On Happiness

What makes us happy?

What makes you happy?

Do you know?

The topic is one of my favorites. Not because I’m not happy, but because I always want to improve, and being happier is one of the things I want to improve.

I read someone say once (I read so much that I sometimes can’t remember who said what, so sorry!) that she wanted her kids to say about her, their mother, that she was “the happiest person they had ever known“.

What a fantastic and inspiring goal to aim for. :)

Happiness - Summer 2008
Creative Commons License photo credit: Raúl Arévalo

I’ve learned about happiness from living, observing others, and reading books like What Happy People Know (among others).

I’ve learned that happiness is a bit tricky.

The things you think will make you happy almost never do, at least not as much as you think they will, and the things you think couldn’t possibly make you happy quite often do.

I’ve learned that longing is happier than not longing, and that the little space right before you get what you want is often sweeter than the getting of it.

I’ve learned that once basic physical needs are met, money does not make you significantly happier.

I wanted to share a few things that have got me thinking about happiness again.

A few months ago I watched the video of Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture. I watched this video of Psychology professor Dan Gilbert as he shares some of the research into the science of happiness. I am also a big fan of Martin Seligman, father of Positive Psychology. Seligman is the author of the Optimistic Child and several other books.

(By the way, this Ted.com website is a treasure trove!)

Fascinating stuff!

NaBloPoMo #8

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2 Responses to On Happiness

  1. Great topic, Carrie!

    I’ve learned since becoming a Mom that the things that make me happy most often are not related at all to my goals, or money or acquiring “stuff” like they used to.

    I went out to do errands while my Mom stayed at my house with my son, who was 11 months old at the time. I was gone only a couple of hours, but when I walked in the front door and my son realized it was me, this smile just grew across his face until it was the happiest I think I had ever seen him. That moment made me the happiest I had been in a long time, and whenever I think of the way he looked at that one moment, I can’t help but be happy again.

    My son’s laugh, my husband’s voice (he’s having medical issues that affect his voice right now) and my son’s smile….if I have those three things, I can handle most anything else that comes my way. Those things make me *truly* happy, versus the false (and fleeting) happiness that I used to think came from achievement.

  2. Lila says:

    YOU make me happy. My dear sweet girl!

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