10
Mar
08

What makes you happy?

A book by a man called Eric Weiner and the reaction it’s received has caught our attention. Put simply, he has travelled the world trying to understand what makes us happy. If he’d met you, what would you have told him?

Robert H. Frank also argues in the New York Times that the link between income and happiness might not be as strong as you might think. Are you happy? If so, please tell us why, and if not, what would it take?


20 Responses to “What makes you happy?”


  1. 1 steve
    March 10, 2008 at 13:24

    Leaving the Washington, DC area always makes me happy.

  2. March 10, 2008 at 14:30

    Moving to California where my family is makes me happy! Seeing my daughter after coming back from work makes me happy. Accomplishing something at work makes me happy.

  3. 3 Katrina Koch
    March 10, 2008 at 14:45

    Happiness comes from suspending self. You can’t be truly happy as long as you’re doing things just to please yourself. Putting other people’s needs first brings true happiness because it’s not about your needs anymore.

  4. March 10, 2008 at 15:16

    I am indeed truly happy. Income? I live on retirement pensions and savings (sufficient, but not lavish). However, I did achieve higher incomes in my working years that exceeded my childhood dreams. While income/wealth itself does not create nor lead to happiness, poverty can certainly dampen likelihood of achieving or maintaining happiness. Happiness — partly defined as a lack of undue stress — somewhat depends on sufficiency.

    Happiness is an internal state of mind. It’s partly a decision to “own” one’s own emotions and permit or deny external effects on them. It’s partly appreciation and gratitude, and closeness to and bonding with one or more other people (or even a pet). And partly an ability and willingness to perceive and continue a sense of multiple accomplishments, both short-term and long-term.

    Sometimes the journey to happiness — and yes, it’s the journey itself that brings or is happiness — begins after some potentially painful soul-searching: finding, examining, and often disposing of one or more wrong-headed assumptions about yourself or others. In other words, introducing genuine honesty into your thinking. Knowing who you are, what you stand for (and against), and your limitations (“give us the courage to change what we can, to live with what we can’t, and the wisdom to know the difference”)

  5. 5 eric aka eks321
    March 10, 2008 at 15:44

    volunteering. the bottom line is that the joy of giving of myself to better the lives of other people is by far and away the most rewarding and joyful thing for me!

  6. 6 viola anderson
    March 10, 2008 at 15:57

    It isn’t easy, but I believe as Abraham Lincoln said ( and maybe others have said, too), that “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” The biggest mistake anyone can make is to believe that personal happiness is dependent upon what others do to or for us.

  7. 7 John in Germany
    March 10, 2008 at 16:05

    First of all seeing my wife without pain. Observing loving parents with there Children,. Knowing that people do get better from serious illnesses. Hearing about hungry people getting fed. Getting to grips with a guitar fingering, that seemed to be impossible. Bringing a family problem to a good end. Have to be careful here, but watching a young couple just sitting and enjoying each others company, and not eating each other up in the open. Watching young students getting there Diplomas at school, and the proud relatives. Could go on for ever, but the chickens are waiting. Forgot one thing, knowing that some one loves me.
    John in Germany.

  8. 8 Will Rhodes
    March 10, 2008 at 16:19

    What would make me happy is having acceptance letter from a literary agent rather than a rejection letter. That would make me euphoric!

  9. 9 Rory
    March 10, 2008 at 16:45

    Ah Will – an acceptance letter- how many times as writers do we wish for that? But you know, I listened to the medical programme today on the World Service- the item about depression was very interesting. The idea that depression is a slowing down of our system by the body deliberately owing to over expectation and perhaps over estimation of our own skills.
    I went through this in my 30’s. They called it a collapse. I suppose locking yourself in a hotel room for a week and not seeing anyone or answering phone in a foreign country was a little unusual.
    And the article today reminded me of that terrible time where so many thoughts crammed into my mind, and as my African friend always told me “You think too much”came into my mind.
    I was writing a novel – scripts, directing, producing travelling. And frankly I wa snot good enough to do it all.
    I did not like collapsing – it was like a loss of me – of my mangood- of my self- and that was devastating -in fact if it has not been for care and friends, I would not have recovered. And learnt a simple thing.
    Do what I can- aim for excellence- but perfection is God’s business – or someone else who thinks they are God. And I am not.
    And in a minor way- that has made me happy… or perhaps a better word would be – content.
    So – that is my contribution- I may have more to offer in some ways as a result of this time – I do not know whether I can answer that – except I am fuilly aware of others more than I was before. But… and a big BUT I now also know when enough is enough- and that is like a guard against being un-happy.

    Rory

  10. 10 Rory
    March 10, 2008 at 16:45

    Ah Will – an acceptance letter- how many times as writers do we wish for that? But you know, I listened to the medical programme today on the World Service- the item about depression was very interesting. The idea that depression is a slowing down of our system by the body deliberately owing to over expectation and perhaps over estimation of our own skills.
    I went through this in my 30’s. They called it a collapse. I suppose locking yourself in a hotel room for a week and not seeing anyone or answering phone in a foreign country was a little unusual.
    And the article today reminded me of that terrible time where so many thoughts crammed into my mind, and as my African friend always told me “You think too much”came into my mind.
    I was writing a novel – scripts, directing, producing travelling. And frankly I wa snot good enough to do it all.
    I did not like collapsing – it was like a loss of me – of my manhood- of my self- and that was devastating -in fact if it has not been for care and friends, I would not have recovered. And learnt a simple thing.
    Do what I can- aim for excellence- but perfection is God’s business – or someone else who thinks they are God. And I am not.
    And in a minor way- that has made me happy… or perhaps a better word would be – content.
    So – that is my contribution- I may have more to offer in some ways as a result of this time – I do not know whether I can answer that – except I am fully aware of others more than I was before. But… and a big BUT I now also know when enough is enough- and that is like a guard against being un-happy.

    Rory

  11. 11 Alison, Idaho
    March 10, 2008 at 16:50

    Experincing a connection makes me happy…with my husband, my parents, my cats, my garden, a new city or nature are all connections that make me happy and content. Basically, just having time to enjoy life on this amazing planet gives a sense of satisfaction that makes me happy to be here.

  12. 12 Barbara in Johannesburg
    March 10, 2008 at 17:17

    My experience of happiness has been that it is a by-product of other experiences, often surprisingy so, and that it has come to me without my seeking it out actively.
    I have striven actively during my life (I’m 63) for all sorts of things which have brought me satisfactory successes and freedom from material want but these have not been the sources of my happiness, however proud of them I’ve felt.

  13. 13 David Malinda
    March 10, 2008 at 17:24

    Seing some one happy makes me happy too. When a member of my family is in pain I cry internally. This is enough, isn’t it?

  14. 14 Will Rhodes
    March 10, 2008 at 18:29

    Rory

    It was my writing that brought me out of a very depressed state – I won’t go into the details because they are boring to others. I wrote complete gobbledy-gook that would have made little sense to a visiting Martian.

    As always, it is the first time writers/novelists who have it hardest. I had one agent say that they would consider me once I had been published – I mean, WTF is that all about?

    All I can do is keep submitting and, like so many others, hope that a break falls my way.

  15. 15 Adeyemi
    March 10, 2008 at 20:18

    What Makes me Happy

    Three things make me happy:
    Being with my family members;
    Passing my exams very well;
    Most importantly seeing Arsenal FC win their games! I am a die hard Arsenal fan and the result of their games most times dictate my mood!

  16. 16 zainab
    March 11, 2008 at 05:34

    being with my family, doning something that makes my mother and father pleased with me, passing examinations,being with my friends, helping someone and doing good works like charity…etc
    and most importantly hearing a good news about Iraq all these things make me happy.
    and in general happiness comes from being satisfy with your choices in life.

  17. 17 John in Germany
    March 11, 2008 at 10:10

    Hi Will.

    Writing guided you out of depression, that is a success story on its own, and a good reason for you to be happy. Of course the ultimate happiness being getting something published. A member of our family is depressive, and has no chance of being cured, he paints as a therapy, but is still depressive.

    Looking forward to a posting from you saying Got a publisher. How about writing a story about a BEEB, a non political, non religeous news gathering machine?.

    Have a nice day
    John in Germany

  18. 18 Sandy
    March 12, 2008 at 00:25

    Woody Allen Movies.
    Large bodies of water.
    My beautiful girls.
    Music
    Finding a “treasure” at the thrift store
    🙂

  19. 19 Dennis Young, Jr.
    May 9, 2008 at 01:18

    moving to europe and find a wealthy boyfriend and
    getting a nice job….

    dennis
    madrid, united states of america


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