How To Be Happy In 3 Simple Steps

I hope the clickbait caught your attention! There’s obviously no straightforward route to happiness. In fact, I doubt we even have a common understanding of what happiness even means. It’s incredibly subjective and we often mix it with joy, pleasure, or excitement.

In today’s post, I’d like to look at my personal way of attaining happiness. The 3 simple steps that I would suggest are:

  • Develop meaningful relationships
  • Focus on what you have
  • Make an effort to help others

But before I dive into that, let me at least tell you what my definition of happiness is. Happiness to me is closely linked to fulfillment. It’s the feeling of being at ease with what I have, where I am, or who I’m with. It’s when I’m present, grateful, and energized. It’s when I know I’m contributing, making a difference, or living out my purpose.

Cartoons About Happiness - Randy Glasbergen - Glasbergen ...

Develop meaningful relationships

The concept of meaningful relationships goes above and beyond just the people in our life. For me personally, it also includes having a deep relationship with God. This is a subjective topic, so each person may have a different opinion on the matter. But what I’ve noticed in general is that my happiness is inextricably linked to the relationship I have with my Creator.

The concept of praying multiple times a day, asking for help and guidance with all my issues, being grateful, being kind, and being appreciative of all that I’ve been blessed with, makes me happy. Something that I always keep in mind is the following:

I am as my servant thinks I am | Quran quotes, Islamic ...

Moving on to physical relationships, in the Ted talk below, Robert Waldinger discusses what constitutes a good life, based on research on happiness. The lessons are as follows:

  • Social connections are imperative, loneliness is dangerous
  • The quality of your close relationships matter
  • Good relationships have a positive impact on our health

We should, therefore, strive to continuously improve on the relationships that we have, and try to further develop weaker ones with other people.

There is also another beautiful hadith that emphasizes the concept of strengthening family ties and being close to your loved ones:

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Whosever desires to have expansion in his sustenance and a prolonged life, should treat his relatives with kindness.” (Bukhari & Muslim)

For more details on kinship in Islam, you can follow the link below:

Focus on what you have

The next concept is potentially a little obvious. Focusing on what you have and being grateful will make you happy. This is especially true when it comes to celebrating your achievements and finding fulfillment in the work that you’ve done.

I often find myself feeling incredibly joyful and happy when I reach certain milestones. Whether it’s something simple like managing to exercise 5 times or week, or something as important as completing a project at work or for the postgrad. It’s not just about the outcome. It’s about the effort that I have put in, the opportunities that I have, and the dedication to finishing it off.

Focusing on what you have is an incredibly easy way to cheer up your mood. This can also extend to realizing how blessed you are to have a healthy body, a sharp intellect, and a roof above your head. As I always say, it’s not about undermining your problems. It’s about re-framing those issues and keeping your feet on the ground, but your head in the clouds.

Make an effort to help others

Service, service, service. Ultimately, the most fulfilling part of life (for me personally), is to make a difference in other people’s lives. This can mean different things to different people, but you should strive to do something that is enjoyable and beneficial.

When you see how you have helped another person grow, it leaves you with a feeling of joy and contentment. This is irrespective of whether they appreciate it or not, whether you get the credit for it or not, whether you’re acknowledged for it or not. It’s about the effort you put in to help others.

At the end of the day, we’re social creatures and we are in need of other people for our psychological well-being (to a certain extent). The more we’re able to support other people, the more we’ll be supported ourselves. So make a conscious effort to help other people, for both them and for your own happiness.

Viktor E. Frankl Quote: “For success, like happiness ...

So to summarize the 3 simple steps that lead to happiness. Start with developing meaningful relationships in your life, be it with God, with your friends or with family members. Celebrate your hard work and accomplishments by focusing on what you have. And lastly, make an effort to make a difference in other people’s lives. You got this.


Emotional Availability

You might wonder how I come up with the different topics to write on my blog each week. I essentially look out for trends in my own life, in my social circle, in my family, or just online.

The concept of emotional availability is incredibly fascinating to me, as it essentially determines your capacity to handle other people’s emotions. This is typically seen in a romantic aspect, but can also apply to platonic friendships.

I’d like to think out loud today and talk about a few things that come to mind when I hear about emotional availability. Let’s discuss how our experiences shape who we are, how being aware of our own emotional availability plays a role in our approach to relationships, how the work we put into ourselves cascades into other people and why we should learn about our own love language.

Dalai Lama XIV Quote: “An open heart is an open mind.” (21 ...

Our experiences and who we are

To me, emotional availability is the capacity we have to sustain an emotional connection in a relationship. It’s essentially a combination of our willingness and ability to connect with the emotions of other people. This would essentially require continuous vulnerability and trust with the other person.

Let’s go down the psychotherapy train and talk about childhood. First thing’s first, I think our perceptions of love and what romance is all about typically stems from the early years of our life. It evolves as we watch our parents interact, our family member engage, what we see in movies , and from books that we’ve read. We carry these expectations with us as we enter relationships, which then gives us our own experience and realizations.

Lindsay Wagner Quote: “When we shift our perception, our ...

Moving forward to where we are now, I think our most recent experience of being in some form of romantic or platonic relationship deeply impacts our emotional availability status. A breakup that ended badly, a friend that betrayed us, or even complicated family dynamics, can make it difficult for us to approach people with vulnerability and trust.

These are not necessarily the only factors that affect how emotionally available we are. There are some people who are just in a phase in their life where they’re not prepared for a new relationship. They’re focusing on their academics/career, their families, or they just haven’t done enough work on themselves.

This can lead to us being emotionally ‘unavailable’, where we find it difficult to open ourselves up and let other people into our lives. So how do we move forward with these insights?

Self-awareness and our approach to relationships

I’m sure by now you would’ve noticed that the key input to understanding one’s emotional availability is to have some level of self-awareness. This can be achieved by continuously reflecting on the experiences that have deeply impacted our view on relationships.

The more effort we consciously put into understanding our own biases, assumptions and interpretations, the more likely we are to approach people less defensively. Not every situation is going to be the same. Not every relationship is going to turn out like the one you’ve experienced.

The world is incredibly diverse. The more we’re able to bring our most authentic selves to the table, and the more vulnerable we’re willing to be, the more we’ll be be able to love ourselves and those around us.

Learning our own love language

We each have our own unique love language. It’s precedent in our experiences and upbringing as I’ve already mentioned. The issue with everyone having a different love language is that it can often cause friction when they’re misaligned. If what makes me feel special makes you feel overwhelmed, it’s not necessarily effective to replicate.

The importance of this is that we want to try and learn our own love language so that we can articulate it well enough to others, to avoid being disappointed by our expectations. Like I said, what works for me might not work for you. This links back to the previous section because when we have an understanding of what works for us, we can then realize that we’d need to curate our approach of love to different people.

Hint: I’d love all of the above pls

When you try to make other people feel special or loved, don’t necessarily look at what you’d want for yourself. Look at how they typically approach the same thing and what has generally made them feel excited or appreciated.

I hope you’ve taken away some insights from the thoughts that I’ve shared today. Being aware of your own emotional availability will make it easier to set boundaries in future relationships. It will allow you to learn more about yourself and other people. When you think about it from a love language perspective, you’ll realize that everyone has their own set of conditions. All the best with the journey ahead! You got this.

Why do people cheat in relationships?

Have you ever wondered why people cheat in relationships? Why do so many marriages tend to fail? I’ve been asked this question recently and it gave me a lot to think about.

I want you to explore these questions with me, to help us unfold one of the most critical aspects of being in a relationship; loyalty. There are 2 ways to that I’ll tack this: Discussing short-term relationships and long-term relationships.

I’m not an expert in this field at all, but I’ve done my fair share of research (This is my way of theorizing). I’ve also got experience from observing the dynamics within my friends and family. Of course, the movies and series we’ve watched also play a role in our (flawed) understanding of loyalty & love.

Short-term relationships

I’ll consider this to be relationships that last for less than 5 years.


This to me, is the most significant contributor to cheating within short-term relationships. People who don’t fully commit themselves in a relationship, especially at a young age, tend to be emotionally immature. It’s part of the learning process; making stupid mistakes.

There’s also no specific reason to be in a relationship. When you ask people why they’re in a relationship, they often don’t give you a valid enough reason. “I’m in love with that person”

When your understanding of love comes from media or movies, you tend to confuse the intention behind being in a relationship. Always start with why.

“Love is a skill, not an enthusiasm.”


This can definitely be sub-categorized under immaturity. Distinguishing between love and lust isn’t an innate ability. We’re not born with that kind of awareness. It requires experience, conscious effort and self-reflection.

Confusing physical attraction with an emotional attraction can definitely lead to problems. When you’re not emotionally committed, all you tend to care about is the physical pleasure or constant attention.

This makes it rather difficult to stay loyal to a single person, as your intentions are misaligned from the get-go.

3-Being wounded

When you get hurt or betrayed from a relationship, it can often lead to a shift in mindset. This occurs when you don’t allow the wound to heal, or when you’re unable to effectively deal with the pain.

You no longer see the other person as potential for emotional connection, but rather as a means to an end. The mindset switches from caring to playing. This is definitely a common reason people end up being disloyal; when they haven’t adequately dealt with their own trauma.

When someone has broken your trust, you generally find it difficult to trust again. You need an honest confession and clear progress to start re-building that trust.

Side thought: When you apply that logic to other people, it should allow you to embrace rejection with open arms. Sometimes the fault isn’t in you, it’s in the person rejecting you. Maybe they’re still healing and developing self-love.

Long-term relationships

This is a much more difficult aspect to speak about. I have no experience being in a relationship for over 5 years. But I’m here to think out loud. Feel free to comment your own thoughts or to disagree with me.


It can sometimes be a scary thought. Are we inevitably going to get bored of someone we’re with for a very long time? How do we stay excited in a long-term relationship?

I genuinely don’t have the answer to those questions, but I’m just curious as to the way people deal with these thoughts. Questions are a vital tool for self-awareness, so you need to constantly ask yourself the right ones.

I suppose disloyalty forms when we haven’t adequately dealt with boredom. When we don’t remember our intention behind being in the relationship, we can get lost in our temptations.

Start with why!


When we’re in a relationship for a prolonged period of time, a sense of comfort forms. We tend to ignore our hidden desires and feel like it’s no big deal.

The type of fear I’m talking about is rather an insecurity. We’re afraid to be vulnerable and talk about what’s really on our minds, especially when it’s petty. This is dangerous because we end up seeking strangers to whom we can confide in.

Disloyalty or cheating isn’t only the act of being with another person. It’s the intention that has formed long before any action has taken place.

In essence, lack of vulnerability starts becoming a problem. Something that was pivotal to starting the relationship in the first place. When we take things for granted, we create space for scarcity. We should learn to discuss honestly, the little issues that bother us. Especially the annoyances that we consider petty.

3-The danger of a single story

This YouTube video will perfectly summarize what I mean by this, albeit in a different context. There’s more than a single side to the story. That shouldn’t be a surprise to you, just don’t forget about it.

Empathy being the key ingredient here, but more importantly just an open mind. When you stick to your narrow point of view for years on end, it’ll definitely hinder your relationship’s ability to grow.

We’re very eager to show others how their actions affect us. Sometimes we have to think about how our actions affect them.

How do we overcome these issues?

Okay this got a little nerve wrecking, even for me. But I’m a glass half-full kinda guy, so let’s try and figure out how to deal with all this drama.

The one skill that immediately comes to my mind is communication. (You can click on that link to read my old blog post, where I speak about it in much more detail).

How can be become better communicators? Here are a few points that I think we should work on:

  • Don’t be afraid of rumbling with vulnerability.
  • Be your authentic self.
  • Watch your ego.
  • Make appointments in real life.
  • Become an active listener.

The most important aspect in my opinion is learning to be vulnerably honest. Can the 2 actually exist without each other? Can any healthy relationship exist at all without vulnerability and honesty?

We need to stop being afraid. We need to open up. We need to live through love. We need to stop judging. We need to pay more attention to the condition of our souls. We need to learn how to listen. We have to be patient and willing to both teach AND learn.

Some things are inevitable. We don’t always get to choose the situations we’re put in. But we always get to choose our reaction. Don’t victimize yourself, it’s part of your journey! It’s ultimately about trying your best.

The pain that people experience from being cheated on is traumatic. We need to pay attention to the way our decisions affect the people around us. Trust isn’t something that can be easily restored.

Choose growth. Choose resilience. Choose love. Don’t ever forget your intentions.

Better awareness – Better choices – Better results.

Thinking out loud ~3

Let’s talk a little about seeking pleasure, avoiding pain, love and kindness. Relationships, roots and a bit of mother nature. I’m attempting a more poetic approach with the thinking out loud series, also allowing the pictures I take to speak with me.

It’s our own idea of good and bad, that truly carries meaning with us. If we can dissociate from those ideas, we’ll have much more freedom. That is: seeking pleasure makes us feel good, whereas enduring pain makes us feel bad.

Life is meant to be both pleasing and painful, for without silence there can be no sound. Without darkness, there can be no light.

The nature of the flower is to give, the nature of the bug is to receive. Follow your nature. Give and receive in abundance.

The ultimate value of personal growth work is not to feel better about ourselves but to contribute to how those around us feel about themselves.

In unity there is strength, like the roots of trees. There’s a fascinating podcast that I listened to the other day, which spoke on the reasons why certain trees and forests survive extreme conditions. From snowy storms to hurricanes and tornadoes, how do forests still make it?

It turns out, there’s an entire network beyond our vision, allowing this to be possible. The roots of trees are known to dig deep into the earth and find multiples sources of nutrition. These roots also connect with neighbouring trees and plants, forming immaculate networks.

These networks allow trees to ‘communicate’ and to assist each other whenever needed. I found this absolutely inspiring, considering how important it is for us to stay and work together.

In unity there is strength.

The support and love we can provide to each other, will also allow us to withstand all conditions. As social beings, we’ve evolved to rely on each other. Not just for our basic needs, but for intuitive, emotional and intellectual stimulation.

Fostering healthy relationships however, is not just something you can do by liking pictures or retweeting posts. It’s an investment. You have to put in time and energy, in order for it to grow into something profitable. Profitable in the sense where you find meaning and service, within something greater than yourself.

Take time to check on your friends, your family members, all those you care about. Love is about action, consistency, and how we make others feel. It’s the amount of attention we’re willing to pay.

Spend time to reflect on the people you spend time with. The way you treat the people you love. The way you treat yourself. Your actions, behaviours and intentions. We need to spend more time consciously living. Being present with the world around us.

Spending time in nature is good for your mental health. It’s science, I kid you not. Going for walks also allows your thoughts and values to incubate. You need to make time to let your mind wander and truly internalize your purpose.

To love, also means to let go. For if we constantly keep others under our shade, that could also lead to stunting their growth. People enter and leave our lives, like the leaves flowing down a stream. Nothing to be judgmental about, it’s part of nature’s flow.

Here are few quotes about love from a book I’ve recently read called ‘The Prophet’ by Kahlil Gibran.

“Even as love ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, so shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.”

“Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself. Love possesses not nor would it be possessed. For love is sufficient unto love.”

Considering the shortness of our life span, the chaos of this world, and the lack of our true empathy; we should all strive to love more. Start from within, learn to love yourself more, form a healthy relationship with yourself. Then watch your relationships start to flourish.

For when you’ve sufficiently filled your cup, you can receive and give without worrying about that cup ever emptying out.

The grass is always greener on the other side, but if you look closely enough, your grass is just as green as it’s meant to be. Focus on what you have; be grateful, be content, be adaptable. As with the changing of the seasons, our leaves may have to fall to allow the tree to prosper; only for them to re-grow in due time. Everything is cyclic, so are we.

We were crafted from this earth & to it we shall return.

Those with a giving mindset take some comfort knowing that even though they didn’t get exactly what they wanted, they helped someone else get exactly what they wanted.

[All pics were taken on adventure missions]