Sources of Happiness
- Inner Contentment with what you have
- Inner Worth
- Not Comparing yourself to others
- Understanding Happiness is different than Pleasure
Happiness vs. Pleasure
According to the Dalai Lama, true happiness begins with the mind. In order to be truly happy, you must develop a compassionate, kind, gentle nature toward others (i.e., ALL others, including all human beings, animals, and nature). Many people mistake pleasure (e.g., lavish things, bigger house, rich food, etc.) with happiness because these pleasures make you feel elated in the moment; however, over time this feeling will fade, and you will resume your previous level of happiness. In times of tough decisions (e.g., moving to a beautiful place for a job you don’t think you would enjoy), ask yourself what would make you happier, not what would give you more pleasure. In the above example, moving to the beautiful place would surely give you lots of pleasure (i.e., amazing views, perfect climate, etc.), but working in a job you don’t like would most likely make you very unhappy.
If you’re interested in reading more about the Dalai Lama’s view of how to attain happiness, check out The Art of Happiness by The Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler, M.D.