5 Factors for Happiness

Here in this article, I wrote about happiness and said that happiness may very well not exist. Looks like I was wrong because today, I am going to talk about the 5 important factors for your happiness. 

The 5 factors that I’m going to introduce today are called the PERMA model established by an American psychologist Martin Seligman. According to him, the 5 factors of PERMA model may be important to reach the state of full happiness. Here are those factors.

P − Positive Emotion
E – Engagement
R – Relationships
M – Meaning
A – Accomplishments

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Ok, let’s go over each one. First, let’s talk about the P factor which is “Positive Emotion”. Positivity, needless to say, is the basic factor for being happy. Not only smiling attracts happiness but also the optimistic way of thinking is most important.
When we are under stress, we feel tense. We might get stomachaches, headaches, or your heart may start beating real fast aggravating your nervousness. Now we don’t want to be stressed, do we? We prefer to feel blissful in a state of euphoria for our body’s sake. So, learning to think positively is the first key factor.

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The Second factor that is required on our journey for pursuing happiness is “Engagement”. It means concentrating on a task, hobby, a book, a movie…anything really that captures your attention for a long time and that doesn’t let go. Why it’s important? Because the time you spend on something you like while really concentrating on it creates a state of “flow”. (A relatively popular word in the 2010s) You achieve much more while being in a “flow” and reach the ultimate state of happiness when indulged in something you really like.

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The third key factor is human “Relationship”. This is very important in terms that people who surround you will affect your way of thinking and even will shape your personality. We human beings, safely and soundly, evolved so far because of our ability to cooperate with each other when there is a danger. It’s natural to us and instinctive to want to connect with other human beings. Whether it’s a parent, sibling, teacher, friend, or a boss, we are shaped and influenced by other people’s thoughts, ideas, and actions. That’s why it’s important to have a good relationship with others and surround yourself with understanding people, but more on that at the end of this article.

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The fourth key factor in pursuing happiness according to PERMA model is “Meaning” which is, to have a meaning in your life. Maybe this one is the most difficult one because contemplating on the meaning of life itself is already kind of a waste of time. I mean, you can basically spend all of your life just by looking for the meaning of life?
However, the PERMA model says, having a meaning of life helps us be happy. The meaning of life becomes the reason you live. Yes, chasing after the GUCCI gang may be fun…for a while. I suggest chasing after your kids or loved ones, not material things. Probably we should start looking for meanings in life in something that is not tangible. Like love, family or passion for your work…

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Last but not least is “Achievement”. Having goals and working your ass off for them, dreaming and doing, acting on it, and basically being in a constant action for your goals. To achieve something leads to a success (or a failure, but you can always learn from it) which leads you to happiness.

So, to wrap it up, 5 factors in the PERMA model are 1) P − Positive Emotion 2) E – Engagement 3) R – Relationships 4) M – Meaning 5) A – Accomplishments.


Now, let’s talk practice. How can we apply this model to our daily lives so we can make the best use of it and reach the ultimate happiness?

First off, “Positivity”. You know, I’m a real realist. I’m not negative, nor am I positive. Thus, I think maintaining a cool head AND being positive is kind of difficult for someone like me. So what I thought to myself is: to be more confident. This is so simple you may say I’m kidding, but I’m not. Having confidence in yourself makes you a bit selfish. And that little selfishness is the spice of our positivity. Trust yourself. If you don’t trust yourself, who would? Don’t go thinking “you can’t do this much” or “this is too much for me” or blah blah. Instead, set up realistic to-dos and achieve them little by little. Once you get used to achieving goals, you’ll gain more trust and confidence in yourself while being optimistic & realistic. (notice this is an “A” of the PERMA model). Also, if you are a realist, you may tend to be too strict with yourself. I understand where it comes from, but don’t be. Try to relax a little on yourself. If you achieved something, give yourself a treat and a well-deserved rest.

Next up, “Engagement”. If you already have something that you can be passionate about, then congrats! If you don’t, then don’t skip this paragraph! Stay!
I get it, you are a multi-tasker who is good at starting but disastrous when it comes to continuing. Or you may be someone who is not interested in almost anything at all and you don’t even bother looking for something that may entertain you. My advice to you is to start brushing up your skills from the basic household chores. Start cooking, or be an expert on washing/cleaning. You kill two birds by one stone because 1) you’ll be an expert on household chores and it’s going to be easier for you to live alone 2) your house will be amazingly clean and your clothes always clean.
Also, if you don’t want to spend money, try participating in volunteer works. This is also a killing two birdies method because 1) you’re helping someone and 2) finding something that you can be passionate about.
If you have a friend in a similar situation, inspire and motivate each other. It will help you both grow and not be lazy.

As for the “Relationship”; first of all, I want to say that if there is someone being really sarcastic, negative, boring or just downright rude, then cut them out of your life. You can’t please everyone and everyone can’t please you.
Building a new relationship with someone is very difficult. As we age, we become more superficial and less active towards meeting new people. We hesitate to ask questions, we can be reluctant because we are just tired at the end of the day.
If you wish to meet people but don’t know how to, try looking for various meetups, lectures, workshops, symposiums that are free! (or cheap) I’m sure there are even meetups for introverts. I’ve also seen many meetups where the attendance is limited to a single person without partners. If you thought that a meetup you attended didn’t suit you, try a different one. It’s that easy. No one is forcing you to be somewhere so change up the game. Talking to strangers is a good way to strengthen your communication skills and also a good opportunity to hear stories that you may never hear. Get out of your comfort zone. Talk to people.

Meaning of life, here it is. How? Hmm. Don’t go running around looking for the meaning of life, at least for now if you’re a Millennial. Someday, when you totally forgot about this article, you may find your meaning of life. All of a sudden it may hit you. Or, you may not even find it even on your deathbed. You may even have already found it and are comfortable with it. What I will say is this: if there is someone out there thinking to die and not wanting to live, why not live for others? If you can’t live for your sake, at least live for other people. I (the author of this article) do not know you, but I really want you to live. Not having a meaning of life is not a reason to die.

Phew! Finally, Achievement. If you’ve got some good goals, achieve them. Don’t try to finish first (who cares if nice guys finish last, be last and best) or do everything perfectly. Start now, start today, start small from achievable goals. Your ultimate goal should be barely achievable, not completely unachievable but difficult enough to stimulate you to work on it. Do it now.

In this article, we’ve seen what the 5 factors for happiness are and their applications to our daily lives. Comment on what you think is important to be happy.

Cited from:
The PERMA Model: Your Scientific Theory of Happiness


Be happy, Millennials

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