The Pursuit of Happiness

The start of the year is traditionally a time to reflect on the year that has passed, evaluate your life and see what changes you want to make.

You may be a little tired of everyone talking about their new year resolutions, however the time we all take off in December to spend with family does give us time to think about how we want the next calendar year to go. I myself posted my goals for 2016 over at Rise Forums.

Ultimately, these discussions about goals, challenges, and change, are about one thing: Being happy.

We are all pursuing happiness. We are all looking to move forward in life and improve certain areas of our life; whether it be financially, romantically, spiritually or physically.

Look After Your Health

Happiness means different things to different people. What makes me happy might not make you happy; and vice-versa.

I do believe, however, that we all share more similarities than differences and our happiness will all be defined by the same things.

Health is without doubt the most important thing in life. When you are healthy you can take on the world. When you are sick, everything else becomes trivial.

Karate Dojo
Image Copyright: Peter Harrison

I truly believe that health is vital to happiness. You need to eat right, sleep right, and exercise regularly. The endorphins that exercising releases will make you healthier and happier. In contrast, when you are tired and lethargic, everything seems like a struggle.

It is never to late to change bad habits and start leading a healthier life. Watch what you eat, focus on sleeping better, and exercise regularly. It will help improve all areas of your life.

Being Positive

Emotional stability is something that is rarely discussed in polite conversation, yet it is something that we should all prioritise. A healthy mind will positively affect your life and help you become the person you want to be.

Here Comes the Sun
Image Copyright: Kimberly Winnington

As you get older, most people become happier in their own skin. I never thought that I was insecure when I was younger, but in hindsight I was. Life experience brought maturity and helped me accept what I could not change and embrace what I could.

I now make a point of surrounding myself with positive people and I lose little sleep over the negative people who do nothing but bring others down. I accept my faults and laugh about them. I also accept that many people who are negative are dealing with their own insecurities and projecting them on to others.

Money Does Not Equal Happiness

Struggling financially can really hurt your happiness. It can put a lot of stress on you and make you miserable. Money problems remains one of the biggest reasons that couples go through in a relationship because of the difficulties it causes.

When you are struggling financially, your options become limited. You cannot travel as much as you would like and do all the things you want to do in life. You probably have to work more often than you would like too.

Enjoy Life
Image Copyright: David Yu

I strongly believe that many people who do struggle financially needn’t be in that position. The capitalist world that we live in encourages people to live beyond their means and buy things they do not need.

The media has tried to fool us all into believing that more money equates to more happiness, but it does not. The way I see it, if I can pay my bills and go on a couple of nice holidays a year for the rest of my life, I will be very happy.

Scott Young wrote an interesting article in 2012 entitled “Is Getting Rich Worth It?” about why being rich financially is not the be all and end all. He said:

“I argue being rich is like being full. It’s not a bad feeling, and certainly better than being hungry. But as long as you’re well fed, food just isn’t something you think much about.”

There are many stories about how successful people met their goals and accumulated wealth. I enjoy reading about the journey that others have taken to get to where they are in life. However, on the flip side, I think it is important to be content with what you have in life and appreciate what you already have.

Money is not the be all and end all. We all need to work to pay the bills and we all want to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle, but the best things in life do not cost a penny.

Relationships

The relationships that you have with family, friends, and partners, are important to your happiness. As someone who works in solitude every day, I value the time I spend with my family and friends.

Being in a healthy relationship can make you happier. Being a destructive relationship can make things worse.

Love Sketch Art
Image Copyright: Farrukh

Without sounding like a late night cheesy TV psychologist, I think it is important to love yourself before you love someone else. Going into a relationship with hangups and insecurities and other emotional problems will only create problems in a relationship.

You also need to be aware that you do not need to be with someone to be happy. I have been happy in relationships and I have been miserable in relationships. Bear that in mind if you are staying with someone just because you do not want to be single.

Likewise, if you have friends that constantly put you down and criticise you, you should take a step back and think about how good those friends really are.

Be Passionate

Whatever you do in life, be passionate about it. The more you put into something, be it your hobby, passion, job, or relationships, the more you will get back in return.

Book is a Treasure
Image Copyright: Rupa Panda

We only have one life so make it a good one. Surround yourself with positive people, set challenges for yourself and attempt to meet them. And always bear in mind that it is the journey that it is important, not the finish line at the end.

Have a great year guys :)

Kevin