggles.
However, overall the ups and downs of life, you manage to feel good about it.
In the 1989 movie, “Parenthood” one of the main characters, a mother, who is
struggling states that she loves “the rollercoaster” of life while her husband
is struggling and not as happy because he focuses on the downs instead of the
You Act – When you live in true happiness, you tend to act in more positive ways over
all. When happy, you eat better, you move more, you think differently. Don’t
worry. You have it in your power to be happy where you are in your life right
Is it even possible?
Many people who have struggles in life
often pooh-pooh happiness and like to claim that true happiness is not even
possible. The truth is there are different levels of happiness that you
can experience in your life. It’s not a straight line. There are ups and downs
that you will experience all throughout life but whether you are happy or not
is all about your feelings.
You Have It
Just by virtue of the fact that you’re
a human being and you can experience feelings, happiness being one of them, you
know that true happiness does exist. You can probably write down many days and
things that have brought happiness to your life over the years since you were
born up until today.
It’s amazing but while it’s easy to say
that people cannot be happy unless they have their basic needs met. You’ll find
that there are people all around you who do not have their needs met but who
are very happy. That bores out as true when you study rich people and realize
they are not happier than poor people overall.
If you look at a list of the happiest
countries in the world, you will realize that being happy isn’t about the stuff
you have. The happiest people right now happen to live in Denmark. Most people
who live there pay high taxes, live in small homes and tend to not be as
consumer-driven as people in the USA, for example. But the USA is 17 on the
list. That shows that happiness is not about stuff.
Even About Goals
You may think that happiness is about
reaching your goals too. But, it’s not. If you often say things like “I’ll be
happy when…” then it’s not likely you will be happy. You can be happy today,
before you reach your goals, while you’re on the path to reach those goals. It’s
honestly more about the day to day living and not moments.
About Your Circumstances
Now, of course, some things in life can
really get you down. However, for happy people, even the worst events will not
make them unhappy at least not permanently. A happy person usually has the
skills to navigate things about their circumstances. Dr. Gillian Mandich, a
happiness expert, states that our circumstances account for only 10 percent of
True happiness is about accepting that
you can experience it, plus understanding what it really means. A happy person
isn’t going to be the same level of happy 24/7, 365 days a year. When you
observe that people who are sick with cancer are happy, that children who
aren’t getting enough to eat are happy, and people living in huts in Africa are
also happy it makes you realize that you can be happy too.
Success does not fuel happiness
It’s easy to simplify true happiness and claim that it’s obvious
that successful people are happy. However, if you really interviewed 100
successful people, you may be surprised that a large percentage of them are not
as happy as you think they ought to be. The fact is, you can be a millionaire,
have a wonderful spouse, great kids, and everything you think you want and
still not be happy. The truth is happiness fuels success.
Leads to More Productivity – When people are happy with the work, they do
they tend to be willing to do it a lot more, even for free. Assuming other
needs (food, shelter, health) are met a happy person can find joy doing the most
mundane things because they can focus on outcomes instead of just what they are
Leads to Higher Profits – In companies that keep their employees happy by
offering a living wage, benefits, and a flexible schedule the profits tend to
be a lot higher. One reason is that when a person feels respected in their job
even if the work is hard, they are happier about doing it.
Leads to Stability – When people are happy, they tend to be a lot more
stable, stick to tasks longer, and are more likely to complete an assignment. In
addition, they tend to job hop a lot less. This is one reason smart employers
know that by making work a happy place they can reduce turn over.
Leads to a Higher Work Ethic – Most people think of work ethic as something
you must suffer to experience, but for happy people, they tend to stick to
their jobs longer and work even harder. The main reason is that they have the
energy to do it and can envision the outcomes more positively.
Is Not About Wealth – Everyone knows someone who has plenty of money but is
not happy and maybe even hateful. They seem to have everything but happiness.
Because of this fact, it’s clear that being happy doesn’t always directly
correlate to the circumstances you find yourself in regarding your bank account
Colors the Lens by Which You See Life – The surprising truth about
happiness is that if you practice happiness it will begin to affect how you see
everything in the world. You’ll be able to pick out the most positive things no
matter the situation.
is About Today – Happiness is really all about today. If you’re happy today,
you’re more likely to eat right, move more, get your work done, and do
everything well. Naturally, that is going to affect the future too.
is a Mindset – It’s hard to imagine it is true, but it is. Happiness is
about your mindset. Thankfully, with work, you can train your mindset to be
happier and more positive despite your current circumstances.
While bad things do happen
to good people and can bring them down, the truth is, happiness can be
experienced by most anyone regardless of where they are in life right now in
terms of their success. It just requires that you accept that you can be happy,
right now, without anything changing while also developing plans to make
Beware the self-sabotage effect
Most people go through times when they
have trouble getting their thoughts to align with their intentions. When that
happens, it can hinder your happiness. It can get in the way of your happiness
because these types of thoughts are focusing on what’s wrong, what’s missing,
or the negativity of the situation instead of the positives.
Like People – Many people, especially introverts, tend to focus their
decisions on how many people will be around. They tend to make decisions that
are not good for them because they are not comfortable being who they are. Turn
that thought around to doing events but focusing on how you can give yourself
care during anxious moments around people. It’s okay to be who you are.
I Am Too
____ -- Anytime you start a thought with, I am “too” anything you get
into trouble. People often worry about things that no one else ever thinks
about although sometimes one might worry about things that other people do
think about. For example, if you find yourself saying you’re too fat, too dumb,
too something -- to accomplish a goal that you have you need to turn that
around to setting up real steps that will get you to your goals.
That When I ______ -- You’ve probably said it before to
yourself. “I’ll do that when I go back to school.” “I’ll do that when I clean
the house.” “I’ll do that when I lose weight.” You know the drill. Unless you
need to do the thing in the blank, don’t allow that to get in your way. If you
do need to do it, just make a step-by-step plan to get it done.
I Can’t Do
_____ -- You may have heard your child, or yourself, or someone else
state that “I can’t do math.” Or “I can’t cook.” The truth is, no one can do
any of that without learning how to do it. No one just pops out of the womb
knowing how to cook, write, read, or do math. Anyone can learn whatever they
want to learn given the time and effort to do it.
Should ____ -- Have you ever heard that it’s important not to “should” all
over everyone? Not only is it a bad idea to create “should” for others it’s a
terrible idea to create them for yourself.
In the Past
___ -- Dwelling on the past and what someone did to you in the past
or what things were like in the past is not going to help you overcome
self-sabotage. While it’s okay to use the past as a learning example, it’s not
okay to use it as an excuse not to move forward. Remember you are only in
charge of yourself.
Future ____ -- Just like you do not want to focus on the past you also don’t
want to be overly focused on later. Today is honestly all you have for sure.
Focus on today and tomorrow will take care of itself.
If I Was
More Like Them – Never compare yourself to someone else in a negative way. It’s
okay to look at what someone has accomplished, learn how to do it too, and
follow their footsteps but don’t wish yourself away as only you can be you.
Whenever you find you’re focused on a
negative aspect of any situation, try to turn your mind around to focus on the
positives. However, sometimes in life you’re going to experience a sad or
negative time, that’s normal. It really is not about the ups and downs of life.
Those are natural. It’s about how you comport yourself the rest of the time
that truly leads to more happiness.
Will improve your overall health
Happiness is an important ingredient in a healthy life.
Many studies indicate that happiness plays a major role in your health, whether it’s living a healthy lifestyle or reducing the amount of chronic pain – true happiness is the solution to many health woes.
Encourages Healthy Living
According to studies, happier people are almost twice as likely to
eat more fresh vegetables than people who state that they are not happy. Eating
more produce will automatically improve your health over eating a diet high in
When you tend to eat better, you tend to end up with more energy.
It’s hard to imagine it but being negative or sad can literally drain your
energy out of your body while being happy can give you more energy.
Eating better, moving more, and feeling happy will also increase
your ability to fight off illness and disease because it improves your
immunity. A study showed that people who report happiness tend to fight off
illness faster than people who report sadness. They literally gave people the
cold virus and the happy people were three times less likely to get the cold.
If you’re happy, you’ll have a lot less to keep you up at night,
to worry about, and therefore you’ll end up with less stress. However, it goes
farther than that because happy people tend to report less stress even when
they are facing stressful things. Due to the strength that happiness gives you,
you’ll experience less stress.
Protects Cardiovascular Health
Because you’re eating better and moving more due to your happiness,
you are also protecting your cardiovascular health. You’re less likely to
suffer a heart attack, stroke, or other issues related to heart health and the
Because you’re eating right, exercising more, and you’re feeling
great about life, you will likely live longer. According to one long-term study
that tracked the lives of 32,000 people to find out who lived longer, the
people who report happiness, or the people who report being less happy. It's
not surprising that happy people tend to live 14 percent longer.
People who have chronic pain have a right to be mad about it or
feel sad about it. However, the fact is people who report living in true happiness tend to
deal with their chronic pain (and other illness) better than those who were not
happy to start with.
When you are happy, you’re more likely to eat right, drink enough
water, and move. It’s mostly because you have more energy to do active things.
If you are having difficulty maintaining your happiness, learn how easy it is
to change your mindset. Happiness has nothing to do with your circumstances but
everything to do with how you choose to react to them.
Feel better now
Do you walk down the street with your mind already in your
next meeting or worrying about how the last appointment went?
So many people
spend their lives in their heads, not aware of the world around them or how
they are moving through it.
All it takes is a small but significant mental gear shift for us to engineer true happiness. Need a little extra help with self-improvement? Browse my self-help shop for the best of the best tools for rapid change.
True Happiness and More Feel-Good Stuff