What makes you happy? If you're not as happy as you'd like to be, how do you decide what to do to become happier?

Though there are many things people acquire in search of happiness, you've probably found that new material possessions make you happier for a brief time, but that quickly fades. Psychologists call this hedonic adaptation, a fancy name signifying people adjust to new things. If something new brings a burst of happiness, it won't last long—the newness and the happiness it brought wear off.

There is a way, though, that you can systematically decide on a course of action to find greater happiness. The things most likely to increase your happiness won't be found on The Shopping Channel or display shelves of a store. Instead of looking around for sources of greater happiness, psychologists and spiritualists agree that you should be looking within.

Tapping the Source: Using the Master Key System for Abundance and Happiness (Sterling Publishing, 2010) updates Charles Haanel's Master Key System, published in 1912. Tapping the Source authors William Gladstone, Richard Greninger, and John Selby have modernized Haanel's rendition of the necessary ingredients for happiness.

The Ingredients of Happiness

According to Tapping the Source authors, the following ingredients are necessary for a person to feel happy:

  • Healthy Body: Would healing or lifestyle changes make you happier?
  • Healthy Emotions: Do you have a healthy outlook about yourself and your environment?
  • Feeling Powerful: Do you feel strong, capable of achieving and accomplishing?
  • Love and Friendship: Do you feel loved and appreciated, and do you have strong friendships?
  • Harmonious Environment: Does your environment nourish and soothe you or is it a source of grating irritation?
  • Sufficient Resources for Security and Comfort: Do you have sufficient resources to acquire shelter, food, security, and necessities of comfort?
  • Thriving, Pleasurable Life: Are you thriving with enthusiasm, energy, and meaning in your life?

How do you use this list? Though reading through it may give you ideas about things that will make you happier, the authors suggest a more certain and powerful way to select areas for increasing your happiness.

Learn Meditation for Greater Happiness

The path to finding greater happiness winds through meditation. The authors maintain that each person's source of wisdom and energy is internal. To gain access to the natural, internal wisdom about yourself and what you need, you must first quiet your mind through meditation.

While your mind is quiet in meditation mentally examine the ingredients of happiness. Your internal wisdom will point out the areas that will bring you greater happiness. This can only occur when your mind is quiet, otherwise your ego will respond to your queries for happiness solutions with the latest marketing pitches you've witnessed—a new car, the latest smartphone, sparkling jewelry, a promising new relationship, or a new career.

Though the benefits of meditation are well known, many people have difficulty quieting their minds sufficiently to reap meditation's benefits. Failing to quiet your mind while mentally examining the happiness ingredient list will sabotage this effort, too.

The authors provide an easily implemented suggestion that should enable you to quiet your mind so your meditation is pleasant and effective. Readers having difficulty with meditation due to an over-active mind can find this technique in Learn Meditation: Positive Affirmations and the Law of Attraction.

Your Secrets of Happiness

What it takes to make you happier is already within you. The secret to your happiness is to look within while meditating on the ingredients of happiness summarized in this article.