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Finding happiness is not so elusive an endeavor as you might think!

Who doesn't want to find happiness in their life? Sure, a character like Scrooge
may not be interested. However, almost all of humanity makes finding happiness
a primary goal. However, the answer to the question, 'What is happiness?' depend
s on your definition. Some people believe that happiness is dependent on externa
l conditions, such as wealth, good looks, the admiration of others or the ideal
mate. When you base finding happiness on such external criteria, you're apt to
be following a path that never succeeds. Here we take another approach to achiev
ing happiness and contentment in your life.
External conditions, such as the examples above, can change, sometimes in a hear
tbeat. Life is full of ups and downs, so when you hang your happiness 'hat' on c
oncepts which are fleeting and can reverse without warning, you're fighting a lo
sing battle. Although a few lucky individuals may attain and maintain their goal
s, this still doesn't explain why a wealthy person may also be extremely unhappy
. If riches is your criteria for finding happiness, you may well find that, alon
g the road of life, your financial status may eventually fail to sustain happine
ss. Good looks gradually fade, people who once found you worthy of admiration no
longer find you and your values quite so admirable, or that ideal mate decides
to fly the coop. As you go through life, your state of contentment and inward ha
ppiness can evaporate when you depend on others to provide it.
If you truly want to attain lifelong happiness, try searching inwardly. Happines
s of this type is predicated on what satisfies your soul. For example, maybe you
r parents have pushed you to be a doctor or lawyer, telling you that this sort o
f success and financial gain will shield you from the ups and downs of life. You
, on the other hand, have a passion for the arts. While your parents and friends
mean well, pursuing a goal that gives you no personal satisfaction is ultimatel
y a recipe for unhappiness in the future. You'll always wonder what might have b
een. The moral here is that finding happiness means pursuing goals which nurture
your passions. While becoming an actor, artist or writer may not bring you the
automatic financial security of more lucrative occupations, if your personal pas
sions are ignited, you stand a far better chance of finding happiness that lasts
Another point to consider when searching for lifelong contentment: too many of u
s 'outsource' our own contentment, depending on another individual or individual
s to create our happiness. Love can be an addictive emotion, where only a mate c
an complete you. This idea is an easy rationalization, subjugating your personal
happiness, making it the responsibility of another person. Your judgment may we
ll be clouded by the proverbial rose colored glasses. This means you tend to ov
erlook characteristics and traits of your mate which are problematic, while infl
ating those which you find 'just perfect'. This type of rationalizing tends to f
alter over time. It's unfortunate for both parties, as your partner may be emplo
ying the same criteria. However, the truth of the relationship eventually surfac
es. Factors you and they chose to ignore in the beginning of the relationship be
come major annoyances. This is when the 'just perfect' patterns tend to fade, ma
king an eventual breakup almost guaranteed.
If you rely on your good looks in finding happiness, this superficial attribute
doesn't last forever. It's then that character and a joyful personality count.
It's easy to see that finding happiness in your life depends on you following yo
ur dreams, establishing criteria of an internal nature and being happy with who
you are, pursuing your own natural potential. It's ironic that this is what true
happiness consists of, with so few of us applying this approach.