Happiness. People write about it, sing about it, make films about it, talk about it, and certainly chase it. But what is it exactly? How do you define happiness?

This can be such a complex topic. We all carry our own ideals about what happiness is or isn't and, consciously or not, it's that ideal definition that tends to be driving us day to day. Here are 5 key points or aspects of happiness to consider that may assist you in coming up with your own definition.

  1. Happiness requires contrast. When you think about being happy, if you're like most people, you will tend to think of it in relative terms. "I want to feel happier" or "I'm just not happy". There's an implicit contrast between how you feel right now relative to how you used to feel or how you'd like to feel. That's part of the reason that happiness can be so elusive -- we're prone to constantly comparing and the present moment is the anchor point from which we compare. And without the contrast, it would be impossible to know whether you're happy or not.
  2. Happiness is pleasure. Things that give us pleasure or that we find to be pleasurable tend to make us feel happy. So there definitely is an aspect of happiness which is tied to the experience of pleasure. Pleasure though, tends to be a short term experience. This may be another reason why the feeling of happiness can be so fleeting.
  3. Happiness is fulfillment or meaning. A deeper and more enduring quality of happiness seems to be tied to the sense of purpose or meaning you find in your life. The degree of self fulfillment you tend to feel determines your overall, long term state of satisfaction. Do you feel satisfied, or are you feeling restless? Generally, in the absence of a worthy pursuit, you will tend to feel stuck and uninspired.
  4. Happiness is success. Do you tend to view happiness and success as different things? If so, why? If happiness is in fact what you most seek in life and if its absence leads to a lack of meaning, then doesn't happiness imply success? Is it really possible to have one without the other? This is a personal line of questioning you will need to answer for yourself, but once you think about it, you'll undoubtedly equate happiness with success.
  5. Happiness brings peace of mind. Do you catch yourself longing for simple peace of mind? How would it make you feel if you just felt secure and satisfied with where you are at right now? That's the feeling we all seem to long for and it epitomizes the destination point most of us are really pursuing when it comes to the notion of seeking happiness. "I'll be happy when ... " The intriguing question is, which comes first? Is it the acquisition of happiness that gives you peace of mind, or is it peace of mind that gives you the the sensation of happiness?

Would you like more information about happiness, what it is, and how to find it? I've co-written an entire program that reveals how easily you can begin to discover and experience true happiness, starting today.

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Author's Bio: 

Warren Wojnowski is an avid student of personal growth and self improvement. He is a respected writer, teacher and Intrinsic Coach® who is very willing to share what he's learned (or still learning), what's working, and what isn't. Warren says "If you have an aspect of your life in which you feel stuck, whether in your life or your business, I can help you get back on track and start living the life you want". Visit his website at http://www.InspiredAbundance.com