Because everyone has self-awareness, human beings know what it means to be happy or unhappy. This feeling is so basic that seeking happiness comes naturally. Yet for some reason happiness proves elusive, and feeling that you can find permanent happiness can seem futile.
If we look closely, however, there are three ways to be happy. The first two arise in everyone’s life; the third is rare. But the third way is the only one, after centuries of seeking, that has stood the test of time. Every age is challenged to rediscover the third way, including our own time.
The first way to be happy is to follow your impulses without judging them, taking life as it comes from moment to moment. This is the way of babies and small children. They are motivated by the next thing that occurs to them, and they have little ability to predict what will turn out to be a sad or glad experience. Impulsiveness lingers in many people after they become adults, but the vast majority of people move on to the second way of being happy.