The Paths to a Happy Life.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.


Thoughts to make you happier.
Photo courtesy of

The Pursuit of Happiness is a journey, not a destination.

There are many paths that may take you to happiness. The trail that takes one person there may not work for someone else. One of the surprising things about happiness is, it’s less about the specific road you’re traveling and more about the way you take the journey.

You don’t reach happiness by traveling the road of misery. Those people who enjoy what they’re doing and do what they enjoy collect happiness along the way. If you spend your life wallowing in misery, don’t expect to arrive at happiness.

Learning to recognize happiness makes you a happiness expert.

Every day has little happy moments that come and go. People walk right past a beautiful flower in bloom and never notice it. If you want more happiness in your life, you need to become an expert at recognizing those little happy moments.

You can increase your happiness in life by practicing recognizing happiness when it is in front of you. Rushing from place to place looking for happiness is probably taking you right past the thing you’re looking for.

Belonging matters more than belongings in creating happiness.

Acquiring things, ownership for its own sake generally results in a short-lived burst of pleasure. Then the joy fades quickly. Relationships, healthy and happy ones, maximize your happiness over the long run. When you look back on your life, you’re more likely to fondly remember the experiences you shared with others than the things you bought.

Accumulate emotional wealth to expand your happiness.

Too much emphasis on accumulating financial wealth results in you becoming an unhappy miser. Grow your financial assets for what you can do with them. People who use their time and money to create positive experiences accumulate emotional wealth, the kind that isn’t taxed.

Late in life, when people reflect on what they remember and what they regret, most common regrets are the things they always said they wanted to do but never did.

You must give it away to keep it. Being selfish reduces happiness.

Doing things for others can bring you great joy. Being selfish emphasizes what you lack not what you have. Do what you can for others, and their happiness will be added to yours.

Doing for the joy of it multiplies happiness.

The most delightful job on earth is the one where you do something you absolutely love, and they pay you to do it. Whatever you do try to find positive in everything you do. Happily doing the simplest task with a positive outlook can increase your happiness.

The happy life stays in balance.

A little water quenches thirst; too much will drown you. The human body needs exercise, but it also needs rest. The happy life is one that strives for balance rather than believing that a large amount of one item will make up for all the other deficits. Balance your work and your leisure. Take care of your physical body. Get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat a healthy diet. Balance the time you spend with others and the time, you reserved for yourself.

Happiness requires doing, act.

Reaching happiness requires a journey. Try each day to do one thing worth doing. You can think about what you’re going to do forever, but it’s only a fantasy. To make your dreams come true, you must act. Avoid excessive judgment and give yourself credit for things done.

Maximize your contentment by wanting less.

Wanting is a mirage. The more you want, the less you value what you have. Happiness that comes from contentment has a long shelf life. Satisfaction comes from appreciating what you have and limiting your wants to those things you’re willing to work for.

Cultivate gratitude, and you will become happier.

People who are grateful find it much easier to be happy. Gratitude is the kind of tree that requires nurturing. The more you grow your gratitude, the more fruit it will bear. Focusing on what you don’t have can lead to depression. When you are grateful for what you have you then you will feel energized to continue along the paths which lead to permanent happiness.

Stop comparing yourself to those with more.

If you constantly compare yourself to those who have more than you do, you will always come up short and unhappy. The more you feel empathy for those who have less than you the more you will appreciate what you do have.

I realize those directions are a little sketchy, but I believe that if you follow these paths, you will have a productive life full of opportunities to pursue happiness.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Three David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive? The guests had come to Meditation Mountain to find themselves. Trapped in the Menhirs during a sudden desert storm, two guests move through a porthole in time and encounter long extinct monsters. They want to get back to their own time, but the Sasquatch intends to kill them.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and many other online stores.

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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at

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