What is Happiness?

Happiness does not lie in objects of enjoyment because happiness is a state of mind. Happiness is an emotion made out of contentment, love, satisfaction, pleasure, or joy.

Many people tried to define happiness throughout history. Philosophers and religious thinkers often define happiness in terms of living a good life, or flourishing, rather than simply as an emotion. Positive psychology describes happiness as consisting of positive emotions and positive activities.

I believe happiness is a choice you have to make. Happiness is a state of being only you can create as you manufacture your own happiness every single moment. That's because happiness is not pleasure although they can appear similar. Happiness has an internal source while pleasure has an external source. Happiness is a belief born inside your mind.

Happiness is the natural state of the mind. Every human that has ever existed has had happiness as their ultimate goal in life. Happiness does not always appear to be an obvious goal because of the intermediate goals we believe are necessary to achieve happiness. But happiness is what is left when you get rid of all the uncomfortable emotions.

Happiness is not the satisfaction of whatever irrational wishes you might blindly attempt to enjoy. Happiness is a state of non-contradictory joy - a joy without penalty or guilt... Happiness is possible only to a rational man... Happiness is a long lasting enjoyment of life, it is being in love with living.

As Abraham Lincoln said a while ago, most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.


The Pursuit Of Happiness

The pursuit of happiness, life and liberty,  are the "unalienable rights" of man, that appear in the U.S. Declaration of Independence. The pursuit of happiness is as natural to us humans as life itself. It is safe to assume that everybody is pursuing happiness, though happiness might mean something else for each and every one of us.

Happiness researchers have been monitoring people's life satisfaction for decades. Though we have not got proof, the science suggests that happiness leads to long life, health, resilience and good performance. If you look at it this way, happiness seems to have almost magical properties.

Standard of living has increased dramatically and happiness hasn't increased at all. Despite all the massive increase in our wealth in the last 50 years our levels of happiness have not increased. This might be because happiness is less a matter of getting what we want than wanting what we have.

There is a lot of evidence that being richer doesn't bring happiness. Wealth is like health: although its utter absence breeds misery, having it is no guarantee of happiness. The research suggests that people in richer countries do tend to be happier than people in not-so-rich ones, but once you have a home, food and clothes, then extra money does not seem to make people much happier. That means that after the basic needs are covered, happiness doesn't resides in money or material possesions anymore. Once you have what to eat and you are warm and safe, happiness comes from within and each is hold responsible for his/her own happiness.

Scientists think they know the reason why we do not feel happier despite all the extra money and material things we can buy.

First, it is thought we adapt to pleasure. We go for things which give us short bursts of pleasure whether it is a chocolate bar or buying a new car. But it quickly wears off.

Secondly, it is thought that we tend to see our life as judged against other people. We compare our lot against others. Richer people do get happier when they compare themselves against poorer people, but poorer people are less happy if they compare up. Just imagine you live in a modest house. Your neighbour at the left has a smaller house than yours. Your neighbour at the right has a bigger house. When you look left, you fell happy, when you look right... well, you got the idea.

The good news is that we can choose how much and who we compare ourselves with and about what, and researchers suggest we adapt less quickly to more meaningful things such as friendship and life goals. Happiness, said Benjamin Franklin, "is produced not so much by great pieces of good fortune that seldom happen as by the little advantages that occur every day". Happiness is the result of living the present moment to its fullest, of being sorrounded by people we love and love us back, of doing meaningful things. What makes you happy?


Love And Happiness

What is happiness for you? For me... for me is loving you and being loved by you.
Love and happiness... Love and happiness seem to go hand in hand for many people. Love lightens up our faces in a way never expected. When you are in love, somehow, all of a sudden, no mountain is too high and happiness is easily achieved.

Many people would argue that love is the recipe to happiness. Of course, there are others that would argue that health or money is the way to happiness. But I don't entirely agree with these last ones. Yes, wealth is good, but it doesn't bring happiness. Health is good too, but it doesn't have much to do with happiness either. Dan Gilbert says that one year after winning the lottery or losing a leg, people were equally happy.

Love and happiness go hand in hand. We need to feel loved and secure in order to be happy. We also need to love back or the balance is disturbed. Researchers showed that it is the quality, not the quantity of our relations that brings us on the path to happiness. Also married people tend to be happier than single ones. Happiness does not depend on our nationality, sex, age or possessions. Happiness is love related.

Human beings are social animals and we base our happiness on the quality of the relations we manage to establish and maintain. Maybe not all the relations we have are love based as you might understand love, but love is not a basic feeling. Love is a secondary feeling made out of passion, commitment and intimacy in various proportions. And that's the reason why we cannot love twice the same.

I especially like these Al Green lyrics:

Love and happiness
You be good to me
I'll be good to you
we'll be together
we'll see each other
walk away with victory
oh baby,
love and happiness...
love and happiness...

For many people establishing good and loving relations with others might be a problem. Though there are lots of books and magazine articles that pretend to sell you love and friendship recipes, the truth is that happiness has no universal recipe. Some tips might work for some people, some for others, some in one situation but not in another's. Also, it is always good to remember that in a relationship should always be involved two people. There just isn't such a thing as a one person relationship. Though happiness comes from within sometimes our happiness seems to depend on others people love and acceptance. One thing to keep in mind is that it is most likely that being loved by somebody does have as much to do with you as it has to do with the other person. Finding our own happiness sources has to do only with our own person.
"If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can he dealt with." (Michael Jackson)


Eight Steps Towards Happiness

Eight Principles of Fun - One of my favorite, most inspirational videos that show you the path towards happiness.


Happiness Quotes

Here is a bunch of quotes about happiness I picked from different sources. Some of the quotes represent my own vision, other quotes are simply funny, and a few quotes are just underlining the variety of beliefs people have about happiness. If you like any other happiness quotes that are not here, please leave a comment.

But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads? (A. Camus)

You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life. (A. Camus)

Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action. (B. Disraeli)

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. (A. Schweitzer)

One should never direct people towards happiness, because happiness too is an idol of the market-place. One should direct them towards mutual affection. A beast gnawing at its prey can be happy too, but only human beings can feel affection for each other, and this is the highest achievement they can aspire to. (A. Solzhenitsyn)

The pursuit of happiness is a most ridiculous phrase, if you pursue happiness you'll never find it. (C. P. Snow)

Happiness is a form of courage. (H. Jackson)

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude. (D. Waitley)

Those who can laugh without cause have either found the true meaning of happiness or have gone stark raving mad. (N. Papernick)

There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state to another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of life. (A. Dumas)

It's pretty hard to tell what does bring happiness. Poverty and wealth have both failed. (F. McKinney "Kin" Hubbard)

There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved. (G. Sand)

The fact is always obvious much too late, but the most singular difference between happiness and joy is that happiness is a solid and joy a liquid. (J.D. Salinger)

The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet. (J. Oppenheim)

What we call the secret of happiness is no more a secret than our willingness to choose life. (L. Buscaglia)

Happiness and sadness run parallel to each other. When one takes a rest, the other one tends to take up the slack. (H. Elliott)

Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you. (N. Hawthorne)

If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have a paradise in a few years. (B. Russell)

Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination. (M. Twain)

Happiness is the feeling you're feeling when you want to keep feeling it. (Author Unknown)

The art of living does not consist in preserving and clinging to a particular mode of happiness, but in allowing happiness to change its form without being disappointed by the change; happiness, like a child, must be allowed to grow up. (C. L. Morgan)

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. (Gandhi)

That is happiness; to be dissolved into something completely great. (W. Cather)


Synthetic Happiness Is Real

In this memorable talk, Dan Gilbert demonstrates just how poor we humans are at predicting (or understanding) what will make us happy. Gilbert is a psychology professor at Harvard, and author of "Stumbling on Happiness".


Happiness Smoothie

This smoothie is heaven on earth, that's why I called it Happiness Smoothie. It is very easy and fun to do, it is full of vitamins and fiber, it is a good breakfast/dessert substitute, and boosts up your mood in no time; all you need are some fresh fruits and a blender. I love my Philips blender. I trust it with my life. But I guess any blender would do.

Happiness Smoothie recipe:
(for 1 person)

- 1/2 banana
- 2-3 strawberries
- 200ml freshly squized orange juice
- 1 pineaple slice

Put all the ingredients in the blender and let them mix for about 2 minutes. The Happiness Smoothie is best served cold and it is probably the best smootie that ever existed. If you like it really sweet, you can add a teaspoon of sugar, but I prefer it unsweetened as these fruits are sweet enough on their own.