7 Authentic sources of happiness

​In a previous article, I wrote about the factors which you may think lead to happiness but don’t e.g. money. You can read that article here. In this article I want to touch on authentic sources of happiness. The things which have been shown to be sources of happiness for almost everyone. If you are not as happy as you would like to be, these are the areas you need to look at first. By working on these areas, you can quickly boost your happiness, confidence and self-belief. You will have a more rounded life and generally feel better about yourself.

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In a previous article, I wrote about the factors which you may think lead to happiness but don’t e.g. money. You can read that article here. In this article I want to touch on authentic sources of happiness. The things which have been shown to be sources of happiness for almost everyone. If you are not as happy as you would like to be, these are the areas you need to look at first. By working on these areas, you can quickly boost your happiness, confidence and self-belief. You will have a more rounded life and generally feel better about yourself.

​7 Authentic sources of happiness

7 Authentic sources of happiness

​Whenever you are feeling unhappy with your life, rate yourself on the following 7 authentic sources of happiness and identify the areas of your life that could do with a little extra work. Your life is constantly changing so don’t be afraid to check regularly.

Whenever you are feeling unhappy with your life, rate yourself on the following 7 authentic sources of happiness and identify the areas of your life that could do with a little extra work. Your life is constantly changing so don’t be afraid to check regularly.

​1. Being optimistic

1. Being optimistic
authentic-sources-of-happiness-optimistic

​Neither you nor I know how life is going to pan out. I am sure that like me, you are determined to make the best of your life. You have things you would like to do and you may be determined to do them but you can’t be sure whether things are going to work out or not. You are left with two options:

Neither you nor I know how life is going to pan out. I am sure that like me, you are determined to make the best of your life. You have things you would like to do and you may be determined to do them but you can’t be sure whether things are going to work out or not. You are left with two options:
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    ​Believe that you can do them – optimismt
    Believe that you can do them – optimism
  • times-circle
    ​Believe that you can’t do them – pessimism
    Believe that you can’t do them – pessimism

​When you believe in your ability to live the life you want to live, you will be happier and you will try harder to make things happen. If you don’t believe that you ​have that level of control, you will be unhappier and give up much easier.

This is not about deluding yourself into thinking you can do the impossible. Ultimately, you can’t be sure what will happen so, the choice is between self-belief, happiness and a greater chance of success or; self-doubt, unhappiness and a lesser chance of success. Why would you not choose the optimistic option?

With optimism, you get to enjoy the journey of life. With pessimism, you are only happy when you have gotten exactly what you want and even then, that doesn’t last long. Be optimistic, believe in yourself and enjoy pursuing the life you want; whether you get everything you want or not.

Additional resource: Be optimistic


When you believe in your ability to live the life you want to live, you will be happier and you will try harder to make things happen. If you don’t believe that you don’t have that level of control, you will be unhappier and give up much easier.
This is not about deluding yourself into thinking you can do the impossible. Ultimately, you can’t be sure what will happen so, the choice is between self-belief, happiness and a greater chance of success or; self-doubt, unhappiness and a lesser chance of success. Why would you not choose the optimistic option?
With optimism, you get to enjoy the journey of life. With pessimism, you are only happy when you have gotten exactly what you want and even then, that doesn’t last long. Be optimistic, believe in yourself and enjoy pursuing the life you want; whether you get everything you want or not.
Additional resource: Be optimistic

​2. A comfortable standard of living

2. A comfortable standard of living
authentic-sources-of-happiness-comfort

​Modern life seems to be all about consumerism. You are constantly being marketed to and told that buying this one thing will make you happy in some shape or form. Of course, every company says that it is selling the one thing that will make you happy. You easily end up buying more than you need so you think that you need more money and a higher standard of living.

It has been shown again that money only makes you happier up to a certain point. After that, extra money often leads to extra pressures e.g. having to work longer hours, sacrificing family time and stress. I am not arguing that you should stop increasing your wealth at a certain point but once you have a comfortable standard of living; you should move the focus of your wealth increasing activities towards things that don’t require a lot of your work, time or energy i.e. savings and investments.

A comfortable standard of living is subjective. It is based on what you really need from life; not what you are told you want by marketers. Taking the time to determine what you really need and how much that costs will allow you to determine how much you really need to be making.

Being able to pay your bills and having a little to spare is an authentic source of happiness but sacrificing your life to make money for the sake of money is not. 


Modern life seems to be all about consumerism. You are constantly being marketed to told that buying this one thing will make you happy in some shape or form. Of course, every company is selling the one thing that will make you happy. You easily end up buying more than you need so you think that you need more money and a higher standard of living.

It has been shown again that money only makes you happier up to a certain point. After that, extra money often leads to extra pressures e.g. having to work longer hours, sacrificing family time and stress. I am not arguing that you should stop increasing your wealth at a certain point but once you have a comfortable standard of living; you should move the focus of your wealth increasing activities towards things that don’t require a lot of your work, time or energy i.e. savings and investments.
A comfortable standard of living is subjective. It is based on what you really need from life; not what you are told you want by marketers. Taking the time to determine what you really need and how much that costs will allow you to determine how much you really need to be making.

Being able to pay your bills and having a little to spare is an authentic source of happiness but sacrificing your life to make money for the sake of money is not. 

​3. Fun time

3. Fun time
authentic-sources-of-happiness-fun-time

​Following on from the previous point, many people sacrifice some or all the fun in their life to pursue a standard of living above what they really need. Fun is simply a way to release your inner child and enjoy being you. Whatever your hobbies and interests are, you need to make time for them.

Some people have fun reading a book or watching a movie while others need some physical activity, such as sports. Fun is subjective so you need to determine what works for you and make time for it in your schedule.

In addition to being enjoyable, fun is great for releasing stress and stimulating creativity. In fact, in her excellent book ‘The Artist’s Way’, Julia Cameron recommends taking yourself on a date at least once a week. By this she means treating yourself as wonderfully as you would treat your date and treating yourself to an experience you really enjoy.

Following on from the previous point, many people sacrifice some or all the fun in their life to pursue a standard of living above what they really need. Fun is simply a way to release your inner child and enjoy being you. Whatever your hobbies and interests are, you need to make time for them.

Some people have fun reading a book or watching a movie while others needs some physical activity such as sports. Fun is subjective so you need to determine what works for you and make time for it in your schedule.

In addition to being enjoyable, fun is great for releasing stress and stimulating creativity. In fact, in her excellent book ‘The Artist’s Way’, Julia Cameron recommends taking yourself on a date at least once a week. By this she means treating yourself as wonderfully as you would treat your date and treating yourself to an experience you really enjoy.

​Authentic happiness doesn't come from external factors; it comes from within

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​4. Social networks

4. Social networks
authentic-sources-of-happiness-social-network

​No, I don’t mean Facebook. In my opinion, you shouldn’t treat ‘Facebook Friends’ as friends. I think Facebook’s use of the word ‘Friend’ is one of cleverest pieces of marketing in history and has helped to make a success of the site. Personally, I only use Facebook for business and keeping in touch with actual friends whom I can’t meet up with because we live too far apart. If I can meet them in person but don’t, then I need to accept that they really are not that important to me so why would I need to read every detail of their life on Facebook?

If social media works for you, that is fantastic but you need to have a strong social network in the real world. People who can be there to support you when you are down. A good social network provides you with friends to share with, learn from and have fun with. The bond and connection shared with good friends is the most authentic source of happiness available to any of us.

Large parts of life can be enjoyed on your own but there is nothing that quite matches the joy of sharing a wonderful experience with a close friend whom you love and trust. You don’t need the thousands of fake friends that social media offers you. You just need a few close friends whom you can depend on and who can depend on you.

No, I don’t mean Facebook. In my opinion, you shouldn’t treat ‘Facebook Friends’ as friends. I think Facebook’s use of the word ‘Friend’ is one of cleverest pieces of marketing in history and has helped to make a success of the site. Personally, I only use Facebook for business and keeping in touch with actual friends whom I can’t meet up with because we live too far apart. If I can meet them in person but don’t, then I need to accept that they really are not that important to me so why would I need to read every detail of their life on Facebook?

If social media works for you, that is fantastic but you need to have a strong social network in the real world. People who can be there to support you when you are down. A good social network provides you with friends to share with, learn from and have fun with. The bond and connection shared with good friends is the most authentic source of happiness available to any of us.

Large parts of life can be enjoyed on your own but there is nothing that quite matches the joy of sharing a wonderful experience with a close friend whom you love and trust. You don’t need the thousands of fake friends that social media offers you. You just need a few close friends whom you can depend on who can depend on you.

​5. Extroversion

authentic-sources-of-happiness-extrovert
5. Extroversion

​Allow me to start this point by stating that I am an introvert. I find great peace in my own company and I don’t usually like large groups; I ​often feel isolated in them. But I have learned that being extroverted in certain circumstances has great benefits for my happiness.

I love being in small or mediums sized groups with shared interests where everyone can talk freely and express their point of view. I​ am filled with energy and enthusiams when I hear other points of view on topics of interest; especially when I know that the other person is as passionate about the topic as I am. I am even planning on starting an interview series where I chat with other coaches in my area.

I must stress that being extroverted in every area doesn’t work for me. In my younger days, I tried to squeeze myself into some groups where my face just didn’t fit. It affected my happiness in a negative way. So, if you are naturally introverted, finding the situations where you can be extroverted will be a great source of happiness.

If you are naturally extroverted, celebrate because it helps maintain your happiness.


Allow me to start this point by stating that I am an introvert. I find great peace in my own company and I don’t usually like large groups; I generally feel isolated them. But I have learned that being extroverted in certain circumstances has great benefits for my happiness.

I love being in small or mediums sized groups with shared interests where everyone can talk freely and express their point of view. It provides me with energy to hear other points of view on topics of interest; especially when I know that the other person is as passionate about the topic as I am. I am even planning on starting an interview series where I chat with other coaches in my area.

I must stress that being extroverted in every area doesn’t work for me. In my younger days, I tried to squeeze myself into some groups where my face just didn’t fit. It affected my happiness in a negative way. So, if you are naturally introverted, finding the situations where you can be extroverted will be a great source of happiness.

If you are naturally extroverted, celebrate because it helps maintain your happiness.

​6. Being purposeful

6. Being purposeful
authentic-sources-of-happiness-meaningful-work

​If, like me, you have worked in a few jobs which you really did not enjoy, you will know the importance of finding work that has meaning and purpose for you. We each have our own purpose in life. I like to think of your purpose as the way in which you are going to make the world a little better for you having been here.

When you take the time to discover your purpose, you start to look for purpose and meaning in everything that you do. That is an important point- it is you who puts the purpose into the work e.g. a teacher who does not care for purpose may see her job as a means to a pay check while a teacher who lives her purpose might see her job as a way to shape the future leaders of her society. Both views are equally valid. It is up to the individual teacher to determine the meaning and purpose of their job.

If you know your purpose and you want to live your purpose, you have several options including:

If, like me, you have worked in a few jobs which you really did not enjoy, you will know the importance of finding work that has meaning and purpose for you. We each have our own purpose in life. I like to think of your purpose as the way in which you are going to make the world a little better for you having been here.

When you take the time to discover your purpose, you start to look for purpose and meaning in everything that you do. That is an important point- it is you who puts the purpose into the work e.g. a teacher who does not care for purpose may see her job as a means to a pay check while a teacher who lives her purpose might see her job as a way to shape the future leaders of her society. Both views are equally valid. It is up to the individual teacher to determine the meaning and purpose of their job.

If you know your purpose and you want to live your purpose, you have several options including:
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    ​Finding a new job which allows you to live your purpose through your work
    Finding a new job which allows you to live your purpose through your work
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    ​Finding a way to live your purpose through your current work
    Finding a way to live your purpose through your current work
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    ​Finding voluntary work which allows you to live your purpose
    Finding voluntary work which allows you to live your purpose
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    ​Becoming involved in a club or society which allows to live your purpose
    Becoming involved in a club or society which allows to live your purpose

​It is up to you to determine the right option for you.

If you don’t know your purpose, the Living Purposefully Workbook will help.

​Negative to Positive

​You can identify some key changes to allow you start living a more positive life with my FREE eBook - From Negative to Positive.


Get Your FREE Copy Here



It is up to you to determine the right option for you.
If you don’t know your purpose, the Living Purposefully Workbook will help.

​7. Good physical health

7. Good physical health
authentic-sources-of-happiness-health

​You don’t’ have to be an Olympic athlete but maintaining good physical health is essential for happiness. It surely doesn’t surprise you that wellbeing (i.e. being well) is an authentic source of happiness. However, despite knowing this, most of us do not do enough to maintain our physical health.

Some of the key areas you need to consider here are:

You don’t’ have to be an Olympic athlete but maintaining good physical health is essential for happiness. It surely doesn’t surprise you that wellbeing (i.e. being well) is an authentic source of happiness. However, despite knowing this, most of us do not do enough to maintain our physical health.

Some of the key areas you need to consider here are:
  • heartbeat
    ​Rest
  • heartbeat
    Nutrition
  • heartbeat
    Flexitbility / Mobility
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    ​Training / Exercise

​When you get enough sleep each night, eat reasonably healthy, get regular exercise and maintain your mobility, you will have taken giant strides towards happiness. Together they allow you to:

When you get enough sleep each night, eat reasonably healthy, get regular exercise and maintain your mobility, you will have taken giant strides towards happiness. Together they allow you to:
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    ​Recover from your daily exertions
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    ​Release stress
  • heartbeat
    Provide your body with the essential nutrients
  • heartbeat
    Boost your positivity by releasing endorphins
    Boost your positive by releasing endorphins
  • heartbeat
    ​Increase your resilience
    Increase your resilience

​There are many other benefits but these alone will help you make a great start towards boosting your happiness.

There are many other benefits but these alone will help you make a great start towards boosting your happiness.

​If you are struggling for confidence and happiness, Unbreakable Self Confidence will get you started on the right path.


​Conclusion

​This article has focused on authentic sources of happiness. The things you can consistently focus on to give yourself the best chance of maintaining a constant stream of happiness in your life. There will always be ups and downs in life but when you take care of these authentic sources of happiness, you can’t fail to ensure that most of your life is spent with a happy, positive outlook. In a previous article, I focused on common misconceptions about where your happiness comes from. I hope that you will use both articles to help you find the best ways to maintain your happiness.

This article has focused on authentic sources happiness. The things you can consistently focus on to give yourself the best chance of maintaining a constant stream of happiness in your life. There will always be ups and downs in life but when you take care of these authentic sources of happiness, you can’t fail to ensure that most of your life is spent with a happy, positive outlook. In a previous article, I focused on common misconceptions about where your happiness comes from. I hope that you will use both articles to help you find the best ways to maintain your happiness.