Rule #1: Don’t pursue it.
Searching for happiness is a chief source of unhappiness. Why? Because happiness is a by-product, not of searching for it, but of getting busy with other things.
Which things? See Rule #2.
Rule #2: Get busy on things that produce happiness as a by-product.
- Work on your aspirations. Produce something beautiful. Or something useful. Develop your capabilities.
- Make someone else happy.
- Be optimistic about your future.
Or in the words of Gordon Livingston, in his book Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart:
The three components of happiness are something to do, someone to love, and something to look forward to.
Rule #3: Embrace periods of unhappiness.
They are natural. Not only that, they are valuable. We know we are happy only in contrast to moments when we are not.
This post is inspired by Beyond Wealth: The Road Map to a Rich Life by Alexander Green.