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Mastering the Art of Living: How Much Do We Really Need to Be Happy?

It is tough to visualize life without happiness. When you think about it, living in an entirely sad world, a kind of dystopia, would be pointless, right? While the world has experienced challenges and adversities like wars and diseases from eons ago, the human race has always been resilient enough to achieve happiness.

In all essence, happiness is the ultimate desire of humans. For instance, even existential nihilists who believe life is meaningless find joy in this life. But how much do we really need to be happy? The elusive nature of happiness means we may feel delighted in one hour and utterly desolate in the next.

However, there are fundamental elements that underpin human happiness. These are elements without which you may struggle to be content in life.

Health and Well-Being

Health is said to be the root of all happiness. Ironically, you can own the world but still live a sad life in hospice, battling serious illnesses. The mystery of death and the imminent separation from the loved ones they live behind are some of the things that sadly stress ill people. For this reason, many people find joy in religious conviction, where good health and eternity are guaranteed.

However, to be safe, a combination of good healthcare, a healthy diet, exercise, sleep, and responsible living are basic elements that can safeguard your health and well-being. In case you’re wondering, you can find health experts on Leadar for consultation and medical attention.

Basic Needs

Human beings can’t survive without food, water, shelter, and clothing. The absence of these basic needs is, basically, poverty. Lacking any of these needs can cause stress, depression, poor health, and even death.

This is where people are mostly conflicted about whether money can buy happiness. For instance, the World Happiness Report shows that countries that top the list are coincidentally high in the world economy rankings and have very low poverty rates. However, money can only improve the quality of life.

Healthy Relationships

What is life without sharing moments with the people we love? Humans are a highly social race, and we often find joy in other people. Through social contagion, we can spread happiness to other people. For instance, after a bad day at work, you can find solace in your friends and family by sharing a good laugh.

Scientifically, positive connections trigger the release of feel-good hormones into the brain, making you delighted and stress-free.

Raison d’être

This loosely translates to the purpose of living. The goal in life is to live a purposeful one. To be satisfied with your existence, you must have a purpose of living. What drives you to wake up and do what you do? What keeps the fire in your heart burning?

We all have a different purpose in life. For example, some people believe their purpose is to defend their country through the military despite the mess and terror of war. Fulfilling your purpose makes you feel contented. Therefore, try to find your purpose and don’t look back.

Voluntary Simplicity and Minimalism

Sometimes happiness is elusive because we try to find it in material possession and wealth. But wealth is temporary. Instead, we can focus intrinsically on what matters most by decluttering material things and practicing minimalism.

In this case, you accept money can’t buy happiness, and you drop the materialistic and consumerism lifestyle the modern world has embraced. Materialism is linked to feelings of depression, anxiety, and insecurity. On the other hand, minimalism frees your mind and makes you peaceful and happy because you are not worried about status and wealth.


Feeling stuck in a rut in your career, relationship, and other plans can cause despondency. This doesn’t mean you need to become perfect overnight to be happy. Instead, gradual progression helps you to stay motivated, and the little gains you make are the pathway to finding pleasure in life.

To achieve personal growth, do a SWOT analysis, set up goals, work toward those goals, and stay positive. Embrace the growth mindset and do away with the fixed mindset.

Gratitude and Contentment

Happiness may not come from what we want but from appreciating what we already have. Gratitude and contentment focus on acknowledging our blessings rather than getting upset and livid about what we expected. This leads to satisfaction and positivity because we avoid negative feelings, like bitterness and anger.

In essence, gratitude and contentment remind us to look at the positive side of life and remind us of how blessed we already are.


Freedom makes it possible for you to do what lights up the world. Physical freedom, as well as constitutional freedoms, make life much easier and enjoyable. For instance, a sportsperson passionate about playing football enjoys physical freedom of movement. Additionally, if they are influential, they can lead reforms against oppressive or unfair rules.

Philanthropy and Acts of Service

Philanthropy or giving back to society can make you happier. Realizing that you made a difference in people’s lives is a feeling that stays with you forever. For example, saving a homeless person and seeing them happy again will add more joy to your life.

Leisure and Recreation

We all need a bit of entertainment and unwinding. To wrap up the money versus happiness debate, if money can help you buy valuable moments and memories, take the deal. On the flip side, buying material things only leads to short-lived happiness. Therefore, seize every moment and have a ball. Embrace the essence of vacations and respect your leisure time.


Happiness has become elusive in modern society, with people pursuing it in the wrong places, especially in material wealth. Additionally, most people have confused happiness with the absence of sadness. However, we can experience a rollercoaster of emotions, including sadness, but still navigate our way to bliss. The above elements are essential for our happiness in life, and practicing them all may guarantee a fulfilling life.