What is Happiness? Happiness vs. Fulfillment


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Happiness is very subjective. What makes me “happy” might not make you “happy”. Also, how I define happiness may be different than how you define happiness. Happiness, therefore, is a very difficult topic for anyone to tackle. One of the many data points I gathered as part of my my five-year study on the habits of the rich and poor included happiness. I believe I have cracked the code on exactly what happiness is, how to produce it and how to maintain a constant, happy state of mind.

Happiness is really two things:

  1. Short-Term Happiness and
  2. Long-Term Happiness.

Short-term happiness is the result of short-term gratification, pleasure, rewards, events, social interactions and any number of experiences in our lives that give us an immediate, albeit, temporary boost in dopamine and serotonin (happiness neurotransmitters). This type of happiness is fleeting. It is also the type of happiness most pursue and accept as the definition of happiness.

Long-term happiness is the result of fulfillment. This type of happiness is only achieved through the pursuit of things that are fulfilling. Examples include:

  • Raising a family
  • Building a business you love
  • Pursuing something you are passionate about
  • Pursuing a dream or the goals behind the dream
  • Maintaining and growing long-lasting relationships
  • Helping others (i.e. volunteering)
  • Engaging in daily activities that result in continuous growth and learning
  • Engaging in daily activities that promote good health (eating right and exercising)

If you are sincerely interested in finding happiness, you must pursue things that create a feeling of fulfillment. Fulfillment does not rely on a temporary daily fix of dopamine and serotonin. Fulfillment is the only meaningful definition of happiness because it creates a constant state of happiness, rather than the short-lived one most individuals are mistakenly pursuing. You can only find true happiness by pursuing a life of fulfillment.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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