Birth, life, death... What else? What happens in between is what makes life worth living - the elements of happiness. Do you want to be happy? You can be, if you know what it takes to be happy and then act on it.
The Five Elements of Happiness
1) Purpose: When you find purpose, and you work to fulfil that purpose, you will also find happiness.
a) Use your talents. You were born to succeed in something only you can succeed on.
b) Find your mission. You have a mission in life. When you realize what you were born to achieve and start working to achieve it, you will also find happiness.
c) Put your priorities in order. What is important to you? The labouring on meaningless tasks contributes to your unhappiness. Do what it's important; do what you love.
d) Act on your intuition. You have a built in compass inside yourself. Listen to that gut feeling, it is telling you where to go, and what to do.
e) Never lose sight. The circumstances of life might cloud your vision. It is important to remember yourself of what is important, what your purpose is.
2) Meditate: We are thinking beings. We can act upon our emotions, but we can also act under the wise direction of our intellect.
a) Stop and see what comes ahead. Sometimes we need to see with the eyes of reason, before we can take action.
b) Don't act on impulses, but act on intuition. When you meditate on the circumstances, you are not blind; even if something bad happens, it will be expected and accepted.
c) Prioritize. It is better to think before acting, than to act without thinking. Because the majority of times you will win for reasoning, and lose for acting on impulse.
d) Believe in the power of meditation. The riches of enlightenment are far greater than the time invested.
e) You don't have to be good at meditation, and you don't have to learn. Just find a quiet place, relax, and think... until enlightenment comes.
3) Give: Someone once said, "It is more blessed to give..."
a) Enrich other people's lives, and your life will be rich too. I like to think of this as "divine justice". It is as if a system was put in place to keep the selfish from achieving true happiness.
b) Be true in your giving - give with no strings attached, for when you give freely, it is appreciated, but when you demand recompense, it is daunting.
c) The true giver gives the best. They do not choose the least valuable to others, while keeping to best to themselves. This works in two levels... the best becomes less valuable when not shared. Moreover, the less valuable, when given away, only delivers disappointment. As you can see, nothing is profited.
d) Don't expect in return. A gift is not a gift, but an extension of credit, if it's not given wholeheartedly. No one remembers fondly of their creditors, for they are the ones to whom they owe.
e) Don't expect to receive credit; it will only lead to frustration. If the only reason to give is to receive, you will ultimately fail. In addition, in time, your gifts will no longer be appreciated, as they are too expensive to the receiver.
4) Take good care of yourself: The body you were born in is the body you will die in.
a) Your body is the source and the recipient of your emotions. Therefore, keep it well, because no happiness can ever come from disease and poor health.
b) The better you feel, the better you feel ... Isn't it obvious? Why is it so widely ignored? If you stop ignoring this truth, happiness will draw closer to your life.
c) Your body also has a purpose. It was made to run, to walk, to work and to love. Don't deny your body its purpose, for you cannot fully achieve your purpose if you neglect your body's.
d) Understand what your body is telling you. A higher wisdom is in place, and it is not wise to disregard it. Your body is you, and so is your consciousness. It is all connected. Meditation can ease the interaction between all the parts of your being, making you whole.
e) Reward yourself. True reward has long-term value. It is up to you to make the right choice. The rewards you give yourself bring happiness if they are truly beneficial to your life. However, they can cause damage if they are nothing but small pleasures. An example would be the comparison between a trip to a memorable destination for a nice holiday, and the binging on food, alcohol and drugs. The latter will have costly consequences to your life, and to your happiness.
5) Love: But what is it? Love has many names, but only one meaning...
a) It is the fuel of life, the ultimate reward. Without it, life has no meaning, no purpose. When you love and are loved, you feel alive... happy. A person without love feels lonely, depressed, and dead.
b) It is counter-intuitive, because it is more pleasurable when given, than when received.
c) It is generally misunderstood, and taken for granted. True love is sadly not regarded as valuable. Its misconceptions are praised by the masses in the form of skin-deep romantic endeavours on TV.
d) Love is the most valuable treasure a poor man has, and the most mistreated asset of the rich man. The rich does not need to love if he believes that the power of money can buy it. On the other hand, the poor only has love itself to offer in order to receive love in return.
e) Know the true meaning of love. Find out for yourself, by asking questions. Is it sex, relationship, charity, friendship, marriage? I could tell you what I think it is. However, this question seems to require a self-realized answer in order to provide the true power of its impact in your life. I urge you to seek the answer until you find it. When you do find it, you will have it... love... happiness.
Do you want to be happy? Do you know what it takes to be happy? If it is valuable to you, labour for its rewards, because it will be the job of your life when the wages of your work are paid in the form of the ultimate commodity: happiness.