How to find happiness in 3 simple steps

For millennia, many philosophers, sociologists, and psychologists have wondered and researched what makes people happy and written countless books and articles. The answers have differed over time, and even from culture to culture. An American living in a big city might be interested to know how to be happy alone while an indigenous person in a village in Eritrea might not be able to imagine a happy life without being surrounded by others. It’s a personal choice and there are no rights or wrongs.

To be a happy person means knowing what works for you, what doesn’t, and also developing the ability to make changes over time – as your wants and desires inevitably change, and there might be some finetuning to do regularly as well.

But before we even go there, let’s start with asking, what is happiness? What is this thing we call happiness? A constant smile on our faces? Does it mean not feeling sad at all? Does it mean not having any “negative” emotions? Or on the flip side, does it mean continuous euphoria? Or could happiness simply mean contentment?

Staying away from emotional highs and lows is actually a very good idea for anyone who wants to master how to be happy. Happiness can mean joyful contentment, an honest acceptance of the things you’d like to change in your life, and accepting those things you might not be able to change at all – such as losing someone you love or the passing of time.

There are inevitable rules of physics on Earth – time, space, gravity, birth and death being some of those. To be happy means making peace with the forces that are larger than us, to accept them wholeheartedly. We need food and shelter to survive, and there’s just no way around this. We need to form emotional connections, whether with other people, children, animals, or plants. Earth is a relational place and even if we want to know how to be happy alone, we still need to know how to be happy in a relationship.

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How to become happy – 1st step

We start by accepting the realities of the wider cosmos (as mentioned above), and the present realities of our own individual life – our current financial situation, health situation, interests, relationships, work, social life, etc. We take a look at these life areas not to judge them but to understand them – to see what we have manifested until now and how it affected us.

Deep acceptance has to be the first step in any happiness regimen. You might currently owe banks money and have student loans too, and all this might cause you stress, but if you can take a step back and look at the larger picture, you might be able to see that it’s a blessing to live in the first world and be able to go to school. It’s also a blessing that there are institutions willing to give you money so you can do what you want right now.

Perspective plays a huge role in our understanding of how to be happier. One person might be very happy to have a bank approve her mortgage, another might resent the fact that she has to pay a mortgage. One person might be very happy to be able to walk again (after an accident etc), another might focus on how much time she couldn’t walk.

Realize that your unique perspective is affecting your acceptance of situations, and thus your happiness.


2nd step – a secret you’ll want to remember forever

Here’s something you won’t find in most self-help books or articles. Psychics and spiritual masters who have been helping people for decades agree on one thing – that the universe is neither a positive nor a negative place. It can be an abundant place or a place of dearth. It can be a happy place or a sad place. The universe itself has no choice; it’s perfectly neutral.

At the end of the day, it’s us people who project our numerous beliefs and emotions onto the universe and come to conclusions about its nature. Some of us believe the world is a crazy place – what happens then is we continue to come across evidence to back our belief, such as social posts, news, etc. We fail to see all the non-crazy that’s happening right there in front of us.

Some of us believe there’s economic inequality and that only the rich get richer. Again, what happens next is we continue to see news of the super-rich, top companies etc. We fail to realize just how many people around us are leading abundant lives feeling confident about their future. We only see the ones who aren’t doing well, because we subconsciously want to prove our beliefs to ourselves.

The universe is 100% neutral. It’s neither good nor bad. It’s neither rich nor poor. It’s neither healthy nor unhealthy. All it is, is a mirror to each person.

So, if in your life you have elements of discontent, try to see how your beliefs affect what you create. Take responsibility for your life and for your own happiness. It’s not the universe’s job to forcefully give you happiness, yet it’ll naturally give it to you if you believe it can.

If you’re wondering things like what to do with my life, how to improve things etc., just realize that you’re the one who’s creating everything. It’s okay not to know what you want to do – accept that fully if that is the case right now. See it as an opportunity to explore different options.

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3rd step – accepting your emotions

You know how so many advisors and friends continually tell us to be grateful etc.? In order to feel such gratitude, you might first have to accept the level of ingratitude in you. It’s okay to not feel grateful – the universe won’t punish you for it. (remember, the universe is neutral). The universe couldn’t care less about how you force yourself to feel grateful.

If you can be honest about how you feel, including even if you really hate your life or life in general – that’s okay too. If you’re feeling depressed, be the most depressed person on earth that day – don’t fight to be happy. It won’t work. Let depression come to you and express itself, and it can then just as easily leave.

Don’t be attached to happiness. If you can allow all your emotions, positive and negative, come and move through you with ease, you’ll find happiness and continual contentment. This takes practice and it also means that you accept that you can hold multiple feelings at once. You can be happy about things yet feel sadness when you hear that a friend just lost a job.

You have a big heart. It can hold so many emotions at once. You can feel jealousy and still be happy – all you need to do is ask your jealousy where it’s coming from. Be curious about it. Perhaps it’s coming from a belief about your own perceived level of adequacy or lack of it. Maybe it’s coming from your personal belief that the universe isn’t an abundant, generous place – other people have things and you don’t.

Each emotion serves a purpose – you can be content while you feel a wide range of different things. Understand that each emotion is there to give you information about your beliefs.

To be a happy person, practice acceptance – acceptance of the universe, of your past and current life situation, and a deep acceptance of your emotions. You can harbor many so-called negative emotions in your heart as long as you can be friends with them and listen to them. Don’t push them away. That’s the ultimate key to happiness – realizing your own humanity and the usefulness of each emotion.


Your most important takeaway

The most important takeaway from this post is realizing that even though you’re a complex human being your happiness can have a simple formula. You don’t need to-do lists or retail therapy. You just need to practice acceptance. Fully embracing where you are before you can change anything. Really be in it, of it, with it. See it as a teacher.

Pushing things away or ignoring them doesn’t make them go away. They come back to you in different forms and sometimes in even bigger forms – such as debt, or relationship problems. Practice deep acceptance of things small and big. Accept your past denials and avoidances. And accept the fact that such strategies didn’t work.

Finally, always remember that the universe is neutral. It will be there for you if you decide to make your dreams come true. And it will also still be there just as it is if you decide to continue your life the same way. It won’t judge you or punish you – unless you believe that’s what it does. It’s just a mirror to human souls, for us to be able to see ourselves better. It bends and molds based on our beliefs and projections. It’s up to you to use this to your advantage!

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