How do you define happiness

How do you define happiness?


Is it achieving a long awaited goal, earning a high income or landing the next big deal? Would you agree Westerns have more to be happy about than our counterpart countries? Or are we deceived?

Born to Middle-Eastern parents, culture, religion and family were high on my value system. Able to juggle and manage a cultural and familial lifestyle with workplace requirements and social expectations, I must contend I believed I was happy. As a cultural and career-orientated mother I measured happiness and success through my children, family and community as well as my qualifications, profession and experiences. So when opportunity knocked I opened doors.

I choose to frame my world positively and not to disclose the complexity of juggling two differing worlds. A world as a Muslim Australian constantly challenged to prove my skills and ability as a Western female employee.

Was I able to unite East and West? Absolutely! Yet truthfully amidst being constantly busy I identified an emotional void. After some time I realised I had been the recipient of unconscious exclusion of the two worlds I claimed as mine. In search for an explanation I immersed myself into a new world of mindful awareness.

I learnt the most powerful lesson. The ultimate key to happiness is liberation. Liberation is the connection to true self and being authentic. Are you challenged emotionally? Have you been listening to your inner intuition? The pursuit of happiness is a journey that begins with conscious mindfulness. Firstly connect to your true self and experience the powerful feelings of love, joy and exuberance. Make this a priority before you venture out to touch the lives of those in your circle of influence and beyond so that you can align to your life’s purpose.

Follow these four steps to integrate more awareness into everyday living and experience greater inner happiness.

  1. Love Unconditionally Learn to nourish yourself with love to feel fulfilled. Don’t look to the outer world. Go inward and begin to love your point of difference. Love the amazing person you currently are and everything you have to offer. Remember no one is perfect and you and everyone else are deserving of unconditional love. Regardless of differences, everyone craves to feel love and connection.
  2. Express Gratitude Don’t take for granted the good things in life. Count your blessings. Gratitude is a mental tool we use to help shift focus and increase ones energy frequency. Get into the habit of being in a state of gratitude as it can help you through hard times and produces a happiness boost. A common happiness practise is to keep a gratitude journal as it helps cultivate an appreciation for people and resources.
  3. Celebrate Diversity Turn your attention away from others and onto self. No two people will ever be the same therefore examine your own behaviours, attitudes and strengths and celebrate what you have to offer by way of diversity. Embrace your own cultural, religious, racial and unique identity to fully appreciate the diversity of others. Accepting your authenticity actually increases inner harmony and enjoyment.
  4. Perform Acts of Kindness Whatever wave you may be riding to find inner happiness, operate from your heart space. Perform Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) to keep you and others motivated and happier with feelings of inclusiveness. An act of kindness is an impromptu gesture towards anyone without expecting anything back.

When you give of yourself not only does it lead to happiness, your physical health is improved, depression is reduced and well-being is increased.

Live a happy life with no regrets!

Najla Turk is a best-selling author and a Diversity and Inclusion Consultant.

Najla has first-hand experiences of the challenges of being culturally diverse with over 20 years’ experience delivering training and workshops on cultural intelligence. She uses her knowledge and skill to guide leaders to manage workplace diversity and increase engagement and productivity.

Based in Sydney, Australia Email: | Ph: +61 402 397 523 or visit

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