The 9 Pillars of Happiness


Do you believe that you are only going to be happy once you’ve got that promotion, found your perfect partner, made your first million or undergone surgery? Maybe you have already ticked off those things you told yourself that would make you happy—the car is on the drive, the ring is on your finger, your bank balance is healthy—but something is missing. You keep going, chasing that dream, waiting to catch up with happiness.

If this were true, if we could only be truly happy when—or if—something was achieved, happiness would only be attainable once or twice a year—if we were lucky.

I see happiness not as a stand-alone state, but rather a state that is born out of living a meaningful life that satisfies our psychological hungers.

Happiness therefore, can be cultivated by setting a daily mindset and focusing on those things that bring us meaning. We don’t need to wait until we get ‘there’—whatever ‘there’ means. We are allowed to be happy more than 3 times a year.

The 9 Pillars of Happiness: (1)

1. Friends

2. Family

3. Wealth

4. Physical Health

5. Emotional Health

6. Spirituality/A cause bigger than ourselves

7. Profession/Purpose

8. Hobbies

9. Relationships/Love/Connection

Take a minute to rate yourself on each of the above pillars; which ones are you giving your most attention? Which are the most ignored? How many of these do you tap into on a daily basis?


Happiness as Fuel

Think of happiness as a fuel for endurance. The more pillars you have in your life, the more resilient you are likely to be. They are what sustain our lives when things are challenging or difficult. It’s like having lots of money in the bank; the fear goes and the interest just keeps rising.

If you have been neglecting your pillars of happiness, you are likely to be struggling and finding that everything is much more difficult than it should be. When we are in this state, we are much more likely to give up and sabotage any potential opportunities. As a result we burn out, get ill or feel deeply unhappy before we even realise that something needs to change.

There will be times when some of your pillars are ‘shaky’ or non-existent, which is ok. The key is self-awareness; knowing when any of our pillars require attention and taking the necessary steps to fix them. For example if you’re missing the sense of belonging that comes with family but don’t have contact with yours, you could join a group with shared values where you can experience a sense of belonging.

By focusing regularly on these pillars, we don’t have to wait anymore; but instead make joy our daily responsibility.

Love, Ismene xxx

Ismene Coleicole