Every year almost 100.000.000 people search on google: ‘How to be happy. Everyone wants to be happy, feel satisfied, and live a happy life. Sadly, those numbers are still skyrocketing. This topic is also discussed in our podcast.
For instance, what gives you your identity. Something that can significantly impact your well-being is leaving the world, making it a slightly better place than when you found it. Therefore, you have to find out who you are and want to be. By knowing that, you will discover what helps you keep moving forward.
You have to be brave. A misconception is you have to be born fearless, but that is not true. Being brave isn’t supposed to be easy. Sam Berns nicely words this. Don’t take time for granted. A lot is going on around us that we usually miss.
The philosophy of a HAPPY life
If you are one of those people looking for some inspiration that will motivate you, the speech of Sam Berns might aid you and provide in a profoundly moving TedTalk. Sadly, Sam passed away in January 2014 at 17 because of progeria, but his philosophy will wander on the internet forever. He is one I genuinely look up to.
I surround myself with people that I want to be with. And I keep moving forward.Sam Berns
Sam has a personal philosophy on ‘how to be happy’. First, you shouldn’t waste energy by feeling bad for yourself. Therefore, you should be okay with what you ultimately can’t do because there is so much that you can do. Secondly, you should surround yourself with friends or people that love you. Thirdly, you should always keep on moving forward. Lastly, Sam jokingly states that you should never miss a party if you can help it. All and all is Sam Berns’s personal philosophy on how to be happy.
More than a Legend
Michiel Vandeweert, born in 1998 and who is lucky to live still, is probably less known as Sam Berns. Michiel was the first to test the first medicine against progeria, which is remarkable. It is interesting to see their point of few in life when there is only such a short lifespan left. According to Michiel, there are three things on how to be happy that Michiel Vandeweert mentions in his TedTalk that keep him thinking:
- Family and friends
- Blessed with amazing friends
- Some exciting challenges
How the f*ck do I find happiness?
How to be happy, and how can you find happiness within yourself? There are eight different approaches that you can take to find your inner happiness. An essential aspect of feeling joyful is finding out what your passion is. It can be a lot of different things. Therefore, it is important to try many things and see what you enjoy doing the most, also by spending time with people you love being around.
There are a few different things you can combine or need in most fields. For instance, mindfulness, public speaking, and persuasive writing are a great start. You will often use those skills. It is also crucial to have a balanced life and not be materialistic. In the end, it is all just a matter of mindset.
1. Feast for the MIND: Practicing mindfulness
By practicing mindfulness, you will increase your focus and brain function and decrease your anxiety levels and improve your intuition power.
First, mindfulness is critical for wanting to know how to be happy. It is to live in the present moment and be aware of what is happening around us. You can do this by focusing on your breathing. You are observing your positive and negative thoughts while practicing mindfulness. It is important not to judge those thoughts but be aware of them.
Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing.Jon Kabat-Zinn
Wherever you go, there you are. The title of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book. Here he discovers a few different topics related to how to be happy. The first is a meditation practice. It is a remarkable realization that the word you use to describe meditation in Sanskrit is bhāvana. Which means: “development or cultivating.” It is essential to cultivate ourselves as human beings and improve our awareness.
The book: Think like a Monk is a best-selling masterpiece regarding mindfulness. It teaches one how to conquer negativity and overthinking. Furthermore, it teaches one how to use your fear to become stronger, be happy, and find their purpose. And much more. It is worth looking into it.
It is not about what and how we feel through meditation; it is about how we feel throughout the day. Meditation is the lab and how you live once you come out of the lab is where you see the real benefits. Each moment of the day is an opportunity for meditative practice. Practicing this daily will help you discover how to be happy for yourself.
2. Undertaking tasks with a BURNING passion
So, what is your passion, and why is it essential to even have a passion? Steve Jobs explained this at the digital conference (WSJ). If you aren’t passionate about something, it is hard to continue. Any rational person would eventually give up if they don’t love doing it. The ones that are successful love what they did. Those who weren’t passionate about it quit and failed. That is a rational decision. Because why would you do something for a long time if you don’t like doing it? Finding out what you love doing is key in finding out how to be happy.
According to Simon Sinek, we should see passion as a result or as energy. The feeling of being engaged in something that you just love doing. Even if you had to do it for free, and you can’t believe that someone would pay you money for that to do it. That is also stated regarding the Ikigai on how to be happy. Simon Sinek wrote ‘Start with why’ which is also a best-seller.
If this requires you to be creative, try to microdose psilocybin for a while if that is legal in your country. This will usually boost your creativity levels. For me, Michael Pollan was a huge source of inspiration for starting this journey.
3. Letting go of MATERIALISM
Study shows that materialism leads to unhappier lives. We know from an investigation that materialism tends to be connected with handling others in more competitive, manipulative, and selfish ways and being overall less empathetic. There are numerous things you can do to be less materialistic. If you want to discover more, consider reading this article.
The things you own end up owning you. It’s only after you lose everything that you‘re free to do anything.Chuck Palahniuk
Joe Rogan and Johann Hari discuss this attractive ideology that materialism doesn’t make you happier. There are two kinds of motivation. The first one is the intrinsic reason. This gives you joy if you are doing it. For instance, I love writing, and I would love to do more of that in my life. It brings me joy.
Secondly, there is extrinsic motivation. Suppose you are not doing it because you want to do it. For example, your parents want you to become a good basketball player, and you are just doing it to please them. It doesn’t give you the sensation of joy. In essence, that is not how to be happy.
4. Having a BALANCED life
This can be phrased in one single Swedish word: ‘Lagom.’ This translates to ‘Not too much and not too little; Just perfect.’ Regaining balance in your life will reduce levels of stress drastically and will help you out on your journey on how to be happy.
First, you can start by making a list of all the things you want to do this year. And you can do this together with your partner if you have one. Everything from vacations, accomplishments, and tasks you would genuinely love to get done or do. Study shows that it is more likely to happen if you write things down.
The second thing on the list is grating yourself some time. For instance, plan in one single hour each they where no won’t be interrupted by anyone around or by your phone. This way, you can reconnect with yourself. It is like pressing a fictive pause button of your life. Try not to do something distracting while you do nothing. Therefore, consider something like meditating. Spend that hour relaxing and zoning out.
Thirdly is the topic everyone loves; cleaning. Living in a cluttered, dirty, messy space will negatively influence you. It is essential to tidy things up. This will not be your only fix for being happy, but it can drastically improve things.
The last on the list is connecting. Not on your phone or on social media, but with friends in real life. This is harder to do during the corona pandemic, but being around people you love will improve your well-being. Therefore, it is important to find out who your close friends are if you want to know how to be happy and who you would love to be around.
5. Embrace life with OPEN ARMS
A wise man once said that our mind is like an inn. Emotions come by, and feelings go. We are not there to stop them but simply observe them as they come and go. By mastering this concept, you will find out how to be happy. This can also be understood as a stoic approach to life.
Stoicism explains the evolution of self-control, the answer to how to be happy, and determination as a means of overcoming harmful and destructive emotions. Therefore, it holds that becoming a clear and unbiased thinker will allow someone to understand the universal reason. They are also known as logos.
6. Practice HONEST gratitude
Practicing gratitude can help you in times of challenge and adversity. It is about appreciating the things we sometimes take for granted. Therefore, it is also important to realize that Suffering is in fact optional.
Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.Haruki Murakami
In the video below, Happiness com talks about why practicing gratitude can help improve our lives in different ways. How feeling grateful is closely tied to the Law of Attraction. And most importantly, how to practice gratitude. It is easy to feel grateful when we’re given a thing or circumstance we wanted, but how can we feel grateful even when there are challenges in life.
7. Study the GREATS right now
Start studying the greats right now to find out how to be happy. Sounds easy, right? It is low-key and overlaps with the advice mentioned above about practicing gratitude. But there are a lot of people out there who can inspire you. It always feels great to relate to someone’s life story. For me, that helped as well.
Jermaine Lamarr Cole, better known as J. Cole, is an American songwriter, producer, and rapper.
You can read this article regarding how this talented rapper became one of the greatest.
For instance, I discovered J Cole while hearing his name in Mac Millers’ songs. Shortly after that, an Instagram post came by with a screenshot of a Twitter post that J Cole uploaded on April the 3rd, 2009. That’s when I decided to listen to some of his songs, and I must admit that it felt amazing to relate to some things.
A good artist puts a fair amount of effort into every single line. It makes you feel like you are not alone and can help you discover how to be happy for yourself. And in essence, I consider most artists modern-day philosophers who deliver their stories through rhymes.
To the OGs, I’m thankin’ you now. Was watchin’ you when you was pavin’ the ground. I copied your cadence, I mirrored your style. I studied the greats, I’m the greatest right nowJ.Cole
So that is why I consider artists as modern-day philosophers. If you want to spread your message to the youth, you need to find a way to deliver your way of thinking so those who you want to inspire would listen. Some spread really interesting ideologies in their lines on how to be happy.
8. Practice the ART of philosophy
For instance, Epicurus. He dedicated his whole life to finding out how to be happy and what makes people happy. There are a few key elements one can do in order to manifest happiness.
Philosophy is a bunch of empty ideasPeter Unger
His first discovery was that we need friendship. Friendship is where humans are at their sweetest. Secondly, we do not need a lot of money. We are simply working at a job that we do not like or love doing that doesn’t bring joy or happiness. Below is a video about becoming better and finding out how to be happy.
Confucius was a Chinese philosopher and politician during the Zhou Dynasty. He is seen as an archetype for all teachers. There’s no fixed ‘self’ in Chinese philosophy, the form we see in the Western world. Who we are and what we could become is much more tangible than a rigid set of features that characterize a personality.
BONUS: Motivational speech by Matthew McConaughey
How to be happy, you ask? Matthew McConaughey has a thought-provoking explanation on how to be satisfied. Always play like an underdog. An underdog is not speculated of having a chance to win or make a significant contribution. If you do the opposite, people will look down on you and talk trash because they are usually jealous and begrudging. Matthew also states that if you are after happiness, you will never experience how to be happy.
Life’s barely long enough to get good at one thing. So be careful what you get good at.Matthew McConaughey
Therefore, joy is not a thing or response. It is the feeling of doing what we are passionate about doing. Joy is always in progress in doing what we are passionate about doing. What is your hill: for Matthew, that is fatherhood, being a good husband, feeling and living healthy, having a promising career, and a great friendship. Matthew wants to keep all five of those mentioned above in good shape. Everyone should define their success for themselves and keep the things necessary to them.
If you want to learn more about how to be happy again by defeating your Sine Wave Syndrome, you can take a look at the therapy session about discovering your passion. There are more workshops that you can dive into if you are interested. Don’t worry, it is free 😉