What Makes You Happy?


What kind of happy that Lucy feels now?

Lucy is being full of pleasure and intense joy. The world can see it in her bright smile. That smile comes from her heart. Most people around her is supporting Lucy’s life. She is lucky with her achievement plan so that she can’t wait to run to the future. Therefore, that feeling of pleasure and joy is called happy.

What about happiness?

Who knows, before this day Lucy could have been empty, lost of hope or not as pleasure as today. One day, Lucy was happy with the 12th birthday celebration from her parents. But today, she may need more than blowing the candles to be happy, right? It’s called happiness.

Happiness is an emotional state of being happy. Let’s be clear that the level of happiness could be increased. This day Lucy has her maximum level of happiness so that she feels like she is the happiest person in the world.

Forget about Lucy, we’ll talk about us. The hardest truth we always searching for is what makes you happy?

A friend of me conclude that if your reality is more than or equal from your expectation, you will be happy. It’s true but not as simple as that. I need more explanation until I found the theory of authentic happiness.

According to Martin E. P. Seligman and Ed Royzman’s theory of authentic happiness (2003), there are three distinct kind of happiness: the Pleasure Life, the Good Life and the Meaningful Life. Authentic Happiness further allows for the “Full Life“, a life that satisfies all three criteria of happiness.

The Pleasure Life

This is a simple explanation of happy life. A happy person smiles a lot and also forget pain or sadness. Some entertainment things can increase your happy life. You can have a vacation or just staying at home and having an awesome weekend with the people you love. The pleasure life can be calculated with hedonism theory that happiness is feeling of pleasure minus feeling of pain. To be happy you must maximizes pleasure and minimizes pain.

Dr. David Murray said there are many kind of happiness. It can be derived from the nature of creation so you can put smiles in your heart when you are in mountain or lakes. You can be happy with the relationship with your family or people you love. The joy of healthy life is also makes you happy. You will be happy too when you understand something and feels like you are improving. A funny jokes from humanity is probably pull out your smile and also makes you happy. The last kind of happiness comes from the sense of spiritual emotions.

The Good Life

The good life comes from desire theory that hold happiness is a matter of getting what you want (Griffin, 1986). We are a human who always fulfill our desire. This kind of happiness is better than the pleasure life. If the pleasure life is unexpected, the good life is an expected happiness. You set your desire of happy and pursue it.

For example, you want a new car just because your current car is an old-fashioned one. In the first place you aren’t thinking you want a new car until the friend of you shows his new Ferrari. You start to invest more money to buy a new car. Three years later, you buy a new car. It means you fulfill your desire that you believe it’s worthwhile in your life. You must be happy now. This kind of happiness is desire fulfillment of getting what you want.

The Meaningful Life

Like the good life, the meaningful life is also an expected happiness. But this kind of happiness derives from objective list and doesn’t come from desire. That objective list lodges happiness outside of feeling and onto a list of “truly valuable” things in the real world.

It holds that happiness comes from a serial of life achievement that you pursue: such as education, marriage, having family, love and knowledge. Those objective list is a positive movement in your life and you must have an incredible level of happiness when you achieve those list.


Sometimes you could feel empty with your life. Your level of happiness is stateless so you don’t know what to do next? It could happen if you have no set point. As we know that happiness is a state that can be increased so that you must have a set point. The set point is a list of target in your life to pursue. The set point can help you to achieve your happiness. When you pursue the set point you could have the good life or the meaningful life.

The simple set point could be:

  • Have $ 5000 saving
  • Graduated from College
  • Getting married
  • Having child

If your set point is based on your feeling you will get the good life and if your set point is based on the objective reason you will get the meaningful life. That’s it, you’ll know by yourself what makes you happy?

One thing about happiness. If you are not ready to be happy you won’t be happy. Open up your heart because you are the one who responsible with your own happiness. Creating set point will help you but you wouldn’t make it if you are not ready to pursue it. Remember to focus with your own set point and never compare it with the others. Please note, readiness to be happy is also applied in set point. When you couldn’t get 100% of your set point, you will be happy too if only you accept what you’ve got.

Are you happy now? What makes you happy?