For many people, the idea of happiness conjures images of a gorgeous beach vacation, an exciting love affair, or the simple enjoyment of family and friends. But lasting happiness — a deep sense of sustained satisfaction and fulfillment — is complicated, based on far more than momentary pleasures or even strong relationships. It is achieved through meaningful work and connections, but also through overcoming obstacles and meeting life’s many challenges — learning self-discipline or -respect, for example, or developing greater compassion for others. Each sign of the Zodiac has a unique prescription for finding lasting happiness, based on that sign’s distinctive traits, both positive and challenging. Read on to learn about your sign’s recipe for genuine fulfillment.
Aries (March 20th - April 19th)
For the Ram, achieving lasting happiness is all about tempering your fiery willpower with a good dose of grounded energy. The trick is finding a balance between these two extremes. How can you soften your sharper edges, curb your impulses and check your temper without completely dousing your inner fire — that wonderful, courageous drive that makes you who you are? That, in a nutshell, is your challenge. In your work and your personal life, surround yourself with people who can offer dependability and stability, but who also challenge you — and stand up to you when needed. Your best long-term relationships are with people who match your driven energy, who allow you to exercise your individuality, who appreciate your impulsiveness, and who whet your appetite for variety.
Taurus (April 20th - May 20th)
Lasting happiness might seem easy to accomplish for the Bull — it’s all about excellent food, great friends and a comfortable place to lay your head at night, right? That’s partly true; creature comforts certainly make Taurus happy in the moment. But lasting fulfillment is a bit more complicated than a great meal, an expensive outfit or a luxurious home. You also need good, meaningful work that exercises your strength and endurance. You need loving, dependable friends who know how to blast through your occasional bouts of stubbornness. And you need people to challenge your routines and expectations, so you don’t get stuck in a comfortable rut. These are the keys to your satisfaction.
Gemini (May 21st - June 20th)
For the sign of the Twins, variety is truly the spice of life. In some ways, all you need to achieve lasting happiness is the head on your shoulders — your own mind often provides all the humor, intriguing ideas and running in-your-head commentary needed to keep life interesting. But while you’re a pro at staying entertained in almost any situation, you can have a hard time with decision-making and follow-through, and all too often, it may feel as if you’re just spinning your wheels. A good friend or partner can help by sharing both ideas and efforts. If they provide a grounding influence and a solid sense of direction, so much the better.
Cancer (June 21st - July 21st)
Lasting happiness for the sign of the Crab is all about security. Like the self-protective creature that symbolizes your sign, you tend to withdraw when you feel threatened, or even when you’re just tired and overwhelmed. Therefore, a private, secure and comfortable retreat is a must. That may take the form of a home that you put a lot of time and effort into fixing just the way you want it, but it may also take the form of a close, trusted friend or partner. Cancers are all about family, whether the one you’re born into or the one you create over time. Sharing a solid bond and foundation with the people you call family makes you feel as if you can achieve anything.
Leo (July 22nd - August 21st)
What makes the courageous Lion happy? Oh, just warmth, romance, drama, excitement, fun, family, and plenty of extravagant gifts — in other words, all the best that life has to offer. That may sound like a tall order, but if anyone can have it all, it’s strong, brave, warm-hearted Leo. It helps that your radiant personality attracts others like moths to a flame. You tend to impress people easily, including employers, clients, lovers and friends. You adore being the center of attention, but like a child sick from candy overload, too much isn’t a good thing. Find meaningful work you love and surround yourself with devoted, fun-loving friends who don’t let your strong personality dominate the relationship overmuch, and you’ll find happiness that lasts.
Virgo (August 22nd - September 21st)
To achieve lasting fulfillment, Virgo needs, first and foremost, to feel useful. You want to help others, and you’re good at it. A service-oriented occupation that exercises this skill brings you plenty of satisfaction, as long as you don’t start feeling as if others are taking advantage of your nature. Good thing you tend to open up slowly and take your time before committing to a long-term relationship. This gives you time to determine whether the other person is worth your devotion. Seek friends, lovers and business partners who offer you both stability and reassurance, to counter your tendency toward anxiety and self-criticism. Learning to be proud of yourself — and a bit selfish from time to time — will foster a deep, enduring sense of happiness.
Libra (September 22nd - October 22nd)
For the sign of the Scales, lasting happiness is all about balance. At work and among your friends, you tend to be the peacekeeper. You don’t enjoy making waves, so you’ll go out of your way to find common ground or a solution that works for everyone. This serves you and others well in a variety of situations, but life won’t always cooperate with your desire for harmony. Thus, your challenge is to learn to make tough decisions and take a stand when necessary. Otherwise, you run the risk of being mistreated in both professional and personal relationships, which can be a major barrier to deep, lasting fulfillment. Learn to speak your truth, even as you work toward cooperation.
Scorpio (October 23rd - November 21st)
For the sign of the Scorpion, achieving an enduring sense of fulfillment is a complicated process — but then, what isn’t? Scorpio thrives on complexity and intensity. For you, lasting happiness is about channeling your power in positive ways. For example, tempering deep passion with compassion helps you avoid lashing out when you’ve been hurt, because you know others are hurting, too. If you find yourself trying to control events and people around you, work on learning to control only yourself — but not so much that you don’t allow yourself to express your deepest emotions. Trusted friends are essential to your emotional wellbeing, so seek out positive bonds with people who understand just how deeply you experience life.
Sagittarius (November 22nd - December 20th)
Lasting happiness isn’t difficult for the Archer; your naturally sunny nature and optimistic outlook make it easy to greet each new day with cheer. But your idealism can also lead to disappointment when reality doesn’t live up to the image you held in your mind. Furthermore, your adventurous, gregarious spirit leads you far and wide — so much so that you may end up feeling lonely or without a home base. For you, enduring fulfillment comes from finding a stable influence to provide a foundation for your drive for knowledge and experience. Seek friends, lovers and business partners who give you plenty of freedom to explore, but who can also help to ground you when needed. Strive to develop follow-through, even as you honor and utilize your innate flexibility.
Capricorn (December 21st - January 18th)
Happiness may seem a frivolous pursuit to the hardworking Goat. You’re focused on achievement; as soon as you reach a goal, you set a new one. But all work and no play truly makes life dull. Therefore, lasting happiness for you involves lightening up a bit. Don’t be so hard on yourself; strive instead to take pride in your many accomplishments and positive qualities. If you make a mistake, trust that you’ll succeed next time. Above all, make time for fun and relaxation. Seek solid relationships with people you trust, who can help you relax and enjoy yourself from time to time. After all, not everything has to have an end goal.
Aquarius (January 19th - February 17th)
For the Water Bearer, lasting happiness comes from having the freedom to be exactly who you are, and to feel as if you’re making a difference in the world. You’re the maverick of the Zodiac; perhaps more than any other sign, you march to the beat of your own drummer. Work that engages your inventive mind fulfills you, but can cause problems with friends and family — the people who want to connect with you on a regular basis. To achieve lasting happiness, focus not just on meaningful work, but also on deep emotional attachments. Seek relationships with people who understand your need for freedom and alone time, but who can also draw you in occasionally for some warmth, comfort and connection.
Pisces (February 18th - March 19th)
For the tender, loving sign of the Fish, happiness may seem to hinge on romantic fulfillment. Emotional and intuitive, Pisces soaks up others’ feelings like a sponge; you feel their pain, their excitement, their sadness or worry. For this reason, it’s important to seek relationships with people who are basically grounded and content, as becoming entwined with someone depressed or self-destructive could overwhelm you. Furthermore, it’s important to work on setting firm boundaries with others. In friendship and in love, you might throw yourself into selfless devotion and neglect your own needs. Enduring happiness comes from honoring your compassionate, intuitive, flexible and fanciful nature while developing your personal power so you can stand up for yourself when necessary.