Is the purpose of life to be happy? If so, that’s a pretty tall order for humans given the range and nuance of our emotions. Plus being in a constant state of happiness might not be as amazing as it sounds.
It reminds me of the children’s book Pricilla and the Pink Planet. Pricilla lives on a planet covered entirely in shades of pink and is fed up with the singularity of it all. While adventuring in search of other colors she meets the Queen who has banished all but pink underground and out of sight. Pricilla convinces her that without all the other colors, pink isn’t very special after all.
It’s the same with happiness.
If we felt happy all the time, our lives would be pretty boring. Despite “being happy” we probably wouldn’t feel anything special since “happy” would be the default. Luckily humans don’t hold on to a single emotion for very long (some say it’s as brief as 90 seconds!). Unsurprisingly, we’re wired to seek out the most pleasurable feelings, even if they are fleeting, like joy, contentment and satisfaction. In short, happiness.
So how do humans get happy?
According to science, happiness is experienced by cultivating meaning and purpose. What we each find meaningful is different, but research shows practicing gratitude, engaging in acts of kindness and nurturing a positive mindset are all ways that fill us with a sense of purpose and that makes humans happy.
Here are a few practices to help you cultivate meaning and purpose in your life, and, we hope, bring you happiness: