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How Do You Define Happiness?...

NOTE: Much of the dialogue below was written back in February, however I did not post it. I was inspired instead to think deeply on my answers - for my sake and yours. I have therefore put in quotes the original writing and then followed below with my thoughts from NOW.

"How do you define happiness?...

This is the question that fellow personal development blogger Alex Shalman wrote to ask me. While I know he wrote to many people, this question seemed to beg answering.

Such a simple question...yet if we could all answer it - and live our answers - the world would change overnight.

Alex has created what he calls The Happiness Project.

You may have already heard about it, however if you haven't, there's plenty of insight and inspiration to be soaked up with this one. He is in the process of interviewing top personal development bloggers about their views on his simple questions about happiness, and all interviews and answers are posted for us to enjoy and reap benefits from.

Thanks, Alex, for the inspiration. Without further adieu, here are my (current) answers to the questions posed by Alex's Happiness Project. Be sure to spend some time reading the many inspiring answers yourself by CLICKING HERE, and if you are a blogger, by all means participate as well!

  1. How do you define happiness?

  2. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your happiness now, versus when you were a child?

  3. What do you do on a daily basis that brings you happiness (and how consistent is the feeling of happiness throughout your day) ?

  4. What things take away from your happiness? What can be done to lessen their impact or remove them from your life?

  5. What do you plan on doing in the future that will bring you even more happiness?"

Excellent questions. However, I've changed this to suit my own questions and my deeper answers. I thank you again, Alex, for the inspiration and I apologize for not participating in the way that you requested.

The following is a list of some of the things that make me happy...and the why.
  • Sunny days, sparkling water: sheer exuberance and joy and 'NOW' feelings
  • The sound of rain, and the misty sunny time after the rain: the first is relaxing and both are calming and refreshing
  • Beautiful classical music: that poignant, 'too beautiful I can't stand it' feeling
  • Birds: sweet little birds and beautiful macaws and flamingos..they are so different from us, and I love to stand and listen to them talk to one another for a few minutes when I'm out walking
  • Travel: that feeling of going new places, exciting experiences
  • Turquoise water and palm trees: sheer appreciation for beauty and a scene that feels like I'm meant to be there >>
  • Beautiful clothes and exquisite jewelry: the feeling of elegance and decadence
  • Well-dressed men: sexiness, confidence, appreciation
  • Accomplishing a goal: satisfaction, pride, more confidence in myself
  • Helping someone else: sharing a connection and feeling worthy and compassionate
  • 'Getting' something I've been struggling with: Relief, and self-validation ie. all the struggle was worthwhile
  • Exercise: physical exhaustion, strength, power
  • Adventure: feeling like I'm squeezing the most out of life
  • Laughing, children giggling: the joy of life and lightheartedness
  • Compliments from people I admire: this is deeper than feeding the ego. When someone I admire says they admire my work, it validates something deep inside and motivates me to keep going
  • Suddenly remembering not to take myself seriously: The literal feeling of lightening up
  • A breakthrough in thinking, a new insight: 'Aha!' moment when perspective changes, altering life
  • Waterfalls and bubbling water: the jumping, bubbling spirit of water makes me feel renewed and full of joy
  • The human spirit: Reminders of our connectedness

After contemplating the overall meaning of these things, I realize there is a common theme running through them, and that happiness is neither a journey nor a destination nor a choice...all of the things I had thought it was. It is, for me, a feeling that we strive for. I feel it most in moments when I feel closest to:

  • My higher self
  • My best self
  • My vision of how things 'could be' if they were even more wonderful than now
  • Simplicity
  • Connectedness with others
  • The sanctity and quietness of NOW
  • Self-confidence
  • Honoring and knowing my self
  • Living by my own voice
  • The spirit - the force - of life

Here is my daughter, demonstrating. Enjoy!



Sriram Makineedi said...

Very well written about the various things that make you happy. I however feel that happiness is a choice more than anything

High_Life said...

You are absolutely right, Sriram...and thanks for stopping by. :)

By focusing on what makes me happy, I choose to be happy. In fact, a more recent article you may enjoy covered that very concept:

Happiness: Solution or Symptom?...

Thanks again, Sriram, and it is my hope that you choose to be happy always!



Nathaniel Hawthorne:

Happiness is as a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but which if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.Nice Comment!

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