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How to be Happy - Six Secrets of Happiness

Updated on November 11, 2013

A Happy Approach

Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it.

- Groucho Marx

How to be happy

"Satire is always as sterile as it is shameful and as impotent as it is insolent"

- Oscar Wilde -

How to be Happy
When people are asked what they would like out of life, most say more money, a good job, or a new romance. However, when questioned more closely they eventually say their aim is just to be happy. At first this goal might seem unpretentious, humble even, yet in reality happiness is difficult to pin down.

How to be Happy - a Human Right?
Happiness sounds like it ought to be a basic human right… Yet is it? Establishing the conditions to be happy are elusive, especially when you understand that happiness is actually not a normal state. Happiness occupies the highest attainable position on the graph of emotions, where contentment floats somewhere around the middle and gloom wallows at the bottom.



Are you happy with your life?

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Who is most Happy

The most content people don't have the finest things, they simply take advantage of things they have

Finding happiness


How to be Happy - Contentment

In the real world, instead of happiness, should we really seek contentment and accept that intermittent spells of happiness are a bonus. Perhaps we should recognize that happiness is a temporary state, and should not expect to be happy all the time.

The elusive search for happiness has taken people along many paths. The problem of course, is that each person’s perspective of happiness is unique, for example, children might assure us they will find happiness with sought-after gifts at Christmas, or a beggar a hot meal. Having them might make them happy for a short while, but this is a quick-fix encounter with happiness. The majority of people are searching for happiness that is more durable.

So What is the Secret of Happiness?

The following are six things that I consider we need to do in order to be happy.

  1. The Secret of Happiness - Be constructive with your life. This might take the form of a job, local charity work, voluntary work, anything that is of sufficient consequence that you feel you are creating value. Creativity is one of the finest ways to feel worthy.
  2. The Secret of Happiness - Attain fitness - physical fitness helps the mind to relax - and you will feel happier knowing you are doing it. Fitness is a comparative thing. I certainly aren‘t advocating you run a marathon, but you might aim for an agile body that is approximately the right weight.
  3. The Secret of Happiness - Develop contacts. Friends can make a huge difference to your frame of mind. In general we humans are a gregarious lot, and having the right friends can really help us be happy.
  4. The Secret of Happiness - Realise that sufficient money is enough. More than enough will not increase your chance of happiness. Continually striving for more, only increases stress levels, which makes you less happy. Material possessions do not equate to happiness.
  5. The Secret of Happiness - Strive for safety. We need to feel physically safe to be happy. Unless you have good reason to do otherwise, you should excuse yourself from situations that put you at risk.
  6. The Secret of Happiness - Feel good about what you already have and about yourself. You should spend time building your self-esteem. Make a list of all the good things in your life - be glad of them.

How Buddhists Stay Happy

The Buddhist philosophy is perhaps not far wrong in it‘s approach. They tell followers that to attain happiness they must face their demons, show consideration to friends, be charitable, and must achieve spiritual harmony. Admirable goals to say the least, however, most people need more direct and realistic guidance.

It is important to acknowledge that each and everyone one of us have problems - but it is essential that we put them into perspective. Where possible we need to sort out the problems, but if we can’t, we simply MUST accept them. Acceptance might sound glib, but the very act of acceptance will reduce frustration.

It is sad that many people think that happiness will magically happen at some point in the future. I’m sorry folks, but for most of us Harry Potter does not exist, there is no magic wand. Whilst it is certainly important to make plans to secure your future, it should not be at the expense of the present. The future is uncertain and it would be dreadful to face the end of your life with the knowledge that you waited too long for happiness. You should act now.

How to be Happy - Your Responsibility.

Don’t lose sight of the fact that you are responsible for your own happiness. You can’t blame others if you aren’t happy. You should never expect other people to provide you with happiness. Just imagine the burden of someone charging you with their happiness….

One of the problems with emotional states is that we become used to them. You may be happy without even realising it. If you are happy already, enjoy it - stop searching.


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    • profile image

      Jonathan 3 years ago

      Well said, AJ.

      I'm writing another book (this one on lifestyle and retirement) and the concluding chapter focuses in part on happiness vs. contentment -- there is a big difference.

      BTW, the following comment resonated with me:

      "One of the problems with emotional states is that we become used to them. You may be happy without even realising it. If you are happy already, enjoy it - stop searching."

      Too true:)

    • Bredavies profile image

      Bredavies 5 years ago

      I did :)

    • ajbarnett profile image

      ajbarnett 5 years ago from Costa Blanca, Spain

      Thanks for visiting, Bredavies. I hope you found something in the hub to help.

    • Bredavies profile image

      Bredavies 5 years ago

      This is a great hub. I am battling with depression and I often search for hubs on happiness. Thank you for this.

    • ajbarnett profile image

      ajbarnett 6 years ago from Costa Blanca, Spain

      Thank you for visiting and taking time to leave comments, im28beyond and annart.

      Happiness and contentment are surely what most people would like out of life.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 6 years ago from SW England

      Words of wisdom here. Contentment is a lovely word and a lovely state to be in; peaceful. Happiness is a bonus and it's good to have highs and lows, otherwise we wouldn't appreciate the highs! Voted up, useful and beautiful.

    • im28beyond profile image

      Jazmine Llaguno 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      This topic never gets old. Your take on happiness is somewhat technical in nature nonetheless, very useful and interesting.