Everyone wants to be happy, but not everyone even knows what true happiness is made of. There are ingredients and a recipe for happiness.

I used to think, for many years, that happiness was something that came when others did what we wanted, and gave to us our desires. My mind considered happiness this gift that should be given every day or it just wasn’t fair.

You know, I was selfish in my thoughts of happiness, never considering that I might have to cook up some good feelings and emotions for myself. I looked at the world and expected the world to sweep me off my feet. Boy, was I wrong.

What is the recipe for happiness?

First, happiness is not what you think it is. Well, for many of you, it’s defined the wrong way. For those who already know about true happiness, then what I say will not seem so foreign.

Yes, there is a recipe for happiness, but each individual must use ingredients to make their own happy…well, dinner. And this recipe is good for life, preserved as long as you maintain it, and give it room. Without any more cliches, let’s look at the recipe for happiness. I will break it down into a few ingredients.

1. Meet yourself

The first thing you should do is get to know yourself. No, you’re not Betty’s husband or Paula’s friend. You are an individual. This might seem silly, but I want you to think of something for a moment. How many times have you ran and bought something that a friend has?

How many times have you watched your boyfriend’s favorite football team win the Superbowl when it secretly bores you? You try to like things others like, but you neglect your own desires. Over time, who you really are, erodes into someone else.

Now, getting to know yourself will take time, and you should be alone when you do this. Sit alone with yourself and do nothing until you start to understand the person within. Then explore the colors, the sounds, and the patterns that make you feel happy inside. Learn who you are separate from the people you care about.

2. Find balance

There should be a balance in life between the different aspects of what influences you. For instance, finding a good balance between your personal life and work is one way to be happier. This balance prevents negative aspects from spilling over from one area to the other. If you’re having problems with an employer or employee, this will not spill over into your personal life, and vice versa.

You must strike a balance between your self-worth and how you treat others as well. Although you must maintain your core standards, there is always room to treat others with respect. It’s not easy to maintain a good balance, but with continual practice, you can be happy.

Here’s one way to do this:

When leaving home for work, when you reach the halfway point between your home and your place of employment, put aside your personal problems and focus on work issues. When you leave work, do this in the opposite way.

If it takes you 30 minutes to get back home, 15 minutes into your trip, leave all thoughts of work and start thinking of what you need to do at home. This separates work from home and strikes a balance.

3. Growth mindset

If you can retain a mindset that focuses on continual growth, there will be a positive expectation. With looking forward to a met goal, there is always so much happiness surrounding this thought pattern. You may think about the physical feelings you’ll get when you win or when you learn. Yes, learning is a growth process, and we do this every day whether we try or not.

However, without a growth mindset, this learning is often taken for granted and pushed aside, rarely used. But if the right mindset is present, this learning builds upon itself and transforms you continually. The thought of growing from knowledge makes you truly happy, not the happiness that’s as fickle as the wind.

That’s not happiness at all, that’s only temporary contentment. Happiness comes from within. Remember that. Temporary contentment comes from the world around you. There’s a difference, so keep the mindset of growth instead.

4. Appreciate real life

We’ve become a society that lives off the attention, praises, and entertainment from the screen. But what happened to the pure happiness of face-to-face relationships, the roar of the ocean, and going on road trips?

Yes, we still do these things, but we spend so much more time looking at a screen than any other activity. Social media is there 24/7 to validate who we are, through comments, likes, and personal messages. But there are negative aspects of social media as well.

Every day, there’s something negative happening in posts and on pictures. We look for happiness and entertainment while the rest of the world brings a background of injustice and corruption.

As we browse these things, happiness seems to shrink away, spiraling some people into a deep depression. You see, happiness isn’t found in these places at all. Unfortunately, we’ve been living here for a long time now.

The good part is that we can reverse it. With practice, we can pull away from the screen a bit at a time, taking hours away from social media and putting it into cooking, reading, and painting instead. We can visit friends at their home or at the coffee shop, and we can go shopping in an old-fashioned way.

Yes, we can ditch online shopping for a while. Although the pandemic has kept us shut in for some time, the world will gradually open back up to its full potential. Until then, we can at least enjoy nature. This ingredient to happiness is free after all.

5. Save more/spend less

Yes, it’s fun to go on vacation and buy something new for yourself. However, if you save more than you spend, you can buy more valuable things and put aside funds for the future.

I’ve noticed that when we’re down, we’re more prone to spend money on frivolous things. So how can we spend less and save more if spending seems to act as a balm for unhappiness?

You see, it’s a trick. Going out and spending money when you shouldn’t seems like a way to lift your spirits, when in fact, it’s just an addictive impulse that lies to us.

This habit may not be the easiest one to break, but it is highly effective at improving your credit score, giving you the ability to purchase a new car, or even owning your own home. The small things you buy now will push you further away from larger goals. And that unhappiness you feel now could be a product of never being satisfied.

Try putting away only a small amount each day, maybe into a savings account or retirement fund. Over time, as your life changes, you may be able to put away even more. The happiness you gain when you realize that you’re doing something substantial is what real happiness feels like.

Enjoy your meal of pure happiness

While there are so many ways to get a quick thrill or entertain yourself, nothing feels better than knowing you’ve appreciated yourself, accomplished things, and found your balance.

As the world goes crazy around you, doesn’t it feel good to know you’ve found the no-nonsense recipe for being truly happy? Yes, it’s nice, isn’t it?

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