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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Analyzing Happiness

It was a most perfect day. Dazzling cobalt blue sky, abundant sunshine and springlike temps in the mid 70s. A picnic in a tree-shaded park overlooking the azure Gulf waters that shimmered like diamonds in the sunlight. For company...two laughing grandboys as sweet as angels and my beautiful daughter. After lunch, fun with the kids on the playground and later a stroll along the shoreline watching sailboats glide serenely out to sea in the gentle breeze. A happy day indeed.

What makes you happy? Does happiness need to be analyzed? Millions of self-help books offer tons of advice on how to become a happier person. I'm willing to bet that therapists and self-help gurus are not nearly as happy as they proclaim to be. But many of us are eager to shell out big bucks to learn the secret to happiness.

Most of us aspire to be happy. I suppose there are a few crusty curmudgeons out there who are perfectly comfortable in their unhappiness. But most of us seek contentment and inner peace removed from stress and worry. Personally, I don't think happiness comes from outside sources. Happiness comes from within ourselves. It's manifested in how we treat people, how we approach life and how we feel about ourselves. I believe that everyone has the potential to be happy. For some, happiness comes as easy as a sweet breeze on a sunny day. For others, happiness is like a brass ring that eludes their grasp. Are some folks just plain unhappy at their very core? Do they wallow in their unhappiness because it gives them a lopsided sense of pleasure? We all know people who appear to enjoy being unhappy. They are the kings and queens of melodrama...self-absorbed in their misery, they seem to relish spreading their woes to everyone they meet. On the other hand, we've all met remarkable individuals who endure anguish and hardships, yet they are optimistic and resilient.

Can we really become a happier person if we take time to analyze happiness? Is it worthwhile to dissect this intangible human emotion that may not be the same for everyone? Sometimes I think it can be helpful to rethink what happiness means to us personally...to look at our own life from a different perspective...to understand why we may not be as happy as we think we should be and to learn how to dump our negative thinking. It's important to count our blessings...to appreciate what we have and to show gratitude. One thing I know for sure: happiness can be elusive. And that's why it's something I never take for granted. Sphere: Related Content

12 comments:

Coffeypot said...

I’m happy being a curmudgeon.

ChrisJ said...

Happiness comes when we're not looking for it. Often too, we only realize how happy we were afterwards. I think my happiness comes when I'm sitting outside on the patio watching the birds in just the right temperatures . That's almost serenity.

john said...

i agree that true happiness can only be found in oneself. Some need the guidance of others to show them how to look inside. Others just need to read your post :)
sailing ships and picnics :D

Douglas said...

Happiness was a frequent subject of discussion between my first wife and myself. The problem? She wanted, sought, others to make her happy. I never sought happiness outside myself. I appreciated what good was around me, what life offered, what was available. She was an unhappy woman and that is what led to our parting. I could not give her what she lacked inside.

ReformingGeek said...

Without inner peace and love and respect for ourselves, life is a lot harder than it should be.

Nice post!

Kathy said...

Good post, you are so right. Happiness is something that someone else can't give you. It is definitely found within.

Anything Fits a Naked Man said...

Couldn't agree more. When I went through a divorce several years ago, I vowed that once I got through it, I would never again take for granted ANY of life's simple pleasures. I kept that promise!!

Now, the birds eating at my feeder, cool grass under bare feet, daffodils blooming in the Spring, all make me blissfully happy!!

Brenda Grolle said...

As others have said, it's often the simple things that bring the most happiness. For example, the fact that one can arise every morning relatively healthy is something that many take for granted, not considering that it can be a source of happiness in itself.

Fran said...

A warm bed. The radio. The curtains open so I can see the stars. Knowing the next day is not a work day.

Nothing can beat it.

diney said...

You are right that some folk seem to enjoy being unhappy and life is apssing them by. There are always simple things that can make the day happier - sunshine, the smell of fresh coffee, the smile of your child or partner, the adoring look from your dog, the sound of a piece of music....I'm a happy little soul really, I've decided! Despite writing recently on life being shite at times, but we have to endure some pain to enjoy the good times.

gayle said...

You are so right about happiness!

J.P. Travis said...

I don't know about the happy thing, but I sure know when I'm unhappy. What does that say about me?

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