Happy: 1. feeling or showing pleasure or contentment. synonyms: cheerful, merry, joyful, jovial, jolly, jocular, gleeful, carefree, satisfied, gratified, buoyant, radiant, sunny, blithe, joyous.
A Better Definition:
“By happiness I mean here a deep sense of flourishing that arises from an exceptionally healthy mind. This is not a mere pleasurable feeling, a fleeting emotion, or a mood, but an optimal state of being. Happiness is also a way of interpreting the world, since while it may be difficult to change the world, it is always possible to change the way we look at it.”
“In brief , the goal of life is a deep state of well - being and wisdom at all moments , accompanied by love for every being . True happiness arises from the essential goodness that wholeheartedly desires everyone to find meaning in their lives .”
Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill (pp. 31-32)
The 12 Powers:
1. Faith: Trusting what we know to be true. Even when we know something to be true and profess to the world that we know it and believe, we don’t always trust it, we don’t always walk the talk.
2. Love: Love is a conscious choice, a decision to see self and other as one. We choose to open up and expand our circles of caring and compassion instead of pulling back and building walls.
3. Strength: Our ability to deal with the world from multiple perspectives, to see and appreciate the tangible and intangible sides of reality. It’s our ability to be agile and resilient at the level of consciousness. Another word for strength is grit from the book: Resilient: How to grow an unshakeable core of clam, strength and happiness by Rick Hanson: “Grit is dogged, tough resourcefulness. It’s what remains after all else has been ground down…” Resilient (p. 77).
4. Power: Our ability to make our ideas known, to put our thoughts into action through the spoken and written word. Plenty of people have big ideas, great ideas but they lack the ability to get anything done, the ideas never seem to get from the intangible realm of consciousness into some tangible and useful form. Their faculty of power is underdeveloped.
5. Wisdom: The power of judgment, discernment and intuition. It is knowing how and when to apply our critical thinking skills to a given situation. We gain knowledge through understanding; wisdom is how we apply it. “Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is technically a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”
6. Understanding: Our ability to gain knowledge, to analyze, to perceive and comprehend the world around us as well as our own role in the world.
7. Imagination: Imagination is a crucial component in creativity, something that is unique to human beings and it is also plays an important role in generating empathy and compassion. Imagination allows us to walk in the shoes of another person and it allows us to create art, literature and music. Without those things we might as well be cave dwellers.
8. Will: The executive faculty of mind. That which says “Make it so”! It is also an essential part of self control and our ability to stick to a task and keep a promise as in "Will Power".
9. Order: Our ability to see life as a process where things need to happen in a certain sequence such as mind, idea and expression along with the patience to trust the process. Order is about developing the patience and courage to let things unfold without a lot of pushing and anxiety. Often we are tempted to rush into the manifestation of something before we do the inner work of carefully examining our ideas and bring the rest of the powers to bear first.
10. Zeal: Our enthusiasm and passion, qualities that keep us focused and motivated. Everybody needs a reason to get out of bed in the morning that fills you with a certain amount of energy and optimism,
11. Release: The ability to change our mind, our way of thinking. We release the things that no longer work for our best interest instead of lugging around a lot of useless baggage. Release is what makes it possible for science to work. When a hypothesis doesn’t match the evidence, we don’t try to change the evidence, we release the hypothesis and try something new.
12. Life: Our ability to express the quality of aliveness, what is it that brings life to what we do and how do we express that quality in what we say and do? It becomes an indicator of the degree to which we are aligned with principle or whatever reality it is we point to when we use the word god. This is different from zeal. Life is having a reasonably clear answer to this all important question; Why am I here? It’s about having an awareness of our life purpose, having a mission in life. Zeal is about the passion we bring to that mission but first we have to articulate and express it so it comes alive in us.