“Wanting power, fame and wealth is not a bad thing, but we should know that we seek these things because we want to be happy.” Thich Nhat Hanh We all want to be happy.

We strive for it in various ways. I was dedicated to my happiness when I went into business by getting ahead as fast as I could, to building a business  and bringing home the rewards to my family.

There is nothing wrong with this drive, I realize now, if it is not out of proportion.

In every business school we teach about economic growth and the value that is to society. It is supposed to make us happier and more free.

Now we are experiencing the change on our planet in  the environment and reduction of available resources.

Unfortunately, all of the growth we have experienced has not brought us the happiness we seek.

What then is the essence of happiness for us to look for?

Here are my ideas of the essence that will create happiness:

Mindful Choices: How we choose to live makes a huge impact on our physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual self.

If we do not take care of our self first we will not be able to take care of our family, relationships or our work.

2. Transform Yourself: When we realize we are products of our early environment, we understand that the way we have been taught to act is not who we are. Happiness comes to us at a deep level when we shed the stories of our past and step into our authentic power.

3. Mindful Awareness: Most of us live with little awareness of where our days go. Take the time to learn to be aware of your body, mind and soul in every moment. It creates a happy place inside you.

4. Self-Compassion: We offer a helping hand when our neighbor is in trouble. Yet, we offer little to our own welfare when we feel the burden of difficulty.We can learn self-compassion to free ourselves from the pain of the past and destructive thought patterns that keep us locked on a path of challenge and difficulty rather than happiness.

In my own practice I certainly do not profess to be perfect but I keep trying because I have proven to myself these practices help me feel more happiness and freedom.

I think this is the essence of who we are as humans.