The Key to Happiness

I heard an interesting story this morning on the radio. A long-term study was done over fifteen years to ask people for the key to their happiness.
The results? Three things. And I cannot argue with their results. In fact, it seems pretty damn sensible.
1.  Good relationships. This doesn’t mean romantic relationships, per se, but good relationships with people. Non-toxic friends, family that respect you and your lifestyle decisions – or at least don’t nag you about them. A good support network. Psychic and emotional vampires need not apply. Sometimes this means some hard decisions about long-time friends, but the rewards are amazing.
2. Financial stability.  This doesn’t mean making a million dollars. This means living within your resources. If you make $10 an hour, it means you aren’d spending all your money on fancy cars and dining out every night. Making responsible choices so you can afford to splurge every once in a while on a nice night out, or a gift for yourself. Not living paycheck-to-paycheck. This isn’t easy, as our society urges everyone to go out and BUY ALL THE THINGS. But it can be done.
3. A purpose in life. We all want to believe we are making an impact on this world. But to have that impact, you don’t have to rule the world, or invent a cure for cancer. You can be the world to one person. Be it a book you want to write (even if it’s never a best-seller, one book can change someone’s life!), or a person you help out, or a business you run, having a purpose that you believe in is incredibly empowering. Don’t like your job? If you can’t afford to find a different job, find a purpose outside of work. Help out in a soup kitchen. Join the arts council. Find a board-gaming group. Go out for a lovely walk in the park. Perform at an open-mike night. Adopt a kitten. These are all purposes that people find rewarding.
It seems that everyone is trying to be happy, but few people are. Sometimes it just takes a moment to step back and see what you do have in your life. Do you have one of the above? Fantastic! That is a wonderful start. You can work on the others, or just concentrate on that one. It can help you through the darkest, coldest lonely nights. Truly, it can. If you have two, even better. Three? You’re on top of the world, if only you realize it.
I have all three, and I am truly happy and blessed.
*****

Don’t miss information on Celtic myth and history, as well as practical travel planning tips, and hidden places, in my travel books.

– Better To Have Loved

– Legacy of Hunger

– Stunning, Strange and Secret: A Guide to Hidden Scotland

– Mythical, Magical, Mystical: A Guide to Hidden Ireland
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I am an artist, accountant and author living in western New York, transplanted from Denmark, Michigan, Florida, West Virginia, Pennsylvania (in that order!) I love the beauty of the world and sharing it with others through jewelry, photography, digital painting and writing.

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2 comments on “The Key to Happiness
  1. I agree, if you have those three things you are truly blessed. Except that I would say that continual happiness would probably be unsustainable, and anyway, how would you know you are happy if you have nothing to compare it to? So, for me, I am happy to be content for much of my time, with occasional flashes of happiness that make me feel glad to be alive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d say there were different levels of happiness. You can have contented happiness, joyful happiness, ecstatic happiness. You definitely couldn’t sustain ecstatic for long, but contented? Why not 🙂

      Like

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