The Secret to Happiness

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written by Paisley Hansen

CS Lewis once said that you should not let your happiness depend on something that you may one day lose. With that in mind, personal happiness in life is greatly determined by how happy you are with yourself — of course you love and cherish your children, your friends and your partner, but there are some moments in life that it’s okay to be only you. Celebrate your successes and achievements to help yourself find contentment in your life. Doing this regularly can help you avoid depression.

A Mind Is a Terrible Thing To Waste

Whether you’ve recently graduated high school or have obtained your masters in electrical engineering, don’t discount how much of an achievement it is to see through a degree or certification from start to finish. Total up the average number of hours spent studying (between 10 and 13 hours a week), the average amount of student debt in America, ($31,142 in student debt, according to a 2019 study), and the fact that you may have balanced a social life, school and a job all at once. Well done! Not everyone has the gumption to do it, but you did it and you have the piece of paper to prove for it.

If you don’t have a degree, have you ever considered returning to school? Furthering yourself through your education is no small feat, and you might have noticed that many jobs are now requiring an associate’s degree at the very least. When you were younger you had no idea what you wanted to do when you grew up, but now that you have an adult’s perspective you know better what you want in life and what you need to achieve your goals. Check out nearby community colleges or technical schools; there might be a surprisingly exciting program there that could change the course of your career. If nothing else, it’s worth looking into…what have you got to lose?

If you do consider further education do it for you, it will help boost your self confidence and give you much satisfaction, and belief in yourself.

A Kick-Butt Career That You Love

So much of America’s culture is ingrained in the concept of hard work and having a profitable, steady career. But it should also be the aim that career should be a means of finding self-fulfillment and happiness. There are few things more depressing than work that suppresses you.

While there is nothing wrong with any of this, it must also be understood that the concept of hard work and a steady career has been turned on its head; our grandparents of yore would be rolling in their graves! Tradition has changed and career branches are as diverse as ever-changing as the world we live in. Robots and computers have replaced so many jobs from telephone operating to bank telling, which means that working and bringing in a steady income have been forced to adapt too. Careers that didn’t exist a decade ago are surfacing, plus with in-house internet almost expected, working from home and opening your own business is so much easier than it used to be. A career that you are happy doing and contributing much of your life to is one that can help you feel fulfilled and that you have done something worthwhile in the long run.

How do you know if you don’t feel fulfilled in your career? Generally you already know how you feel about your job, but if you’re not sure whether or not it’s time to make a change then check out the signs of burnout at work:

  • You dread going and make any excuse not to go; your alarm clock is like a death toll.
  • The tasks and duties are dull and unenjoyable and you would rather be doing anything else.
  • Your attitude has plummeted; you aren’t happy at work and don’t feel any enjoyment while you’re there.
  • Depression may begin to affect you.

It’s easy enough to say that if you’re unhappy, leave. However, you know that it’s not always that simple; money is an issue and it’s scary to imagine leaving without a steady income. Remember Grandpa’s advice, though: It’s much easier to find a job while you’re still employed. Before making a dramatic quitting scene a la Jerry Maguire, be sure to have something new and better lined up beforehand so that you can pay your bills between jobs. It might be a good idea to leave the fish, though.

Happy, Fulfilling Relationships

Remember that being happy with yourself is the most important thing of all. Only once you’re personally fulfilled and feel contented in your life can you work on helping others. By being kind to yourself and focusing on a good outlook in life, you will more likely than not find yourself surrounded by positive people. If you’ve found that there are relationships that are not good for you either mentally or emotionally, sever ties with them. Life is too short to be stuck wasting time with people who drain you. Focus on the people who raise you up and make you remember that there is good in the world.

While you can’t push a magic button and suddenly deem yourself happy with your life, positive changes and baby steps can help your life change its current direction. Focus on your personal achievements and ways that you can make sure that you’re living your life, your best life and protecting yourself from the threat of depression and unhappiness.