Doing Good By Being Good Brings Happiness and Meaning to Life
I recently read about the Ten Keys to Happier Living published by the Action for Happiness team. In case you’re not familiar with the organization, Action for Happiness is dedicated to making people’s lives happier through writings on the subject, educational courses, action by schools and networking. Its vision is “a happier world, with fewer people suffering with mental health problems and more people feeling good, functioning well and helping others.” The dedication to improve the lives of those suffering mental health problems is very important given the recent uptick in gun violence in the U.S., overdosing on opioids, cyberbullying. and increased attempts at suicide. Here are the ten key actions to have a happier life and examples of carrying out those actions.
- Do things for others. The Golden Rule is to treat others the way you wish they would treat you. It is the essence of reciprocity in relationships. Caring and kindness are important values to make it happen.
- Connect with people. Relationships trigger happiness whether with family, friends or other loved ones. Close relationships can bring greater meaning to our lives.
- Take care of your body. We can enhance our well-being through healthful habits, exercise, and good mental health.
- Live life mindfully. Getting in tune with your feelings and living each day to the fullest.
- Keep learning new things. We need to grow as individuals, experience new activities to gain accomplishments, and reflect on our actions. How can we better our lives and the lives of those around us?
- Have goals to look forward to. We should choose a direction in life that brings meaning and satisfies our purpose in life.
- Find ways to bounce back. Each of use experiences disappointment and pain in our lives from time to time. Get off the floor, learn from your mistakes, and vow to do better.
- Look for what’s good. Positive emotions – like joy, gratitude, and self-esteem brings happiness and puts us on the path to self-actualization.
- Be comfortable with who you are. Accept your mistakes; be kinder towards yourself. Accepting yourself for who you are enhances your ability to accept others.
- Be part of something bigger. People who have meaning and purpose in life lead more fulfilling lives. They also experience less anxiety, stress and have a qualitatively better life.
I write about happiness and meaning in my book: Beyond Happiness and Meaning: Transforming Your Life Through Ethical Behavior. I discuss many examples of real-life situations we encounter in our personal relationships, workplace interactions, and social media activities. These are important issues to address from an ethical perspective if we are to build a kinder, gentler society, and one where we learn to be civil toward each other.
The key to a qualitatively better life for all of us is to learn how to disagree with each other without being disagreeable. I hope that readers of my blogs take this message to heart and vow to be good by doing good, treat others like you wish they would treat you, lead a more meaningful life, and create a better society for all.
Posted by Steven Mintz, aka Ethics Sage, on September 10, 2019. Steve recently published a book titled Beyond Happiness and Meaning that explains the ethics of personal relationships, workplace interactions and on social media activities. Visit Steve’s website, sign up for his newsletter, and buy his book on Amazon. Follow him on Facebook and “Like” his page.