The Surprising Truth Of Happiness

Happiness is subjective, that is to say, what makes one being happy may not have that same happy effect on another.


Look no further than the Dung Beetle to prove this point.

As human beings, the things that make us happy are many and varied.

Below are but a few that come to mind that make me happy; as either a direct participant or quiet observer.

Happy Things

Having a good old belly laugh…even better with a friend

Having a quiet moment to yourself

Enjoying a coffee or a beer with a friend

The joy of looking at your newborn baby

That tingling excitement you feel just before going on a holiday

Weeding the garden and getting dirt under your nails as you bond with the Earth

Working towards a particular goal knowing the true reward is the journey

Spending an extra moment hugging your loved one

Sitting by a lake and watching the sunset

Playing in the park with a child

Completing a challenging task and the self-satisfaction that brings

What becomes evident when we look at a list like this is that each one of them was only a fleeting moment in time. They were only transitory then gone.

On the Flip Side

Life has its way of striking a balance. There is the yin and the yang, that is to say, the good and the bad…the bitter with the sweet. So for each happy moment there are equal and opposite unhappy moments. That’s life. Life’s a struggle at times. Here are a few situations that might generate some unhappiness.

External battles

Internal struggles

Moments of frustration

The challenges of dealing with a grumpy child

Feeling uncomfortable in a difficult conversation or situation

Anger when cut off by another driver on the road aka, Road Rage!

The tedium of doing tasks we don’t enjoy

Being grumpy when we don’t feel well

Moments of self-doubt

Periods of depression

Times of boredom

I’m sure you could create your own long list of moments that are not happy ones. Surviving those moments makes us stronger.

When a group of scientists tried to live in a controlled environment called the Biosphere for one year, they discovered their trees and plants were weak and wouldn’t stand tall. They learned the plants needed the wind…that resistance…to push against them to make them stronger.

Yes, life has its unpleasant moments but they are a necessary part of the fullness of the human experience.

Life softens what is hard in us and hardens what is soft.

It is this intermingling of these happy moments amongst the not so pleasant moments that make our lives so complete and rich. Like the Phoenix that rose from the ashes, we can take wing and rise above our circumstance…the sad times, to find happy ones again.

Better yet, if we live right, love one another, forgive others and ourselves, we need not seek Happiness…it will seek us.

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” ~ Buddha ~