You get many different answers when you ask, “What brings true happiness in life?” Answers range from the philosophical to the practical. Most people sound like they know what happiness is, but is this true? Come and find out the truth.
Materialism is the primary driver of our society. Getting caught up in pursuing wealth, possessions, and achievements is easy. They teach us achievement on their terms is the key to happiness.
Okay, you’ve heard that happiness lies not in wealth accumulation. Instead, happiness comes from the simple things in life. You are likely saying, ya, right, that’s not reality. But we think it is accurate, and we can show you how to make this a reality.
Can You Make Your Own Happiness?
Can we make happiness? We will delve into the hypothesis that the power to create our joy lies within us. Moreover, we each have the power to unlock this state of mind.
All it takes is learning how to use the right tools of awareness. We can shift our perspective by engaging in some practical exercises. What kind of exercises?
We recommend the Enneagram, self-care, and comparative religious study to open your mind. Then learn to embrace imperfections and nurture connections. Learning how to let go is a vital process of decluttering our lives. It’s not as complicated as you think. The remarkable truth is that happiness is within our reach.
So, challenge the status quo and start crafting your blissful existence. Learn how to fill life with genuine joy, gratitude, and contentment. After all, the power to make your own happiness lies within you.
What Brings True Happiness in Life?
If you ask most people what makes them happy, they will tell you various things, from family and money to travel. If you ask them, what is the source of happiness? They will say, I just told you. But, they are not the same question.
Situations, things, and people can bring us temporary joy and happiness. But, the source is something internal. A positive experience of pleasure releases hormones called oxytocin and endorphins. These drugs create the good feelings we associate with happiness.
Some people live in a perpetual state of happiness; we call these people children. Children are the people who do this because it is our original state of being. Children show us “happiness comes from the simple things.”
So how can you make your own happiness if it doesn’t involve getting things or achieving goals? How do we regain this original state of being? How do we overcome the programming of the cultural narrative and the dominance of The Ego? Good questions. Let’s start by looking at the drivers of the Ego as they relate to the nine Enneagram personality types.
Happiness and Your Personality Type
When the Ego is in control, it controls our awareness and perception. The observer, the self, is subject to the whims of personality and instinct. This disrupts our hedonic balance. The Ego emphasizes negative thinking to maintain control over our awareness. Ego “tells you” what brings true happiness in life is allowing the Ego to control.
Hedonic balance is the term in psychology. It describes the value of experience from positive to negative. Studies show several factors can impact this value perception. (1) These include health, personality type, the amount of sleep, and exercise. All these factors contribute to the valuation of life. It indicates how we handle adversity as well as how we handle success.
The main factor in this equation is not our circumstances or health. It is our ability to cope with life and find value in whatever situation. Life is unpredictable, so our state of mind is the key. We can enhance the state of our mind by enhancing our ability to think clearly. First, let’s look at the personality drivers and see which resonates with you.
1. The Perfectionist (Type 1) Accepting Imperfections:
Perfectionism is the obsession to meet impossible or unreasonable standards. This mindset prevents us from experiencing happiness and fulfillment. Accepting our best efforts as good enough is the key to overcoming this driver.
2. The Helper (Type 2) Practice Self-Care:
While helping others brings immense joy, we must not neglect our needs. Type 2 personalities can foster long-lasting happiness by prioritizing emotional and physical well-being. In turn, this makes them even more effective in helping others.
3. The Achiever (Type 3) Define Your Success:
Type 3 personalities tend to focus heavily on external achievements and validation. True happiness lies in aligning with positive, inclusive goals. Goals that promote equity, equality, diversity, and inclusion produce fruit that benefits everyone. They must learn to focus on these values rather than chasing societal expectations. By embracing authenticity, Type 3 individuals can find satisfaction and happiness.
4. The Individualist (Type 4) Embracing Uniqueness:
Type 4 personalities are known for their rich emotional lives. Embracing their uniqueness rather than comparing themselves to others helps them cultivate happiness. Type 4s find bliss and happiness by focusing on creative pursuits and self-expression.
5. The Investigator (Type 5) Cultivate Meaningful Connections:
Type 5 personalities tend to immerse themselves in intellectual pursuits. They often do this at the expense of forming deep emotional connections. You make your own happiness by sharing knowledge and investing in meaningful connections.
6. The Loyalist (Type 6) Embracing Trust:
Type 6 personalities often struggle with anxiety and fear. Rediscovering trust within themselves and others unlock a sense of security and contentment. Type 6 individuals find inner peace and happiness by overcoming self-doubt. Learning to cultivate a healthy skeptical positive mindset conquers anxiousness and insecurity.
7. The Enthusiast (Type 7) Living in the Present:
Type 7 personalities are often characterized by their adventurous spirit. For them, happiness lies in practicing presence and being fully present in the moment. Type 7 individuals can harness happiness, even amidst uncertainty. The keys are embracing gratitude and savoring simple pleasures.
8. The Challenger (Type 8) Balance Power and Vulnerability:
Type 8 personalities have strong leadership qualities but sometimes struggle with vulnerability. Striving for a balanced approach helps them achieve this equilibrium. They must temper their need to control while fostering healthy connections. This is the path for the Type 8 personality, which leads to happiness and fulfillment.
9. The Peacemaker (Type 9) Establish Healthy Boundaries:
Type 9 personalities often prioritize harmony and avoiding conflicts over their happiness. They can learn to advocate for their own needs by establishing healthy boundaries. Type 9s achieve inner peace and genuine happiness when they make their needs known.
Conclusion of the Enneagram and the Path to Happiness
If you don’t know your Enneagram personality type, one of the above nine types may resonate and “sound like me.” If you know your Enneagram personality type, this will confirm your type. It highlights the difference between the control of personality and the observer.
What brings true happiness in life? We realize joy and happiness when we move past the constraints of the Ego. Now, for the magic. You can remove or diminish this driver when you learn to regain control of your awareness. There is a good reason you need to do this. Here’s an explanation of the paradoxical effect of chasing happiness.
The Paradoxical Effect of Seeking Happiness
Most people think valuing happiness should lead to positive outcomes. (2) The assumption is the more one values happiness; then the happier one will be. But this isn’t what happens.
The more we value the emotional result, the harder it is to reach or maintain. And the standards are constantly changing and becoming more challenging to reach. If we reach the goal, we are happy for the moment, but it is hollow and fleeting. We strive to reach happiness with a new goal. The more happiness is valued, the harder it becomes to reach.
Ah, so when the Ego or personality is in control of awareness, the focus is always on failing to meet the goal. Even when we achieve the goal, we are driven to look beyond the present to future goals. The Ego makes us think happiness comes from achieving or obtaining things.
True happiness comes from the simple things in life. The simple things come from presence, perspective, and awareness. These things are the characteristics of our original state of mind. They were easy to access before the culture indoctrinated us. The bias and prejudice of our cultural narrative contaminate our thinking.
Disappointment is the driver to achieve rather than the joy of the endeavor. If you value academic achievement, you will feel disappointed with a low grade in an easy class. The same grade in what you consider a hard class is easier to reconcile. The paradoxical effect of valuing happiness depends on the context.
Bottom line, the more we value happiness, the less likely we are to be happy. The paradox is in expectations of the Ego. Ask any millionaire if they have enough money, and they will say no; they always want more. We observe them and think they must be very happy. But in reality, they fear losing what they have and are not satisfied because they still don’t have enough. Most millionaires report they are unhappy most of the time. (3)
You make your own happiness by being present. Presence gives you the awareness to be in the right perspective to value the present.
Rediscovering Happiness Comes from the Simple Things
Regardless of your Enneagram personality type, you hold the key to your happiness. Understanding the effects of each type helps us regain control of the Ego. By learning to be more present and direct the perspective of our mind, we regain control of awareness. The decision to make your own happiness lies in your hands.
So, we introduce you to the not-so-secret formula. It’s a simple but effective process that helps us to break the hold of the Ego. It illuminates our thinking, so we change unhealthy thought scripts and values. Happiness comes from the simple things of presence, perspective, and awareness 2023.
Section 1: Embracing Simplicity
Simplicity is about becoming present. Presence opens our perspective and awareness. Presence is a state of mind where we are aware of what’s happening internally and externally. It gives us a unique perspective on life.
1.1 Rediscovering the Little Joys:
In our fast-paced lives, we overlook small delights that bring genuine happiness. These simple moments can profoundly impact our lives. Learn to savor homemade meals, sunsets, and freshly brewed coffee. These are the things that provide a foundation for joy and happiness.
We can unlock contentment and happiness by learning to recognize them. Simple as that, recognize and be grateful for the mundane. This is the practical definition of being present and “in the movement.”
How do you do this? Learn to meditate. You can learn several powerful forms of meditation from articles on this website. The practice of Japa (Transcendental Meditation) and mindfulness will increase self-awareness.
1.2 Gratitude for the Present:
Many people constantly strive for a better future, neglecting the present moment. However, true happiness can only be found by appreciating what you have now. Cultivate gratitude for the simple blessings in life. Enjoy whatever level of health you have. Build supportive relationships and find contentment and embrace happiness in the present.
If you are alive, you have a huge reason to be grateful. Sit down with a journal and ask yourself, what do I have to be grateful for? If you read this, you are alive, can see, and can read. There are three things to start your list.
Section 2: Shifting Perspectives
To shift our perspective, we must be open and willing to change. This means we must be able to change what we believe. This is a stumbling block for many people because their religion is their identity.
As we know, or should know, religious beliefs often contain harmful bias and prejudice. These belief systems come from a time when mythology dominated culture. Bias, prejudice, discrimination, and racism were accepted as normal. They were promoted to protect a select group. They want to believe you make your happiness by believing what they tell you. Humanity now has a global perspective built on scientific understanding. We should not tolerate this backward and obsolete thinking.
2.1 Presence, Perspective, and Awareness 2023
Being fully present and “in the moment” gives us the state we call presence. Presence is important. This mindset provides the best perspective possible. It is governed by our mental, physical, and emotional health levels. Presence and perspective are attributes of awareness. Awareness is the current of life that illuminates consciousness.
Awareness is necessary to become awake. Wokeness is a term used to describe a viewpoint promoting specific qualities. These qualities include equity, equality, inclusion, and diversity.
Sadly, some people think these things are negative because they prefer the opposite. They prefer inequality and favoritism. They disdain equity and fairness. And they hate the idea of inclusion and diversity. Why? Because these expose their racism and discrimination.
We can help these people by leading them step by step into the mindset of presence and mindfulness. When you practice these tools, you allow the mind to reset. It compensates for a cultural narrative driven by religious and political hatred.
2.2 Finding Meaning, Not Accumulating Possessions:
Contrary to societal norms, accumulating possessions does not guarantee happiness. Pursuing material wealth can be a never-ending cycle that ultimately leaves us unfulfilled. Instead, we should focus on cultivating meaningful relationships and pursuing personal growth. Happiness results from engaging in activities that align with positive values.
To make our own happiness, we must begin with a shift in perspective. We live in a world where external validation often defines our happiness. The first vital step toward a blissful existence is assessing our beliefs and values. We need to question societal norms and challenge the conventional notion of happiness.
How do you do this? You assess your beliefs and values. There are a few excellent tools for this task. Comparative Analysis is a structured form of religious comparative study. This tool helps you see where your religious and spiritual beliefs originate. It gives you perspective on their true history. We also recommend the use of the Cultural Assessment Questionnaire. This will help you see how cultural bias and prejudice affect your thinking and values.
2.3 Embracing Imperfection:
We must learn to expect the unexpected. So, we must accept that life is not always smooth sailing. Imperfections are part of the journey. Navigating these unexpected waves is crucial for finding true happiness. Perfectionism often leads to anxiety and unhappiness. Accepting our flaws and imperfections cultivates a sense of liberation and contentment.
Section 3: Creating Your Own Happiness
3.1 The Power of the Healthy Skeptical Mindset:
Your mindset plays a fundamental role in determining your happiness. Adopting an optimistic outlook allows you to find joy even in challenging situations. At the same time, we must remain realistic and aware. How do you do this? Practice gratitude, self-reflection, and self-care. These tools empower you to create happiness and face life’s ups and downs with resilience.
3.2 Practice Self-care
Self-care isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a vital component in building enduring happiness. You’ll discover happiness comes from the things that nurture our body, mind, and soul. Here’s an overview of what self-care entails.
3.2.1 Physical Self-Care:
Most of us are familiar with this type of self-care, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. Beyond regular exercise and a balanced diet, physical self-care includes massages and yoga.
One of the easiest forms is taking a stroll down a serene path. Prioritizing physical well-being contributes to our happiness. So let’s flex our muscles and indulge in some rejuvenating activities!
3.2.2 Emotional Self-Care:
Our emotions are a compass that guides us through life. They deserve our attention and care. Emotional self-care includes practices like journaling, therapy, and counseling.
It also includes mindfulness or engaging in creative outlets to express ourselves. Anything that nurtures you without harming others or the planet is good for you.
3.2.3. Mental Self-Care:
Our minds are powerhouses of thoughts and ideas, so it’s crucial to maintain their health. Mental self-care involves engaging in practices that stimulate intellectual growth and cognitive well-being.
Reading books, solving puzzles, or brain teasers is a part of mental self-care. Learning any new skill is good for our mental state of mind. One we often overlook is simply taking a break from technology. If you know about computers, you know turning them off is the easiest way to clear any problems. Use this same strategy to clear your mind.
3.2.4 Social Self-Care:
Humans are social creatures. Our relationships play a significant role in our overall happiness and well-being. Social self-care focuses on nurturing and fostering positive connections with others. This can be achieved through spending quality time with loved ones.
Social self-care includes participating in any positive social activity. Find a group that aligns with your interests, and you’ll likely find new friendships. Investing time in building relationships will create meaningful connections that enrich our lives.
3.2.5 Spiritual Self-Care:
While some may associate spirituality with religion, it goes beyond that. Spiritual self-care involves finding meaning and purpose in life. It’s about connecting with our inner selves and seeking peace and tranquility.
The best way to enrich your spiritual life is with Japa meditation. It’s a process that puts us in touch with the transcendent source of our consciousness. Practicing gratitude and communing with nature are ways to connect with our essence.
In a world filled with constant demands and pressures, self-care is not just a luxury but a necessity. By embracing self-care, we can create a harmonious balance that uplifts our mind, body, and soul. So, let’s embark on this incredible journey of self-care. Discover what truly feeds your soul and makes you healthier and happier. Remember, you deserve it!
3.3 Pursuing Purpose, NOT Passion:
Happiness is closely tied to pursuing a sense of purpose, not achievement. There’s a huge difference. Passion is about our emotional attachment to something.
Passion is a tool of the Ego which motivates us to act. Our action driven by Ego allows the Ego to maintain control of our awareness, thinking, and values. Whereas, Purpose is the stated reason or intention for our actions. When our purpose is positive, it serves something greater than self-gratification or self-achievement. It often means deliberately engaging in activities for the greater good.
3.4 Learning to Let Go:
Letting go of past grievances, expectations, and negative thought patterns is crucial. These burdens make happiness impossible. We can use the tools we’ve discussed to declutter our minds and lives. To release the shackles that bind us takes forgiveness, mindfulness, gratitude, and journaling. These tools free us to adopt a healthy mindset and become a freethinker.
Learning to let go on the physical level is known as “decluttering.” Although this is a physical activity is also emotionally taxing. It can be challenging. So, it also involves letting go of our attachments to people, places, and things.
True Happiness Comes From Presence, Perspective, and Awareness
In our fast-paced lives, we let happiness slip through our fingers. So we must shift our perspective. Pick one area and get started. Learn to meditate, practice self-care, nurture connections, and practice letting go. In that case, we uncover the remarkable truth that happiness is within our reach.
So, challenge the status quo and start crafting a positive, inclusive mindset. Create a blissful existence filled with genuine joy, gratitude, and contentment. After all, the power to make your own happiness lies within you.
Follow the Data
Being happy can increase your longevity. We can quantify happiness from studies. The General Social Survey-National Death Index Dataset (GSSND) shows that happiness affects lifespan. The Cox Proportional Hazards Model confirms happiness translates to a longer life. (4)
This research showed that people who perceived themselves as “very happy” had a lower risk of death (6%). This study was conducted over a follow-up period of 10 years. People who perceived themselves as “pretty happy” were more likely to die (14%). The highest death rates revealed they were not happy (28%).
The factors that affect these groups are healthy relationships, socioeconomic status, and health. Those with one or more healthy relationships are most likely to be “very happy.”
This research supports happiness and joy as an indicator of well-being. High or medium socioeconomic status did not boost the person’s perception of happiness.
A high socioeconomic status added to the stress of life, and they were more likely to perceive life as “not happy.” A low socioeconomic status adversely affects the individual’s health. Thus, leading to the perception that they were “not happy” with life. These conclusions come from a lack of proper nutrition and limited healthcare access.
Regular exercise and spiritual practice significantly affected the perception of happiness. There was a distinction between spiritual practice and the practice of religion.
Those who engage in holistic spiritual methods like yoga are happier than those who do not. Those involved with organized religion generally had negative responses to happiness. People involved with Western organized religions saw themselves as unworthy. Those who identified as sincere or strong followers were the most likely to be “unhappy.”
These studies looked at the relationship between life expectancy and major benchmarks. This included educational level, profession, experiences of violence, or significant losses. There was no correlation between major life events and perceptions of happiness.
In other words, life circumstances do not impact how we value life. The things that affect happiness and longevity are things we can control. They include relationships, spiritual practices, proper nutrition, and health care. If you want to make your own happiness focus on these things.
(1) Hedonic Balance. Apa Psyche Net
(2) Can Seeking Happiness Make People Happy? Paradoxical Effects of Valuing Happiness. The National Library of Medicine.
(3) Money Does Not Always Buy Happiness, but Are Richer People Less Happy in Their Daily Lives? It Depends on How You Analyze Income. The National Library of Medicine.
(4) Happiness and longevity of life. National Library of Medicine