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Happiness Isn’t About How Much You Have, But How Much You Enjoy Life

Happiness Isn’t About How Much You Have, But How Much You Enjoy Life

Many of us believe that the more we have, the happier we are. But is it really the truth?

As economy develops, we seems to be able to live a better life. Earning money to buy the things that we desire, that’s how it goes. But do these material possessions always guarantee long-lasting happiness?

There might be a time that you have been saving money to buy yourself something, like a new gadget, a luxury car, or a grand apartment. Yes, you might be uplifted at the moment but the delight never lasts. The happiness recedes after a day, a week, a month, a year, or a decade. The new gadget will become old, the luxury car will depreciate, the grand apartment will become boring.

The truth is that although we have much more than the previous generations do, we are not happy as we are supposed to be.

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Probably we have fallen into traps which keep us away from the long-lasting happiness that we have been chasing for throughout our lives. Check if you have fallen into one of these 3 traps and try to get rid of them:

We play hard but become slaves of desires

There is a kind of people who always play hard and sometimes we call them the hedonist. The hedonists always strive to maximize pleasure and hunt for excitement to satisfy their desires without realizing the negative side of their behaviors. They only look for pleasure and try to escape from pain. It is not uncommon that they would gradually become the slaves of desires with only vanity left after the excitement fades away.

We work hard but suffer from the pain

The busy bee is the exact opposite of the hedonist. They work hard in exchange for more material possessions. They look for the pleasure that comes in the future but suffer from the present pain. They do not realize that they are just running on a treadmill, running hard but only marking time. Ironically, the material possessions that they work hard for can only give them temporary happiness.

We do nothing hard but lose the passion of life and the hope of future

Then, you might think that it is better not to play hard or work hard. However, being a nihilist can neither guarantee you long-lasting happiness. Being a nihilist is the worst case because the nihilists believe that life is meaningless. They do not enjoy what they have got at the moment, nor do they have any hope for the future. Without passion and hope, one can hardly have feel any kind of happiness.

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We spend years living our lives on this planet and it would be a pity if we cannot get a taste of what it is like to be truly happy. Easy come, easy go. The long-lasting happiness that keeps us living our lives passionately is something that worth us spending time to build. There is something we can do to pursue the happiness that lasts a lifetime.

1. Capture and collect positive emotions

    Capture your happy moments every day.

    To put it simply, the more positive emotions you capture in a day, the more likely your happiness sustains.

    Positive emotions are not limited to joy and excitement. Psychologists say that positive emotions also include joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration, awe, and love. [1] These positive emotions can broaden and build our long-lasting psychological, intellectual, physical and social resources which increase our well-beings.

    Try to capture and collect your positive emotions every day. Keep a diary or take some photos. Instead of recording what happens, describe how you feel is rather more important. This will build your psychological resource and one day it will remind you what kinds of positive emotions you have experienced.

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    2. Engage with what you do

    Wanderers with no goals often feel unhappy. They disconnect with the world and tend to be over-absorbed in their emotions or abstract, unexplainable thoughts. They are on a road to nowhere.

    But instead, if we are more present in our lives and feel engaged with whatever we do or say, we can feel more grounded and happier. Being engaged prevents your mind from wandering and stops you from overthinking too much. On the other hand, when you are engaged in something, maybe your job or your hobby, you work for improvement and accomplishment. The pleasure of eventually achieving something gives you the feeling of pride and also makes whatever you are doing meaningful.

    3. Derive meaning from everything you do

    If we can’t find any meaning in what we do, we tend to have a sense of loss, thinking that we have wasted our time and energy. It is just like the nihilists who think life is meaningless and a waste of time.

    Frankly, there are some times that we really find something meaningless. Those things that are supposed to disappoint or frustrate us are exactly what keep us from the long-lasting happiness. Try to derive meaning from them and think in the other way round. Losing a competition might be a chance for you to realize your room for improvement; failing in a interview might be a chance for you to look for a better opportunity.

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    4. Build in-depth relationships with others

      An in-depth relationship makes you feel fearless.

      We always need some kinds of connections with people, friends, families, and lovers. But what makes us feel satisfied from relationships is not the quantity but the quality.

      Some might be satisfied with the fame but it is only the vanity. An in-depth relationship is a totally different story. It allows you to open up your mind fearlessly. You can have deep chats with your friends, hearing their stories and telling yours. You do not only gain practical support but also emotional supports from them. There is nothing better than being deeply known by someone who knows you better than yourself and speaks your mind.

      5. Broaden your definitions of success

      Success is not only about winning a game or trumping others. It can mean completing things you want to do or should do. It can be small or big, which does not really matter. It can be as simple as finishing a small task on your work. Sometimes people judge and they define the meaning of success as numbers. But bear in mind that you are the only one who can define your success.

      And by celebrating your accomplishments, even the smallest ones, every day can make you happier. Just because of finishing a small task on your work, you can celebrate it by giving yourself a little treat. It is the mark showing that you are capable of achieving something and giving you a sense of pride.

      Be happy and shine like a diamond

      Happiness is sometimes a very abstract idea and we might be lost on the road to the long-lasting happiness. The pursuit of happiness is a lifelong lesson that we all have to take. But once you and I get the clues, we will all shine like a diamond, with an everlasting shiny light that everyone would admire.

      Reference

      [1] The Huffington Post: What Are The Top 10 Positive Emotions?

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      Sheba Leung

      Translator. Sport lover. Traveler.

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      Last Updated on May 28, 2020

      10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

      10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

      Are you stressed out and overwhelmed, wishing you had more time to do the things that really matter? Are you ready to do something better, something special in your life or your career?

      You were born with a gift that no one else in the world can express like you. When you dance to your own music, you naturally develop your innate abilities and excel in work and life. You are a total rock star. But when you live someone else’s idea of who you should be, it throws off your groove.

      Many people—maybe you—stopped following their dreams way too early in life because their talents were ignored, minimized, or shamed. They didn’t have the chops to win an American Idol competition or nab an Olympic gold medal, so they stopped expressing their inborn gifts altogether.

      You don’t need to be an award winner to rock your life. Living your dream life is about discovering your superpowers and feeling vibrant and joyful when you use them. It’s about owning what makes you unique and finding like-minded people to support you.

      Here are 10 success principles to help you live a rich and rewarding life on your terms that have worked with thousands of people in my workshops and will work for you, too.

      1. Get a Hobby to Move Closer to Your Dreams

      If you never became a professional dancer or a world-renowned author, it does NOT mean you should stop dancing or writing! These activities make you come alive, even if you “only” do them as favorite pastimes.

      Engaging in a hobby is one of the most important success principles you can follow to move closer to your dreams.

      When you try something creative for the first time or in a long while, you begin to see opportunities at work and in life that you were unaware of before. You also feel happier and more energized, according to a recent study from New Zealand.[1]

      Some of my most burned-out executive clients reinvigorated their careers by discovering a creative outlet that refueled them after the workday ended. Research at San Francisco State University shows that having a hobby lowers stress and helps you succeed at work.[2]

      So, give yourself permission to try new things and revisit old passions you gave up long ago. Setting aside just one hour a week for personal exploration can significantly change your life.

      Who knows? Your creative outlet could transform into a thriving business or lead to a new profession down the road.

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      2. Focus on Your Strengths, Not Your Weaknesses

      Did you know that you are more likely to succeed when you develop your natural strengths rather than work on your weaknesses? The problem is that you probably don’t know where your true talents lie.

      Here are a few options to help you discover your unique strengths. You can:

      • Take the VIA Character Strengths Survey[3]
      • Try Gallup’s CliftonStrengths Assessment[4]
      • Answer a few Superpower Questions

      Once you understand what makes you tick, you can use these skills at work and your personal life to get more done in less time. If you boost your unique abilities through practice and study, you can accelerate your career and become a leader in a field that matters to you. It’s worth investing in yourself this way.

      3. Jumping off a Cliff is NOT Required

      Here’s the deal: most people are too afraid to change. When participants first come to my workshops, they tell me they have mouths to feed, bills to pay, and fear that if they follow their dreams, someone will get hurt.

      The old saying “leap and the net shall appear” does not comfort them. Because they are hesitant to plunge into the unknown, they believe their only option is to stay put where they are in life. Can you relate?

      You do not have to sacrifice the life you have now to start a new one. I was a psychology professor by day and singer by night for years before I transitioned into a full-time music career.

      Just take a little time out each week to do what enlivens you through a hobby, volunteer work, etc. Get a feel for it.

      Is it what you really want? If so, increase the time you spend doing it and make the transition when the time feels right.

      4. Give Your Inner Critic Some Love

      The main culprit that keeps you from stepping outside your comfort zone and getting the life of your dreams is KCRP or K-CRAP – the radio station that plays 24/7 in your head. The moment you try to do something interesting with your life it slaps you down with such chart-topping killer hooks as “Who do you think you are?” and “You’ll never be good enough!”.

      Have you ever noticed that KCRP’s mean-spirited DJ sounds like your parents, teachers, bosses, and other authority figures who shut you down creatively? These folks don’t need to stifle you any longer (although they often still do) because your inner critic does it for them. That keeps you stuck in a rut.

      To break free, try thinking of this DJ as a gruff old grandfather who gives you crap to keep you safe. Remember, this grumpy grandpa is woefully out of touch with the times. So, his stern opinions don’t really matter much, do they? Give him a pat on the back for his good intentions, and put your focus back on what makes you come alive.

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      This success principle will give you the courage to venture into the unknown where you can dance to the beat of your own drummer.

      5. Embrace Your Inner Weirdo

      Many of us don’t go after our dreams because we’re afraid folks will find out how odd or strange we are. But our little eccentricities often turn out to be our greatest strengths. Yes, it’s good to be quirky.

      Odds are, you lost track of your true passions and talents before you were even old enough to know you were getting off-track. You became slowly “adulterated” by learning to:

      • Take on family roles that don’t match who you really are.
      • Spit back what teachers taught you in school rather than risk getting bad grades for being original.
      • Hide parts of yourself that don’t seem acceptable to certain social groups.

      The price for fitting in is that you may wind up leading a life that doesn’t fit you all that well. Your true calling becomes clear when you embrace what makes you different from others and allow yourself to stand out from the crowd, even if it feels awkward.

      Often, the very qualities you view as your flaws are your greatest gifts.

      6. See the Bigger Picture to Find Your True Calling

      I cannot stress the importance of this success principle enough. Your true calling is right in front of you. But you may miss it because you’re looking for it in the wrong place.

      To “see” it clearly, try widening your point of view.

      Case in point: Maria felt she needed to retire early from being a police detective, so she could travel abroad. I encouraged Maria to think of ways that she could continue to serve as a law enforcer (a career she loved) and travel overseas at the same time.

      A few months later, Maria landed a job with the United Nations in Bosnia training the local police force to understand and embrace human rights procedures.

      Like Maria, you are an everyday rock star capable of accomplishing greater things than you can imagine. Is what you’re looking for right in front of you, too? Do you have an inkling of what it may be?

      Look beyond your day-to-day activities, your current job, and even the town you live in. View your life from an eagle’s perspective and be open to new possibilities.

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      7. Try a Little Wish-List Magic

      Pretend I’m your fairy godmother and I give you permission right now to be your most magnificent self. What kind of life would be music to your ears? It doesn’t matter whether it seems unattainable or even downright crazy. Write it down on a wish list.

      Get quiet. Be honest. Think big.

      What would you like your career, your relationships, your health, your finances, and your spiritual life to be like? Jot down enough details so that your wishes seem tangible to you. Then, look at this list every morning before you start your day and every night before you go to sleep.

      Sounds silly? It’s not. It works! Permitting yourself to daydream about a rich and fulfilling life is the first step to manifesting it.

      8. Take Breaks to Get Clues About Your Ideal Future

      Did you know that working straight through to a deadline leads to diminishing returns? Research shows that taking a break for 15 minutes every 75 to 90 minutes can help you recharge, refresh your focus, and get more done in less time.[5]

      Wait, it gets better! A Stanford study shows that walking increases your creative output increases by 60 percent. Doing repetitive activities such as walking, running, riding your bike, swimming, and sweeping allow solutions to problems to pop into your mind out of nowhere.[6]

      What does this success principle have to do with creating your dream life?

      These mini-breaks allow you to get vital clues for what to do next to attain your ideal future. Plus, you won’t waste precious time and energy getting lost in other people’s agendas.

      9. Take Action on Your Inspired Ideas

      Once an inspired thought pops into your mind, take action.

      This is one of the most powerful success principles for turning your dreams into reality; the sooner the better. Whatever it is—from calling an old friend to taking a new route home—be sure to do it!

      Pay attention to your oddball hunches. You need to go after what you want, not just dream about it. As comedian Jim Carrey warns,

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      “You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”

      10. Count Your Rockstar Moments

      Still not sure you have what it takes to get your dream life? This final success principle is guaranteed to help.

      Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished. As you read back through it, put a star next to each item, and let it sink in.

      You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good you’ll feel about yourself afterward. You’ll also see how effective you’ve been in the past at getting what you want. You’ve succeeded before, you can succeed again.

      You already rock. You just need to own it. Trust me, you’ve got this!

      Final Thoughts

      Eleanor Roosevelt said,

      “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

      Following these success principles will help you find the time and energy to do the things that really matter and live with clear intention.

      By spending just one hour a week doing something you love, focusing on your strengths and achievements, embracing what makes you different, and acting on inspired ideas, you can create a life that is a perfect fit for you, step-by-step.

      If you don’t have a clue about what your dream life could look like yet, don’t worry. Your heart knows. It has been “talking” to you for a long time. It’s just being muffled by KCRP, buried under a lot of “shoulds” and fear.

      This article can also help you figure out the life you truly want to live: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up.

      Stand still, get quiet, and listen. It’s constantly telling you what you need to do to realize your own rockstar potential. It may be just a whisper now, but the more you pay attention to it, the louder it will get, and the easier it will be to follow.

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      Featured photo credit: Rahul Dey via unsplash.com

      Reference

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