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What does it mean to be happy?

It seems that at least once a year I reflect on this topic Meanwhile, the rest of the world is obsessing about it.

There are countless books, movies, podcasts, talk shows and seminars all centered around the pursuit of happiness. Some of them promise to make us feel happy, at least temporarily. But the truth is that happiness is an inside job. A book or a seminar may shed some new light on the subject and put things into perspective, but it cannot make us happy in the long run.

Happiness is a choice. Every morning upon rising we chose to be happy, sad or indifferent. It's up to us to wave away the worries from a previous day or the challenges of the day ahead. It's up to us to keep things in perspective.

So why are so many people not choosing to be happy at all times? Maybe it's because they're not sure what it means.

So I ask again, what does it mean to be happy?

It's not fame. After the recent fiascos of Britney Spears and Lindsey Lohan, the thought of celebrity status holds very little appeal.  

It's not fortune. Eliot Spitzer had enough money and power for a hundred men, yet still managed to ruin his career and his marriage.

If fame or fortune can't make us happy, what does? Is it good health? A successful career? The love of our families?

What's on Your Happiness List?

To me, "happy" stands for:

Harmony. Listening and paying attention to everything that strikes a chord.

Appreciation. Appreciating and celebrating all that we have.  

*Politeness*. Treating others how we would like to be treated.

*Positivity*. Always looking for the good and the beautiful.

Ying/Yang. Having balance in life.

The problem with being happy is that things like harmony, appreciation and balance don't necessarily come easy. In fact, sometimes we have to work for them.

One of the best tools I have found to instill a sense of happiness is simply to make a list of the things I feel happy about. It only takes a few minutes each day, but the psychic rewards are well worth the time and effort.

 

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Here's part of my "happiness" list:

•Happiness is my 88-year old grandma who always makes me laugh. Recently she told me (and meant it from the heart), "You look great, you got fat, I'm so proud of you."  

•Happiness is my grandpa, who got married last month – at age 94! When I asked how his sex life is, he replied, "I can't and she won't."

•Happiness is my niece & nephew, who come over to visit so they can be with their cousins.

•Happiness is my parents, who, after so many years of marriage are still holding hands like two teenagers in love.

•Happiness is my wonderful children, who express their love and show their appreciation when they hug and kiss me.

•Happiness is my darling husband, who worries about our family and often surprises me with unexpected getaways.

•Happiness is being active, feeling great and staying fit.

Each day, my list continues to grow. And as I write this, so does the happy feeling inside me.  

The pursuit of happiness is a life-long quest, so never give up on it.  And when you achieve happiness, never take it for granted.  

Learn to live in harmony, be polite, and appreciate what you have. Look for the good in life, even when it can be hard to find.  And most of all, never under estimate the power of Yin/Yang.

All the best,

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Kelly-Williams, M.A. wrote Jul 6, 2008
    • The 94 year old grandpa comment about having sex was priceless!  That comment alone will make me happy for days!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Jul 7, 2008
    • How about this one:

      At 87 he told my dad to get him Viagra, so my dad was reluctant to do so, but after three weeks gave in and brought him few pills. Told him to take one.  

      Next morning grandpa called dad all pissed, off, IT DIDN’t WORK he screamed. My dad lost for words said that he should take two next time.

      The next day grandma called screaming....

      It’s never a dull moment in my house.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Stephanie wrote Jul 7, 2008
    • Happiness is when you can wake up every morning and smile.  

      Happiness is when the people around you make you feel warm.

      Happiness is when love surrounds you.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kendal wrote Jul 7, 2008
    • To me happiness is when a person lives a life full of laughter and love. It is the most powerful feeling that can make one’s life full of positive energy.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Carine Nadel wrote Jul 9, 2008
    • I love this Yana!  especially about your grandfather!  for me, happiness is my family, my friends and my writing.  thank god for all 3



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mara wrote Jul 10, 2008
    • I agree it is choice you make everyday.  We have the power to be happy and we should embrace it.  Nice list Yana!

      Mara
      [Link Removed]


      Mara, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Susan Haley wrote Jul 10, 2008
    • Hi Yana

      Just your entire attitude makes me happy. If people would accentuate the things lighter of heart, the little nuances of humor that surround us, and yes, just make note of a small blessing wrapped around every burden. Sure the burdens are part of life too, but they usually come gift wrapped in varying degrees. If we’d spend as much time reflecting on the wrapping as we do on the contents, miracles would occur. Every storm is a rainbow waiting to be born.

      May you always have rainbows!

      Susan Haley
      RAINY DAY PEOPLE



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linda Blanco wrote Jul 11, 2008
    • Happiness to me is being grateful for all I have.  No matter how tough things get we must always remember someone else has it much harder!

      Being positive is the keep to happiness!
      [Link Removed] 


      Blancogator, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Julie Molner wrote Jul 12, 2008
    • Yanna, your post is right on target!  Happiness is a perspective and it comes from within.  Nothing or no one can make us happy except ourselves.  We may feel happy for awhile because of something or someone but it does not last for long.

      I love your list.  I do something similar and even list things like hearing the birds singing, seeing the intensity of the blue sky—heck, simply being able to hear and see!  

      I send out best wishes for everyone to connect with their happiness,
      Julie Molner
      www.essentialguideforwomenblog.com



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jewelrybyirina wrote Jul 14, 2008
    • Yana,
      I do understand your comment about grandpa:) My grandma was dating at 70.  When her guy ask her to move-in together, she replied:‘I am not going to be just your lover‘.  She wanted him to know she wanted to get married.  They did get married soon after her ultimatum and lived happily.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Leeann wrote Jul 23, 2008
    • Happiness being around warm and caring people.



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