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Follow the 4 “P’s” to Greater Happiness

If someone asked if you were happy, what would you say?

Most people would express being sort of happy, or at least content.

Though, even when people are content, they probably want to find greater happiness.

The problem is, most people don’t know what to do to start leading a happier life.

You may have heard numerous perspectives on finding happiness, such as “you just have to choose to be happy,” or “happiness comes from within.”

There is some truth to these notions, but there is more to the process than just a change in attitude.

Research has shown that people have a happiness set-point which influences their happiness at about a 50% ratio. We have a baseline level where our happiness fluctuates around.

Even with this in mind, there are another 50% of factors that we can focus on to increase happiness. This includes (40%) intentional activities and (10%) life circumstances.

Seeking to be happier and have a more fulfilling life is a matter of doing more of what you love to do, having nourishing relationships, as well as finding meaning and purpose in life.

In other words, by following the four “P’s.”

Pleasure – What are your hobbies? How would you like to spend your leisure time? This comes down to is finding time for pleasurable and enjoyable activities. Think about your happiest moments in life. These are the types of experience that may have offered you pleasure. So, one step is to begin engaging more happy moments in your life.

Passion – Following your passions involves engaging in activities that fully absorb your attention and that you find intrinsically motivating.  These are the experiences where you’re fully in the moment and time just seems to fly by, which is something called flow. Start pursuing life goals that are intrinsically motivating and offer genuine fulfillment.

Purpose – Having meaning beyond you is crucial for well-being. Discover what you truly believe in, and your mission for how you want to live life. Begin to uncover how you can find significance in life through being a part of meaningful projects and making a positive impact in the world. Cultivate compassion, do more acts of kindness, and recognize the impact you have.

People – How do your relationships impact your well-being? Striving to have nourishing relationships is another key to finding greater happiness. Spend your time with people who offer you personal growth and who you also provide value to. Begin focusing on how relationships can provide value, personal growth, and more moments of joy.

Make the effort this year to start filling your life with what will make you happier. The four pathways above are a matter you have a choice in. It may take some soul searching and reorganization of habits and activities, but greater happiness is attainable.

Follow the 4 “P’s” to Greater Happiness

Joe Wilner

Joe Wilner is a life coach, licensed clinical psychotherapist (LCP), and drummer from the band Yes You Are. He is also creator of You Have a Calling, a blog and online community helping people discover and pursue their life’s work and mission. Through deep and personalized coaching, he helps ambitious, creative, and spiritually minded individuals make a greater impact, grow as leaders, and design a soulful life they are inspired by.

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APA Reference
Wilner, J. (2011). Follow the 4 “P’s” to Greater Happiness. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 2, 2020, from


Last updated: 2 Feb 2011
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