We are happy because we feel well in our body. Partly true, studies show that illness and physical appearances are not long term predictors of our happiness level (see the studies from Prof Seligman from PenU). Rather, we are happy because we take care of ourselves: when we practice sports, go to the fitness club, take a long hot bath after running through the cold morning mist, or enjoy a healthy breakfast, …
We actually feel happier when we express positive feelings, express gratitude, laugh out loud, … But like a good movie, this instant happiness does not necessarily last.
Lasting happiness is achieved when we contemplate with pride the outcome of our past work. These successes and achievements make up who we are. We not only feel great when we look back at them, but also when we apply our skills and expertise, and achieve a state of flow to craft these personal accomplishments.
Lasting happiness is also reinforced by the people around us, our family and friends: we all need quiet moments for ourselves, but try it, living completely alone over a longer period is no fun.
And finally, what is it that creates the strongest and longer lasting feeling of happiness? Meaning. This is about the leadership of our life, about having a passion and putting in massive energy to live it fully, about articulating our vision and implementing our plan to get there, one step at a time. There are tools and templates like the vision board to help us define this meaningfully, but in the end, it is up to us individually to design our own way and enjoy every step of the journey!
All the best for the upcoming holiday, the time to enjoy, to reunite and to think. Meaningfully.