How do you know you are happy?

For people who don't know how to figure out if they're happy, unhappy or alright.

How do you know if you have achieved happiness?

There’s no way to measure your happiness. There’s no dashboard to visualize the metrics of your happiness. So, when you say “I am happy”, how confident are you about that statement? The answer to this problem can be derived by using Inversion mental model.

Inversion mental model

Inversion is the idea that to solve a problem sometimes you can find the solution easier if you think about how NOT to solve the problem.

In order to verify if you are truly happy, you shouldn’t ask yourself “Am I happy?”. This is a hard question to answer. Give it a try.

Instead, ask yourself “What will make me extremely unhappy right now?”. This is an easier question to answer than the former. Give it a try and list down everything that will make you extremely unhappy. For example, things that will make you extremely unhappy could include losing your job, death of a close family member, etc.

Now it’s time to flip and apply the inversion mental model. If you aren’t going through any of the events you listed as extremely unhappy events, you are in a happy state by default! This is how you logically answer the question, "Am I happy?”.

It’s true that many people won’t need a mental model to assess if they are happy or not. But for those of you who are more analytical and never sure about whether you are happy or not (like me), this is a good practice to follow.