BLOG: “What makes you happy?” — How to cultivate happiness

“What makes you happy?” someone asked me recently. I couldn’t respond to such a profound question without doing some self-reflection.

Honestly, I don’t claim to be 100 percent happy, even though life is good and meaningful. I have a purpose. But dwelling on making myself happy has never been my habit. I strive for feeling my best every day—being energetic, yet calm—free of fear, worry, anxiety, and depression—being able to manage stress—and appreciating what I have, not focusing on what I don’t have. It’s a prerequisite for happiness.

Author Sheryl Sandberg said happiness is made up of numerous small moments of joy. The more you experience joyous emotions, the happier you are. In my experience, it takes effort and desire to build a happy life. Half of the battle is won if you are determined to be happy. I say this because I have witnessed people who have flushed happiness away, and not aware of it.

You can create your own misery by behaving recklessly and giving up easily in your daily life. English poet William Ernest Henley wrote in his Invictus poem, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” Yes, you can lift yourself up by creating positive experiences so you can feel positive emotions. There is joy in much of the things you do if you pay attention. You just have to discover those magical moments. Let me share some of mine.