The word ‘happiness’ can be defined in a dozen different ways. What gives joy to one person may not necessarily please others. But, while getting to it all of us have to keep a firm grasp over it and know the happiness mistakes to avoid.

Keep in Mind

‘Happiness doesn’t depend on any external condition it is governed by our mental attitude.’ Dale Carnegie was so right.

We need to understand his thesis. Observe why one thing that made you happy earlier does not create the same effect always, says Sharon Janis in her book, Secrets of Spiritual Happiness.

“For one person, breaking a leg may be a horrible and unhappy tragedy, while for another it may be a trophy of great honor,” she writes.

Don't Underestimate External Agents

Yes, a group of people strongly advocate that happiness springs up from both within and outside. While some people find it difficult to bring up intrinsic happiness, external factors can come into play. It is like when you buy a favorite toy or when you make a killing in the stock market, the sensation cannot be matched.  

So, according to economist Richard Layard both external and internal factors trigger joy.  

No Self-Loathing

One of the happiness mistakes to avoid is putting yourself down. No matter what you have and how much you have, if you are stuck in the fixed mindset of self-criticism, you will never be happy.

Self-criticism – I-am-not-good attitude – will not do any good to you; rather it causes demotivation and endangers your progress, blogs happiness secret teller Dr. Christine Carter.

The author of the book, ‘Raising Happiness’, Dr. Carter says:

Self-compassion — being warm and supportive towards ourselves, and actively soothing ourselves —leads to less anxiety and depression, and greater peace of mind….

Change Your Mindset

Happiness is a product of a functional mind factory in which mindset is not static.  

Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck has described the concept of ‘fixed’ and ‘growth’ mindset in detail in her book, ‘Mindset: How you can fulfill your potential’.

After a long research, she has concluded that human mindset – and not just capabilities and intelligence – determines success and failure in life.

Entrapped in the vicious circle of static thought process is a person who has a fixed mindset, according to Dr. Dweck.

She explains the traits discovered in fixed and growth mindset persons. Fixed mindset, she says, encourages a person to escape challenges, avoid difficulties and effort, overlook criticism, and envy of others or their success. Growth mindset i.e. evolutionary gives a birth to 180-degree opposite characteristics, she adds.      

At the end, don’t miss a happy moment in the present. Go the extra mile to collect happy moments. The life is transitory. You can revere it with whatever means you have if you’ve learnt from the happiness mistakes to avoid sadness. Long live happiness