Answer: This is a very good question and the answer lies in taking calculated risks and in doing experiments to find a vitally absorbing interest. Let me explain.
Once you have come to understand the core concepts of REBT such as unconditional self, other, and life acceptance and being responsible for your emotions you are well on your way to not disturbing yourself about the adversities of life as well as your own imperfections. Finding happiness has more to do with tenaciously pursuing powerfully absorbing and meaningful activities and pursuits. In REBT we call these things vitally absorbing interests. Examples of such interests include but are not limited to building a family, building a business, political activities, volunteerism, pursuing or creating knowledge, creating art, as well as passionate involvement in one or more hobbies or leisurely pursuits. One needs to find what they are passionate about and then to stay vitally involved with it. You must experiment with different activities to discover what you are passionate about and what brings you meaning and happiness. You need to take calculated risks and get involved in different activities and test your hypothesis to determine if a particular activity is vitally absorbing for you. The ideas of vitally absorbing interests and calculated risk taking are two components of the philosophy of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy which we encourage you to implement. REBT also helps with the pursuit of happiness by encouraging you to identify and dispute self-defeating beliefs which interfere with calculated risk taking and pursuing vitally absorbing interests.
Common irrational beliefs which can interfere with your ability to take calculated risks and to pursue vitally absorbing interests are a need for a guarantee, fear of failure, and low discomfort tolerance. If you think “I need to have a guarantee that the activities I invest my time and energy in will produce the happiness and meaning I want” then you will never invest your time and energy in any worthwhile endeavor. If you think “I must not fail” you will not experiment and tenaciously pursue things you are interested in. Finally, if you think “It is too hard to invest time and energy and that happiness should come with little or no effort or risk” you will fall prey to inertia and inaction. Alternatively you could take aim at such irrational thinking using the critical thinking skills and disputing methods of REBT and adopt the following happiness facilitating credo consistent with REBT philosophy:
I accept that happiness is the byproduct of activity in vitally absorbing interests. It is not a one size fits all algorithm but a highly individualized one. I will experiment with numerous activities I think will fully engage my interests and abilities during my limited time here on earth. I know full well I have no guarantee that any experiment I do will be successful. I will stick with a given vitally absorbing interest long enough to give it a reasonable chance of producing happiness and meaning for me by accepting that this byproduct takes time, investment and energy. If after a reasonable period of time I fail to find sufficient happiness in the vitally absorbing interest I have been pursuing I will never see that as unbearable but merely a signal that it is time for me to experiment with a different vitally absorbing interest. It is only through self-direction, activity, experimentation, calculated risk taking and discomfort tolerance that I will perhaps discover what maximizes my happiness and meaning in life. If I fail I fail and that will be very bad but hardly unbearable. Waiting for happiness and meaning to come to me will very likely leave me unhappy and unfulfilled in life.