What is happiness? | Through the eyes of a coach Stellenbosch Business School Skip to main content
Happiness day
A professional Coach delivers a personal account of what happiness means, and what it takes to be happy.

For me, the path to “happiness” is to make a conscious decision to start working on being happier than you are. You do not need a lot of money or answers to make this decision. It is simple: “I want to be happier than I am now.”

The next thing is to start a list of things that you are happy about, or thankful for. Start your list and add something every day - read it aloud so that it sinks in.

Make time to be with people who are happy, positive and successful, and try and avoid giving your energy to people who are negative, who complain and gossip.

The next question is: “Why do I want to be happier? And What would happiness look like when I have achieved it?” We all see happiness differently and it is important that we create our own vision of happiness.

Then follows the ‘what’ – “What do I want to be happier about and why do I believe that these things would make me happier?” Until we have brought these questions to the surface from our sub-conscious, we cannot really begin working on being happier.

Through the eyes of a coach, who is a mother, sister, working professional and human-being, true happiness comes with working on precious relationships. Relating and connecting to beings (human and otherwise, like nature, flowers, animals, and water) is what keeps us alive. We need to spend time on things that make us happy, and not what makes those around us happy.

Everyone is responsible for their own happiness and the sooner we rid ourselves of the responsibility to make others happy, the sooner we can work on our own happiness. I have learnt this over time, and I am still working on it daily. I had to learn to set boundaries around my time spent doing things for others so that I could make more time for what makes me happy.

It has been proven over and over that positivity is the key. When we focus on what is good and well, and we take part in it, we create flow – the feeling one gets by being totally immersed in something like an enjoyable book, or tasks which are enjoyable.

So, what give us flow? Focusing on your strengths; those things that we are good at and successful with. The more we play to our strengths, the more we enjoy being immersed in the things that give us flow, and the more satisfaction and motivation we derive from it, the more it reinforces the cycle.

So, is happiness even the right word to use? Perhaps not? Perhaps the world overrates happiness, and we need to create our own word for it - a word that is ours and that we can relate to, based on the above process.

Is it easy to go on this journey? No. But it is so extremely rewarding.


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