One of the things people always want to seek is happiness. Despite numerous scientific breakthroughs we’ve made, the topic of what makes a truly happy person is something that still bogs down a lot of people. What’s surprising is that despite our rampant advancement in technology, the number of people seeking happiness is also rising. As I’ve recently just got through a mid-life crisis, I know by experience how it feels to seek happiness and would like to write this blog post to help someone out there looking for it.
A truly happy person is a person who is satisfied with their life. They don’t seek empty happiness and instead seek happiness with satisfaction. They don’t compare themselves to others because they think based on themselves instead of anybody else. Lastly, they love themselves enough for them to take care of their being.
In this blog post, we are going to discuss what makes a person truly happy. Furthermore, we will talk about the paradox of happiness, midpoint theory, and the hierarchical structure of what makes a person happy. By finishing the blog post, you will understand how to chase happiness properly and what you need to do to be happy.
What is a truly happy person?
A truly happy person is someone satisfied with their life.
People aren’t happy despite trying to chase happiness because they pursue the wrong things.
To explain that, let me introduce you to the Paradox of Happiness.
There are lots of deep reasoning behind the paradox of happiness. One of which is the hierarchical structure which we will discuss in the next section.
For now, I would like to talk about the basic principle of the Paradox of Happiness and go up from there.
The Paradox of Happiness states that: “The more you chase happiness, the less you’ll become happy.”
That’s why it is a Paradox.
According to Meriam Webster, a paradox is a statement that is seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense and yet is perhaps true.
The key term here is contradictory, and the contradiction is the more you chase happiness, the less happy you’ll become.
That’s why it is easy to see people always chasing happiness, but when you ask them if they’re happy, they still believe they aren’t.
This is also why you’ll see alcoholics drinking a lot in hopes of chasing happiness, but most of them still feel empty.
That is the paradox of happiness in action.
I’ve made a YouTube video explaining the paradox of happiness in detail. If you want to hear my complete explanation for the paradox, you can find the video here.
I make self-improvement videos on YouTube, and I gladly invite you to check my Channel to learn more about personal development. You can find my Channel by clicking here.
If chasing happiness leads to unhappiness, then what makes us happy? How can we be truly happy?
Well, we should learn to chase the right things, and pursuing happiness itself is not one of them.
The thing that you should chase is satisfaction.
The moment you’re satisfied with life, you will also be happy.
That’s why in my video, I explained that even if my life seems boring, I am happy and contented.
Instead of chasing happiness, chase satisfaction. Chase things that would make you grateful for the life you have.
Chase the things that would make you excited to wake up every day.
For me, that is sharing things. That’s why this website and my Channel were born.
For you, it might be a dream that you’ve always dreamed about.
So the point is this.
What makes a person truly happy is being satisfied with their life, dreams, and everything they have. These people don’t seek happiness; instead, they chase satisfaction in which they are finding ways to be grateful to be happy.
Now to my second point.
My next point is the midpoint theory.
If you’ve watched the video, my guess is by now; you understand what this is.
But basically, the midpoint theory states that we spend 90% of our time in the midpoint.
Now, let’s look at the graph.
The midpoint theory states that no matter what we do, we will always be in the middle.
In the graph, that is the mid-point. In the mid-point, you won’t feel anything.
You won’t feel happy or sad. It is what you feel when you say that you feel neutral.
The thing here is no matter what we do; we will always go back to the mid-point.
When you get happy, you feel a burst of happiness, such as the first spike in the graph.
However, it will still go back to the mid-point, as shown.
When you feel sad, it goes down. Thus, you feel very sad for a brief moment. However, as with being happy, it will go back again to the mid-point.
Some try to stay away from the midpoint simply because it’s boring. It’s neutral.
So, when they feel that their happiness is now going down, they try their best to put it back up again.
That’s why people chasing happiness tend to look for more. More and more happiness.
But as always, the level of happiness will still go back down.
Because it always goes down, people become frustrated and think that they’re not happy.
The truth is, it’s normal.
The moment I realized the mid-point theory, I began to understand what it means to be happy.
Being happy means learning how to be satisfied in the mid-point.
That’s why I say that instead of chasing happiness, learn to chase satisfaction.
Learn to be grateful for what you currently have.
If you ever want to chase things, make sure to chase the ones that will make you satisfied with the current life you have.
Do not chase for things that will make you happy for a short while. Instead, learn to be satisfied in the mid-point by being grateful.
How to be grateful?
I talked a lot about gratitude here, but how can we be grateful?
You need to understand that being grateful takes a lot of practice.
Being grateful is not as simple as taking these steps then you’re instantly grateful. Instead, it is a daily practice that you get better over time.
The way to practice this is to write three to five things that you should be grateful for every day.
When I was starting to do this, I felt weird doing it. Imagine just taking a few minutes every day to write things I am grateful for.
But the more I write these things, I realize that I have many things that I should be grateful for.
I learned to appreciate my life.
Therefore, I became happier in the mid-point. I am satisfied with my current life, and because of that, I learned how to be grateful for the things I have.
If you need a tutorial on how to do this, I have a video you can watch. If you prefer reading, I made a blog post discussing how I do journaling since I incorporate writing things I’m grateful for in my daily journaling. Here is the tutorial: How to reflect on your day? | A Complete Guide
Now that I’ve discussed the basics of happiness let’s talk about the hierarchical side of the paradox of happiness.
What makes a person truly happy?
What makes a person truly happy is that first, they meet their basic needs such as shelter, food, purpose, and financial stability. It was found that basic needs are necessary to increase happiness to a certain extent. After that, love and companionship bring further joy, leading to long-lasting relationships that bring true happiness.
It is no surprise that money can buy happiness but only at a certain point.
Experts have found that basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, and many more are essential to happiness.
These needs have a significant impact on happiness.
It is hard to be happy if you can’t even eat well, don’t have clothes to wear, or have no roof to cover you on winter or rainy days.
That’s why one of the primary things needed to make a person truly happy is their needs.
Even if we talk about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, it is still apparent that basic needs are essential.
That’s also why money is essential to happiness.
However, the importance of money to happiness has a limit.
A study reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America found out that happiness is directly proportional to income.
They’ve found out that people who earn more tend to be happier simply because they have more money to buy their basic needs.
However, once we have enough money to buy our basic needs, happiness peaks from there.
In the study, they found out that an annual income of $75,000 brings a person’s happiness to its peak.
However, there is a problem.
That study was done in 2010, so we need new data if you include inflation and current events.
A more recent study published in Nature Human Behavior found that the peak annual income to peak happiness is now at $95,000.
Now, we are getting the fuller picture.
That’s what I mean by the hierarchical structure of the paradox of happiness.
While chasing empty happiness is not a good idea, learning that we can do other things to make ourselves happier helps.
The first thing we need to do is to make sure that we have our basic needs in which we need enough money to buy them.
That way, it will be easier to be happy at the midpoint. It can be challenging for us to be pleased if our basic needs aren’t satisfied.
Lastly, we need to understand that love is also necessary.
We are social creatures, and the feeling of belongingness and safety is vital for our happiness.
That’s why it is common to see people saying that a loving relationship is a key to happiness.
For that, I agree.
And I am not only talking about romantic relationships. It can be our relationship with our friends, family, and people who are around us.
That’s also why people incorporate loneliness or being alone for unhappiness.
A study published in Personality and Individual Differences found out that happiness is significantly related to extraversion.
In context, extraversion means being expressive or social.
With all of these in mind, we can now understand what it means to be truly happy.
Another study published in Personality and Individual Differences sampled 703 adults aged 18-87 and measured their social skills, positive relations, and psychological wellbeing.
The result is that they found that social skills correlate with both positive relations with others and psychological wellbeing.
Combine the understanding of the paradox of happiness, being grateful for the midpoint of our lives, satisfying our basic needs, and loving relationships, and we will eventually find happiness.
I know it can be pretty hard to do all of this, so what helped me was to start journaling.
Thus, I highly recommend you check my blog article about journaling or watch my video about the topic I gave earlier. You can also find the blog post here: How to reflect on your day? | A Complete Guide
I wish you all the best on your journey to happiness and if you want to learn more, feel free to check my other posts or my YouTube channel.
What’s next? How about finding out 30 specific ways to tell if a person is truly happy? That’s right! After knowing what makes a person truly happy, let’s find ways to know if someone is happy. You can find it here: 30 Ways To Find Out if a Person is Really Happy
“Only the things I love.“
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If you’re following me, you’ll know that I believe it is essential to have some tools, whether it’s for personal development or lifestyle in general.
So, here are the things I love.
If you want to learn things for free, then I recommend you to watch my YouTube Channel. Click the Button Below to go straight into my Channel. 🙂
Okay, let me first explain my Channel.
I believe that I really can’t explain everything too well on my blog. That’s why I created a YouTube Channel so I can easily explain a lot of things. Plus, I believe that Video Sharing is the future.
The next thing is books. Books are, for me, one of the cheapest ways to get invaluable information. We can learn personal development, finance, career, relationships, and many more from books.
Here, I will be listing my favorite books in different categories.
- For Beginners – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey – Personal development has a lot of concepts and ideas to learn. Thus it can be really hard for beginners to know where to start. Thus, I recommend this book since all the basic concepts of personal development are here(except finance, check what I recommended for that)
- Productivity – The One Thing by Gary Keller – This book teaches us the power of focusing on one thing which is the ultimate source of productivity. The concepts taught are what I am using to constantly publish YouTube videos while maintaining this website.
- Busy? – Make Time by Jack Knapp – This book teaches us how to make time for the things we love. The concept is really simple but I think that makes it a book worth reading.
- Health – Lifespan by Dr.Sinclair – This Book teaches about the latest scientific research on lifespan. In his book, he has shared numerous things he is doing to slow down his aging process. This can be as easy as eating less which he recommends.
- Finance – The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason – Perhaps one of the first books I’ve read about Finance, this book for me is the best if we are talking about learning basic finance such as basic saving and investing. The concepts are very simple but effective.
Take this advice as a grain of salt.
I don’t recommend buying Audiobooks one by one. I mean, audiobooks can be quickly finished by listening while working out or doing some mindless tasks.
So here is to save you some money. Just go for a monthly subscription to Audible. I believe that you will save a lot of money with that plus, they usually give freebies to anyone starting.
My Audiobook Recommendation will always be the same as my book recommendations, but I personally like The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. I like how she is so casual while reading her book.
- Drakopoulos, Stavros A. “The Paradox of Happiness: Towards an Alternative Explanation.” Journal of Happiness Studies, vol. 9, no. 2, 2007, pp. 303–15. Crossref, doi:10.1007/s10902-007-9054-5.
- “High Income Improves Evaluation of Life but Not Emotional Well-Being.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 107, no. 38, 2010, pp. 16489–93. Crossref, doi:10.1073/pnas.1011492107.
- Jebb, Andrew T., et al. “Happiness, Income Satiation and Turning Points around the World.” Nature Human Behaviour, vol. 2, no. 1, 2018, pp. 33–38. Crossref, doi:10.1038/s41562-017-0277-0.
- Argyle, Michael, and Luo Lu. “Happiness and Social Skills.” Personality and Individual Differences, vol. 11, no. 12, 1990, pp. 1255–61. Crossref, doi:10.1016/0191-8869(90)90152-h.
- Segrin, Chris, and Melissa Taylor. “Positive Interpersonal Relationships Mediate the Association between Social Skills and Psychological Well-Being.” Personality and Individual Differences, vol. 43, no. 4, 2007, pp. 637–46. Crossref, doi:10.1016/j.paid.2007.01.017.