“Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue.” (Viktor Frankl)
Dr. Martin Seligman determined that happiness is the result of a combination of factors. He posits that each person is born with an innate range of happiness capability already written into our genes. Some people have a more gloomy range, while others have a more ebullient range.
However, and most importantly, everyone can learn to live at the upper end of their personal happiness range!
The catch is — you can’t pursue happiness. As many poets have described, happiness is not something that we can chase after and capture. However, by attending to several key aspects of our lives, we can create the ideal climate for our optimum happiness to ensue.
So what are those key aspects? Seligman found they are: engaging in satisfying work, avoiding negative experiences and emotions, being married, having a strong community (social network), experiencing gratitude, forgiving ourselves and others, and feeling optimistic.
Interestingly enough, the areas that don’t affect happiness are: making more money, having a lot of education, and the climate we live in (pleasant or unpleasant).
Now that you know that happiness cannot be found, stop seeking it. Instead, start cultivating the areas of your life that have been proven to allow happiness to ensue. And before you know it, happiness will be sneaking up on you…