Image Image Source: Cancer Survivorship Training

Everyone’s in pursuit of happiness. Many of them don’t even know why. Perhaps because it’s the most sold idea since the beginning of civilization? Happiness is always sold as this state of being that frees you from being affected by external conditions and keeps you in a balanced frame of mind. But maybe that’s not the point of life at all. In a world where whole countries can get shaken up by natural disasters and man-made things like terrorism, violence, and thuggery, maybe what’s important is to build empathy and support, and develop a deep human connection. Let’s take a look at five things that may be more important than being happy.

1. Purpose

A life of purpose and meaning is a life truly worth living. If you think of the common thread binding our civilization’s greats like Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and Martin Luther King, you’ll see that all of them had a vision or purpose that they were constantly in the process of trying to fulfill all their lives. This purpose gave their lives meaning and significance.

2. Community

This is quite an underrated quality in these modern times. Back in the day, a sense of community was stronger, with people supporting, motivating, encouraging, and being there for each other; this gave everyone who was part of a community a lot of safety and security, and an opportunity to be themselves more easily than it’s now. That’s reduced greatly now.

3. Gratitude

We may all be separate individuals living our own separate lives. But there isn’t a single human story on Earth that doesn’t intersect deeply with the lives of other people. From the time that we’re born, right up until now, your life’s progressed in the way it has only with the contribution of many other people, both the familiar folk and complete strangers.

Image Image Source: Fast Company

4. Growth

There’s always this talk about getting out of the comfort zone. Although the phrase has begun to lose its value because of overuse, it captures the important idea of putting yourself in uncomfortable positions, challenging yourself, and growing as an individual to lead a fulfilling human existence. Limiting yourself prevents you from exploring all that which life has to offer.

5. Sharing

“Happiness only real when shared,” read a note in the notebook of the great American hiker Christopher McCandless, who died alone and lonely in the Alaskan wilderness. Sharing moments, experiences, happiness, material things, and so on is a surefire way to spread joy and hope among people, who in turn share it further, and in this way a better life is created for people everywhere. Definitely sounds more important than mere individual happiness.