So what makes people happy? Will more money do it? We have all heard people who have a fortune but ended up committing suicide. Will fame do it? How many celebrities have you heard turning to drugs and going in and out of rehab all the time? How about having the perfect body? Having the perfect job? If you ask people what makes them happy, you will probably get a ton of different answers but there are two fundamental things that will ensure happiness. The first is knowing that they are growing mentally, spiritually, etc. The second is feeling that they are making a difference.
Many people will make the mistake of thinking that happiness comes from something external. They think that new sports car will make them happy or that raise or getting a new house. Although these things can give you temporary feelings of happiness, they are short-lived. Think about the time you bought your first home or car. You were probably excited. How did you feel several years later? Probably not as excited since you got used to it right? Many people would be overjoyed if they can make a $100k a year. People who made that income for the first time were thrilled but after doing it for so long, year after year, it just becomes the norm, another paycheck.
So the first part of what makes people happy, as mentioned earlier, is growth. When you feel like you are improving your life, that’s when you are happy. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to constantly buy bigger and better things. It’s much deeper than that. You need to feel like you are growing on a personal level. You need to know that the essence of who you are is continually improving in some way. If you want to know how to find happiness, look within. Work on yourself, your goals, and your dreams. Keep looking for ways to make yourself better today than you were last year. This can mean different things to different people but the point is that you have to feel like you are improving and getting better as a human being as time goes by.
The second part of what makes people happy is that sense of contribution. Everyone wants to believe that they were put here to do something great. You don’t have to do something that will change the world though. As long as you know that by you being here, by doing what you are doing, you are helping someone somewhere, it will bring you happiness. For some people, being a parent is happiness because they brought a new life into their world and they are responsible for its happiness.
What makes people happy at work? Not a paycheck, as mentioned before, after a while, the excitement goes away. It’s that sense of making a difference. It’s that sense that you are a part of something much larger than yourself. This is what makes people happy in life. Being a part of or creating something that will outlast them. It’s doing something that will make some sort of a difference in other people’s lives. This is why you will often see people who have all the money in the world want to give it away. They realize that money alone doesn’t bring happiness. Contribution does.
These are two ways of how to find happiness. Are these the only answers to what makes people happy? That depends on how you define happiness. You can be happy just to be alive. You can be happy just to be able to see. You will be happier the moment you stop making being happy so hard. It’s a feeling that you create. That being said, personal growth and contribution is two strong reasons to be happy.