“When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.”
– The Dalai Lama

I have been thinking quite a bit about happiness lately. What it really is, how it is achieved. I find that I feel the happiest when I count blessings, but a close second is longing for those things that I want to achieve. I think we sometimes thing that the longing feeling for something we want is happiness, and that we are the happiest right before we obtain that thing that we want… but then once it is obtained what happens? do we then lose it, take it for granted, stop being happy about it?

It is a tough question for sure, I think the Dalai Lama has it right. Jesus told us to love one another, and I think that the more we love one another the closer to happiness we will be. I also believe that happiness comes from within and that you cannot make someone else happy unless you are happy first… but this is one of the things that is being challenged by my mind. Is it possible then to make someone else happy if you are not happy yourself?

9 comments on “Happiness

  1. I do think it is possible to make others happy even when you yourself are not happy. At least for a little while. I know that I was not happy for quite some time but I stayed with my fiance anyway, trying to make it work. He seemed happy for a time. But he could eventually tell that I wasn’t happy. The bigger question is, how do we find the thing(s) that will eventually make us happy?

  2. Happiness is a choice; as is love. Everday when we wake up, we make the choice that we are either going to be happy that we found matching socks, or upset that the coffee maker failed to turn on at it’s appointed time. It’s the little things that mean the most – and it’s also the big things. Happiness is complicated, yet simple. But, happiness is still but a choice.
    I think you are all too right in saying that one must be happy before he can please others. Much like salvation in a couple. Each of us must be right individually before we could ever get right together. The Bible says that we must be equally yoked in order to fulfill our needs, and God’s work….. :-)

  3. The first thing really, is that you have to define happiness for yourself. What exactly does that mean in your own mind? Is it the accumulation of things or that new piece of knowledge or that seemingly unatainable goal? Most people define “happiness” in different ways. It seems like a very simple concept and most people take the idea of happiness for granted, but once you sit down and try to define it for yourself I think you will see otherwise. I believe that once you figure out what it is that makes you continually happy (not just the fleeting moments that come along) it will be easy to spread it around a little.

  4. no, I don’t think we can literally make someone happy (whether we’re happy or not ourselves)… but I do think we can help a person feel valued by our actions/words, which in turn might lead to them feeling happy. doing or saying something nice for/to someone can possibly result in that person feeling the emotion ‘happy’ in the moment at least, don’t you think? (and we feel happy that we’ve helped them feel happy, etc., as your Dalai Lama quote suggests). I know it’s worked that way for me when someone has done or said something nice to me, and I also know I derive a great deal of pleasure and inner peace if I know I’ve done or said something that means something/has value for someone else.

    you also said, about the attainment of something that makes us happy, “…but then once it is obtained what happens? do we then lose it, take it for granted, stop being happy about it?”

    in answer to that, I would say that if we’re wise we learn to integrate our present feelings of happiness into our general sense of thankfulness for our blessings and then keep those things in mind when we’re tempted to fall back into whining complaint about our ‘bad luck’ (etc). almost like a ‘hedge’ against falling too far, if you will :). besides that, I also think if we’re wise we recognize that life is always going to throw things at us & we’re not always going to feel perfectly happy, but we can remember what we *have* been blessed with & understand that *everything* is momentary… not only the happy times but the unhappy times as well. life then becomes an educational experience and knowledge is power, as they say. I personally suspect that our own inner peace and happiness mostly derives from that sense of power, from knowing that we’re living a worthwhile existence, no matter what we actually do or have. (excuse long-windedness please ;))

  5. I got this email a few days ago and I believe it appropriately defines what happiness is. Sorry if it is too long :)
    Have a beautiful weekend and take care.

    I recently learned something that surprised me. I learned that people who win the lottery are happy for 3 weeks – Yes! – only 3 weeks and then they go back to their previous state of being before they won the money.
    This really did surprise me. I thought that they would have been happy about something so amazing for much longer than 3 weeks.
    I know that 90% of all people who win the lottery are broke within one year and that most of those wish they had never won it in the first place.
    I think the reason for this is that anytime we try to change how we feel by using something outside of ourselves like winning the lottery or getting a new car or house, it never works. The resulting feelings of euphoria are often only fleeting. We cannot sustain them for very long. Perhaps in some way that is a good thing. It reminds us that happiness really does come from within and is available to us at an y moment and has very little to do with what is happening on the outside. Happiness is a choice. It is a state of BEING.
    We can make the decision to BE happy for one day when we wake up in the morning, every morning. We can find something that brings us joy like sitting outside in the sunshine with a cup of tea and listening to the birds sing or watching the dog or cat play and just savour the moment.
    Happiness is always available to us. It is our natural state and we need only to allow it in. At any moment we can stop, take a deep breath and remember who we really are and why we came here and that truly is to experience JOY.

    So dear heart, today no matter what is going on in your life, take a few moments to breathe deeply and just decide to BE happy whatever that means to you.

  6. What a deep and thoughtful post that’s making a lot of people deep and thoughtful. Happiness is strange thing. We measure so much by it. We expect things to happen so we can acheive it.

    There’s so much misery in the world that you’d think happiness would be impossible, then you look out the window and see a family of birds, or see a heard of deer roaming peacefully through the woods. And you know what? They’ve made you happy.

    There now..I was deep and thoughtful…and oddly enough..HAPPY.

    Many hugs to you….by the way…thoughtful tags can make someone else happy. You don’t always have to be in a happy state yourself to say something thoughtful that can bring cheer to another.

    Just another thought…Don’t Worry, Be Happy

  7. I seem to harbor very similar outlooks on taking care of one’s self; I feel that if I am not healthy, content, energized, happy…I can’t offer help, encouragement and care to others. An adage that is truly (albeit humourously) applicable to my life that I’ve said before and I’ll reiterate here: “If mom ain’t happy, ain’t NOBODY happy!” :)

  8. I’ve asked those same questions a million times over the last few years.
    And I still haven’t come up with the answer.
    Some days I feel like if I can make everyone happy than I willbe.
    But then other days I feel like if I am NOT happy, how can I make someone else…

    Have a great Monday dear… :)

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