Although you may believe that someone or something has the key to your happiness, the truth is that you
decide whether you lead a joyful life, Rabbi Shmuley says. Many Americans see happiness as a goal, something they want to pursue, but the more you pursue it, the unhappier you'll be, he says. "Happiness is not a goal; it's the natural byproduct of a purpose-driven life," Rabbi Shmuley says. "If you have a life full of purpose, you will feel content and feel good about yourself."
Rabbi Shmuley offers his advice on how to be happy without really trying.
- Stop focusing on your happiness. Focus instead on whether your life is full, rewarding and meaningful, Rabbi Shmuley says.
- Surround yourself with a structure of selflessness. Find joy in a life of service, he says. "Giving your love to people and focusing on others will naturally bring happiness into your life," he says. "Foster creativity, promote teamwork and mentor others—rewards and promotions will come along in due time."
- Bring spirituality into your daily life. Try meditating, attending church or praying, Rabbi Shmuley says. Spirituality doesn't always have to do with religion, he says.
- Spend more time "being" than "doing." "A great way to do this is spending time with your kids playing and goofing around and just enjoying spending time together," he says.
- Laugh at yourself a little. "Try not to be critical of yourself, and celebrate your everyday successes," Rabbi Shmuley says.
"Happiness can never be a goal in life—it is the natural byproduct of a life full of purpose and meaning."