"Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared."
Part of happiness depends on personality. Some people have a naturally happy nature. We all know people who are cheerful and optimistic most of the time. Their upbeat personalities make it easier for them to be happy.
So what does that mean for people who are born with a personality that's on the grumpy side? They might see the faults in people and situations instead of the good. Their mood might be glum more often than it's cheerful. But if they'd like to be happier (and who wouldn't?), it is possible to get there.
Finding Meaning and Purpose in Life
Our lives can be busy with day-to-day activities and responsibilities. Many of us multi-task, so we might race ahead, thinking about the next place we need to be. But slowing down to pay attention to what we're doing and why builds happiness.
Pay attention to the effects of your actions. Notice the ways (big or small) that you make a difference. Live life based on the values that are important to you. Take time to think of what really matters to you (like helping others or protecting the planet).
In what way do you want to make the world a better place? Notice any small daily actions that point you in that direction. They help give your life a sense of meaning and increase happiness.
Happiness Is Up to Us
Researchers have found that more than half of happiness depends on things that are actually under our control. That's really good news because it means everyone can be happier.
A big part of how happy we are depends on our mindset, the habits we practice, and the way we live each day. By learning the key ingredients of happiness, we can use them to become happier.
Searching for Happiness in all the Wrong Places
It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that we will be happy as soon as everything in our lives is exactly the way we want it to be—and that the solution to happiness is that we must keep working harder to control these external situations in order to make them "right." But when we make things happen (lose the weight, get the relationship, get the raise) in a condition in which we are needing them to fill us up, validate us, or make us feel whole and complete, these changes won't be sustainable. We might even realize these outward things don't make us happy after all.
Design Your Life for Happiness
One of the most interesting questions to man is why we fail to do things that make us happy. Sometimes, it comes down to not perceiving what really makes us happy, which is why a happiness audit is so valuable. But often, even when we know that certain activities make us happy, our ingrained habits sabotage our efforts to do them. We might realize that taking an afternoon walk lifts our mood, but because we're so used to working at our desk all day, it takes effort to pull ourselves away. We might feel better when we sleep earlier, but it might be hard to break the habit of watching TV late into the night.
Do what you love
As Steve Jobs famously said, "Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it."
People who do what they love for a living tend to live a happier and more productive life, have higher self-esteem, and better health.