Happiness is a mindset you can learn

We decided to talk about happiness in this post because we have just come up with a brand tagline that hinges on it and we know how important it is to be happy.

But we are not going to talk about all that here. We only want to talk about a popular misconception about happiness and how to get around it.

The Misconception

Happiness is too easily confused as a feeling resulting from things we possess or receive. Ask most people today what makes them happy and they will go ahead listing stuffs like career achievement, job promotion, well-paying job, successful business, loving spouse.

That exactly is the misconception.

The Truth

Happiness is a mindset, not a feeling. Wendy Strgar, in a post titled ‘Happiness: A Feeling or a Mindset?’, described it as a ‘perceptual frame of reference’. This implies that happiness is relative and subjected to individual perception – person A can choose to be unhappy about the same thing that makes person B very happy.

How to Deal With It

The good news is that happiness can be learned. If you have been struggling to find happiness and stay happy, here are a few tips to help you figure it out:

– Unlearn happiness as you knew it before
Contrary to the popular belief that happiness comes when good things happen to us, happiness is created by our perspective to things that exist and happen around us. Without getting rid of the former belief, the latter cannot be realised.

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” — Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, french author, idealist, and philosopher

Glen Binger iterates and explains this in his post ‘The Happiness Mindset’. According to him, being happy is a mindset. It is not a destination or reward. There is no finish line you cross to discover or achieve it. It is a lens. It is the way you perceive your daily universe.

– Choose happiness unconditionally
Positive and negative experiences are inevitable parts of life. But as humans, we easily tend to have negative feelings when negative experiences happen to us and positive feelings when positive ones do. And we often think we can experience more happiness simply by trying to avoid the experiences that bring us negative feelings and pursuing those that give positive feelings. However, this seldom leads to genuine happiness.

Wendy argues that, ‘intense emotions, whether positive or negative, are the threads in the complex and mysterious fabric of life. They teach us how to find center and provide a guide by which to navigate.’ In the long run, we have to choose to be happy, whether we are going to through a positive or negative experience.

– Make it a habit
Being happy, like Glen said, is not a destination or reward. There is no finish line you cross to discover or achieve it. You cannot remain happy after you find happiness once, you have to maintain the mindset. Wendy likens it to body building. She explains that,’anyone who has successfully lost weight and has maintained their newfound physical strength will attest to the fact that the work doesn’t end when you meet your goal. Instead, the work becomes a set of eating and movement habits that reform your life.’

Now, go live a happier life…

Once you get rid of this misconception about happiness and practice some or all of the tricks we have talked about throughout the body of this post, you start feeling happy in a different and genuine way.

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