On Happiness and Blissfulness: DEFINITION

Happy PeopleThere have been lots of things said and unsaid about happiness and blissfulness. I have been in my personal quest of happiness and blissfulness for some years. And to me, that involves the “scientific method”, that is, a method that allows replication of results.

In my case, I usually draw upon the etimology of words in order to unravel their meaning. “Blissfulness” comes from old English blis, also bliðs “bliss, merriment, happiness, grace, favor,” from Proto-Germanic *blithsjo (source also of Old Saxon blidsea, blizza), from *blithiz “gentle, kind”. Originally mostly of earthly happiness; influenced by association with bless and blithe. As for “happiness”, the OED gives the following definition:  The state of being happy. Quite an abstract definition, isn’t it? Therefore, the tricky thing to be happy lies in the lack of a clear, precise, concrete definition of happiness, because what does it mean that “state of being happy”? Everyone may feel that state in a different way. Something that may be very valid for me, may not be valid at all for you and otherwise. Anyway, it seems clear to me that “being happy” involves two dimensions: one spiritual or mental (and by “mental” I don’t mean “rational”, but the mind and the brain that, to me, are the generators of what other people call “spirituality”), and the other one is physical or bodily.

Some time ago, I enrolled in a really recommendable 6-week course entitled A Life of Happiness and Fulfilment taught by professor Raj Raghunathan, author of the book If You Are So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy. I really encourage you to take up the course if you feel identify with that thing of “being so smart and not happy”. Over the six weeks of this course, you will see different theoretic concepts endorsed by scientific research and, then, each week, you will have to do an exercise to help you understand and incorporate those concepts and knowledge into your daily life. I am not going to go deep into those concepts here, because you can follow that course or find out about them on your own if you wish so. However, I will share the first exercise you can do in order to live a life of happiness and fulfilment. This exercise may look simple, but it’s not if you take it seriously:

Step 1: Write down your own definition of happiness (not long not short). What really matters is to make it your own definition. It’s your definition!
Step 2: Write down 3 or 4 things that make you happy.
Step 3: Make sure these 3 or 4 things are included in your own definition of happiness.
Paso 4: Over a period of 7 days, incorporate that definitions and things into your daily life.

In case it helps you, I will share my own definition of happiness at this moment in my life as well as the 4 things I do to “live” my definition:

To me happiness is the joy of reciprocally sharing knowledge, love and afection with empathy, authentic smile and genuine laughter; happiness is the ‘music’ of my authentic self.

1. to share new things
2. to show love and affection
3. to meet people and get to know them
4. make ‘music’ with somebody else.

Additionally, you can write a letter to yourself in which you express your true commitment to live a happier life and say what you are going to do to achieve it (get new habits, get rid of old ones…) and, also, what you will do when you come up with (and you will, believe me) some inner resistances on your way.

Here you are two links you may find interesting:
If you’re so smart, why aren’t you happy?
The pursuit of happiness

I will be back in 7 days and I will share a second exercise with you. Til then, be happy!

Michael Thallium
Global Greatness Coach
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