There is no doubt that everyone seeks to be happy.
From Jewish mysticism there are four fundamental factors:
1. Hope – no matter how good today is, if you fear tomorrow, today will be unhappy, and ironically even the reverse, namely no matter how bad today is, if you have hope for tomorrow, today is awesome – thus God in his infinite kindness and wisdom let us know that the future will look like the past – the Garden of Eden through the messianic redemption will soon soon soon arrive.
2. Meaning- the Lubavitcher Rebbe, by far the wisest person in human history was not too fond of most psychological theories though he had great respect for Victor Frankel who taught the thing we desire most is a meaningful life – this too, God, in his infinite love and kindness has given us, namely when you see something wrong, fix – you must envision yourself as a Divine agent – the mission, mend.
3. Lack of suffering – obviously to be happy you cannot be unhappy – unhappiness ( providing that your needs are met) often is not the result of suffering ( physically) rather emotionally- you see happiness is if nothing else a sensation and just as there are positive sensations there are negative – the primary negative sensation is anxiety / worry / fear – fear is not an easy knot to untangle as often past experiences ( and sometimes it’s biochemical) create future anxiety – furthermore it is necessary to have been bullied so past experiences become future landmarks – for example, a child given a boat will obviously crash, but if it is a rubber dingy, will eventually learn how if you hit a wall you must turn – we see this is how God ( our loving life-guide) uses this mechanism – be it when a baby tastes everything ( learning rocks don’t taste good) a child interacting- every experience makes us wiser, hence kinder ( though sometimes we are suffering from post traumatic stress – therefore instead of our brain feeling safe, it is constantly pumping adrenalin hence cortisol making us hyper vigilant – to calm down a. We must be in a safe environment b. we must 1. see the good in the past or present bad ( for fear is obviously not of good but bad) 2. We must generate a belief that as God’s child, we are protected.
4. Humility – by nature whatever we get not only does not make us happy, it makes us long term unhappy, for ironically the poor are happier than the rich – for the more we get, the more we expect – so every morning when you wake up read “gratitude list” and every night before you go to bed, if something extra happened for which you wish to be grateful add.