How to find happiness? How to live a happy life? We all want to live a happy life. But most of the time we perhaps look for happiness in the wrong place or maybe take the wrong approach to it. In truth, when it comes to happiness, there is really not a “one-size-fits-all” recipe that works for everybody. We are all different. What makes someone happy may not be the ideal for another person.
With this in mind, we could be easily tempted to think that if people are so different among them, the logical conclusion would be that there could exist as many different approaches and paths to happiness as the number of people on this planet. However, this approach is too general does not offer any help to those who are honestly seeking a clear guidance or at least a hint as to how we can find happiness in our lives. We are all looking for some proven ways to grasp and materialize happiness in our realities, because, after all, happiness is a central purpose of human life as Aristotle said in his time, and the purpose of life is to be happy, as His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has pointed out.
So, if looking for a single universal solution for happiness seems restrictive, and thinking that there might be as many paths to happiness as the number of people on this planet seems vague and not helpful as a proposal, what could be the right, practical approach to finding happiness in our lives?
To start with, we could certainly be best served by embracing an approach that involves or contemplates several options or avenues, much in the same way that a physical destination in our world can be accessed by different means, just keeping in mind that happiness is not really a destination, but a journey.
Secondly, we are looking for a proposal that is ingrained in wisdom and science, with solid foundations. In this regard, we have to acknowledge that the attainment of happiness has occupied the minds of great sages, philosophers, physicians, psychologists and scientists from time immemorial. What do they all have in common in their conclusions? Is there a common pattern that we can identify and use as a blueprint for finding happiness in our lives?
More than five thousand years ago, ancient cultures had a clear cosmology that understood the basic principles that govern the universe and everything in it, including human behavior. One basic tenant of this cosmology was a system based on the interaction of five elements: Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. In fact, the holistic systems that are used for healing, like Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, are based on the interaction of five elements in the human body, mind and emotions.
And the interesting point is that according to modern psychology, particularly after the findings of Wilhelm Reich (the father of Mind-Body psychology), as systematized by Alexander Lowen, most people can be fitted into five different character structures. Reich and Lowen gifted us with a very useful protocol to understand the connection between mind and body from five different perspectives.
If we put together and ensemble the valuable insights of psychology and Eastern philosophy, a very clear picture emerges: there are five elements, five character structures and, as a logical consequence, five different paths to happiness. This holistic approach means taking into account the behavioral insights provided by psychology, through the concept of character structures, together with the insights of the Five Element perspective gifted to us by the ancient Indian and Chinese systems, in order to identify five clear different roads or paths to happiness.
Understanding correctly the main characteristics of each of the five elements that rule the universe in a practical manner and knowing the main traits of each of the five character structures that psychology has identified in people, we should be able to delineate five clear main personality types with their respective different strengths, challenges and solutions when it comes to living happiness on a daily basis. This means that by knowing their personality type and what works for them according to their unique emotional structure, people could have the chance to follow their most joyous paths and live a happy life that is consonant with their uniqueness.