How Accurate Is Your Happiness Compass?

How Accurate Is Your Happiness Compass?

There’s no doubt happiness is very much dependent on how we see the world.

That doesn’t mean it’s all made up in our minds, but that there are always opportunities to focus on what’s going well OR what’s not going well, on problems OR on solutions.

Knowing where to “look for” happiness is key and this article, via Psychology Today by William van Gordon explains the idea further …


  • All our choices are influenced by the wish to be happy and avoid suffering.
  • Searching for happiness is normal, but most people have a misaligned happiness compass.
  • Because the external world is unpredictable and impermanent, it can never bring us true happiness.
  • By learning to stop and simply be, we can experience a form of happiness that is not reliant on external factors.

We are biologically, psychologically, and spiritually hardwired to seek out living conditions that will minimize the amount of suffering we experience while maximizing our level of happiness. This applies to all aspects of our life, from choosing who we should have a relationship with, how to make money, and how to fill our free time to deciding what to eat for lunch and what clothes to wear.

Some people take the time to stop and think about how to become happier, which may lead to a lifestyle change, such as taking up an exercise routine, practicing meditation, changing jobs, or moving to another country. However, it doesn’t matter whether a choice is made consciously or subconsciously, whether it is instinctive or premeditated, or whether it relates to a major or minor detail of our life. All our choices are influenced by these two basic driving forces—the wish to be happy and the wish to avoid suffering.

Even when we make choices for people we care about, such as family members, the same underlying driving factors apply. For example, if we decide to work extra hours to save money to pay for our child’s future education, we do this because despite the extra work it will cause, we feel happier knowing that this particular aspect of our child’s future will be taken care of.

A misaligned happiness compass

Seeking to improve our level of happiness is a process that is happening all the time and is a perfectly normal thing to do. However, a problem arises because most people have allowed their “happiness compass” to become misaligned, resulting in a flawed understanding, or perhaps no understanding at all, of what it means to be truly happy…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE