Experiencing only good things, as contradictory as it may sound, won’t make you happy. Neither will experiencing only bad emotions. We need them both in a balance but also with the understanding that pain we experience is not necessarily a bad thing. Now, you may sometimes feel that you only experience negativity in your life, this is a widespread feeling nowadays. But this is not true – it is caused by the abundance of choice and what follows a very entitled attitude. This can be changed with gratitude (more on this in the following lessons).
When emotions that make you feel bad are present in your life, most probably your life is more meaningful, as some reports say. People who feel happy all the time adopt a very hedonistic attitude, directed on only taking from life. People who report feeling they have a more meaningful life, report lower happiness level initially. They are focused on giving, contributing to society, and making a positive change in the world (e.g., environmental awareness). They experience a much more comprehensive range of emotions, including the difficult ones. But what is interesting, in the long term their happiness levels surpasses that of the “hedonistic happiness” group.
Hence when you want to create long and sustainable happiness, you should focus less on your own happiness and more on that of others. Being empathic, giving, appreciative and grateful are some of the things that will shift focus from ME to US (people, planet, community) and even though will open your eyes on more problems that exist outside of your own entity, will eventually make your life rich and fulfilling.