Happiness doesn’t arise from the satisfaction of a desire, it arises from the lack of desire.
I’ve written about happiness as a side product of your living your life such that you don’t want it to be any different.
But what does that actually mean?
While there is no all-powerful blueprint for how to live a good and happy life, it's also not a complete blackbox (I think).
Based on Western happiness research as well as Eastern traditional wisdom on Da Good Life, I formed a simple model of what constitutes a life really worth living based on five pillars.
I hope it helps you, too.
Establishing and maintaining meaningful bonds with your family, friends, romantic partners and other people in your community is a vital part of a happy life.
A few deep relationships are much more powerful than many shallow ones. Spend time with people you truly care about and allow them into your life without hesitation.
If we go together, we go further.
📈 Challenge & Learning
A sense of making progress in life feels good and provides some notion of meaning to what we are doing. Often, these feelings of growth result from our facing of challenges that required some effort to overcome. They are also fuelled by a growing understanding of topics that matter and by our improving ability to change the world around us through skills and practices.
In that way we improve our model of the world, ourselves, and ourselves in this world — in itself a deeply satisfying and intrinsically valuable experience.
Self-education is the child of curiosity and the parent of growth.
Feeling autonomous in our decision making and experiencing agency over our lives contributes strongly to contentment, satisfaction and — as I experience it — a generally positive outlook. Feeling in charge feels good.
Intentional decision making and framing our own perspectives on unchangeable events play a crucial role in this.
Change what you can, reframe what you can’t.
Transcending the boundaries of our Selves connects us to something bigger. Supporting others in their flourishing makes us feel valuable and needed and our actions purposeful.
This feeling of contribution is a cornerstone of happiness.
If you care, share.
Essentially, our life is only as good as we perceive it to be. The quality of our mind determines the quality of our life.
The world is both good and bad and whatever we choose to focus on, we will find. In our life, we can find both an abundance and a lack of things that matter. What we ground ourselves in is a subjective choice.
We all once wanted what we now take for granted.
🗺 Zooming Out
We live our lives in pixels. Only if we zoom out do we see the full picture. The ordinary everyday struggle can seem pointless if we lose sight of what it adds up to.
Zooming out of the single moments we experience and changing the scale to form a narrative around what we experience helps tremendously with navigating rough or boring times.
Looked at from above, it all makes sense.