Sustainable Happiness? 10 Ways to Get There

What really brings us sustained happiness and how can you bring more of it into your life by design?

There are frills and short lived excitement which is all and fine. But what are those things that we can bring more into our life that provides us with a bit of lasting joy?

We are going to find a few today. Shall we?

1. Clarity on What You Want

Knowing what you want, whether it is a calling or a strong urge to accomplish something, feeds energy and excitement into your being that is both contagious and attractive.

The opposite of course is confusion, hesitation and mind friction which breaks your flow.

This state keeps you in a friction loop that holds you back from making any progress. If you are looking for clarity about what you want, journal your thoughts regarding all possible directions to consider.

Write down all answers to your Why questions.

See if it aligns with your values, your strengths, and your excitement level. Factor it all in and keep these notes to remind you why you are going for it.

2. Doing Something Difficult

Confidence builds when we are able to do something we once thought of as difficult or impossible.

Beating a tough opponent, passing a difficult exam, conquering something you feared. All these elevate your self esteem and give you more strength and courage to do more.

Doing something easy gets boring over time. True confidence builds from conquering challenges that makes us grow.

3. Doing the Right Thing

It isn’t always easy to do the right thing. When faced with a difficult decision, ask yourself: Is this the right thing to do?

It may not always feel good but deep inside you know you are a bigger person for doing the right thing. Building a strong character makes you feel good about yourself.

4. Make Someone Happy

There are several little ways that you can make someone happy. By sharing, teaching, giving or just spending time with someone is enough to make their day a little better.

My all time favorite is making people laugh. It gives me back so much satisfaction to make someone happy in this way, so I do it all the time. Make it a part of your day to look for small opportunities to share a laugh.

If humor is not your thing, you can always lend a hand or spend some time with someone who needs it.

5. Making a Difference

We all want to feel that we are doing something that has a positive impact on something or someone’s life.

It may not be a grand solution to a universal problem but perhaps just to make a difference to a person you care about. Regardless of scale we want to know that what we do makes a difference.

If we know what impact we are making with our work, or the things we do in our day, our motivation to do it rises. A few simple ways to make a difference is to teach, share and love.

6. Spending Time with People You Like

Because spending it with people you don’t just doesn’t make sense. But we do it all the time. Why? Is it because we don’t have a choice? In some cases, maybe so.

List down all the people you hang out with the most during the course of a week. Then list down the people you like. These are the ones that care about you, make you laugh, happy and inspired.

Compare the two list and see if there is a gap between the people you spend time with and the ones you want to spend more time with. Being aware of this gives you the power to shift your time towards people that give you energy, value and enrich your life.

They share and align with your highest values, appreciate you and allow you to be yourself.

7. Sprinkle in Some Adventure

Once in a while a sprinkle of adventure brings spice to a healthy routine. It doesn’t always have to an exotic adventure far away, though that is always an exciting prospect.

If that isn’t possible, a quick way to do this is to shift your focus from your norm and look at things with curious eyes. Pay attention to details, those things that were not always obvious when you are in a rush.

Slow down and look at familiar places with fresh eyes. See the changing colors in the afternoon light, the soft breeze and sunlight on your skin, hear sounds you did not pay attention to before, or the fresh smell of nature.

Fully use your senses and feel.

8. A Sense of Security

This is a big issue that breaks our sense of ease and comfort.

With a bad economy and unemployment on the rise, it is hard to feel a sense of security that is crucial to our sense of peace and wellbeing. Our habits can help us get to a place of security or lead us further from it.

Two of the best all time habit in this area is: To spend less than you earn (and invest the rest in a sensible plan according to your standards).

The second is to get out of debt (if you are currently in it), and try your best to stay out of it. These two things are your foundation to building up to a secure level.

Our standards may be different as to what makes us feel secure but unless you have these two elements under control, you will be fighting an uphill battle.

9. Mastering a Skill or Craft

Whether it is a skill you use at work or a hobby that you enjoy, elevating your skill level for a craft that you enjoy doing gives you more enjoyment every time you do it.

You want to reach a level of unconscious competence where you perform in flow. In this state, you are highly focused, less conscious of anything outside of your task and time flies.

You will love performing those tasks that you know you can perform in excellence.

10. Routines that Take Care of Your Mind, Body and Spirit

Make sure you get enough rest, proper nourishment and movement as part of your routines for health and energy.

Giving yourself some quiet time for reflection and to recharge yourself is essential for your well-being. Set this as a part of your schedule and weekly habit and work everything else around it.

You may accomplish more if you skip these important foundational health routines but in the long run, you will be less effective and feel less satisfied as you burn yourself out.

There are plenty of ways in which we can experience a more lasting sense of inner joy. Our different values mean different vehicles that lead us to sustained happiness. What are yours?


Zohaib Akhlaq is a Digital Media Specialist and Freelance writer. He also run a blog, dedicated to sharing advice on entrepreneurship and small business. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Linkedin.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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