Reynold Ruslan Feldman, Ph.D. - Author, Editor, Nonprofit Consultant, Wisdom Coach

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Happiness and How to Achieve It

Dear Ruslan,
Here is how I think of happiness. First, you can’t find it head on. Despite the Declaration of Independence, happiness cannot be successfully pursued. Rather, live a meaningful life—one that benefits you and others—and happiness will pursue you. So what is happiness? I’d use terms like contentment, fulfillment, or even that 12-Step favorite, serenity. It’s a feeling of enoughness: The fancy term is satiety. It’s how you feel after good food, good sleep, good sex, even a good workout. Happiness also seems to result from the satisfaction of a job well done. What happiness isn’t is the product of material things, although the lack of them won’t bring it about either. Amassing ever-increasing wealth and possessions can never produce that feeling of contentment which characterizes true happiness. So how can you become even happier? Here are some suggestions. (1) Have what Twelve Steppers call “the attitude of gratitude.” Reflect regularly on the many ways you are already blessed.  As Meister Eckhardt said, “If your only prayer were thank-you, it would be enough.” (2) Punctuate your life with fun, from reading for pleasure to afternoons at the Y. Remember: The best Swiss cheese always has holes. (3) Choose to do things you like and screen out those you don’t. A certain amount of grunt work seems part of the human condition. Still, try to keep it to a minimum. (4) Spend your time with people you like. When circumstances require you to be with those you don’t, find creative ways, like questioning and listening, to make them more agreeable. (5) Help others. Love is a boomerang that always returns to those who give it freely. Finally, (6) never stop learning. Viktor Frankl survived Dachau in large part by transforming his environment into a learning lab. Never forget: The real university-without-walls is life itself.  

11 Comments to Happiness and How to Achieve It:

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Levi on Tuesday, May 03, 2011 11:41 PM
Sounds ,good. I would stress creativity and risk but you got most of it.
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This blog is a great read! You were able to explain further the reasons on why we need to achieve happiness and also, you give some suggestion about it. Such as, having the “the attitude of gratitude”, Choose to do things you like and Spend your time with people you like. Those suggestions were really great and very on point. I am quite amazed by this blog and what you have shared in it. Thanks for the motivation and giving reasons why we should be happy.
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