What Makes You Happy?

Do you know what makes you happy? Do you even know how to figure it out?

That sounds silly, doesn’t it–-to question if we know what makes us happy? Yet, a surprising number of people are stumped by this question.

Let’s start by defining happiness. Is it a giddy feeling, or a calm contentment? Is it based on something objective and measurable, or is it subjective and perhaps even changeable? I know these are a lot of questions. So, let me challenge you for a moment…

If you happened to meet someone from a strange planet that did not understand all that we have learned about the many ways we use the terms happy and happiness, how would you describe this concept to them?

Interestingly, happiness is indeed a subjective state of being that is multi-faceted and quite complex. Think, for a moment, about a time when you felt happy. Is that a constant state for you, no matter what is happening? Or is that sense of happiness dependent on outside circumstances?

Are you as happy eating apple pie as you are watching a movie? Are you happy in the same way when you are falling in love as when you graduate from school?

It is widely accepted among philosophers, poets, and songwriters, that happiness is a goal that we all seek. It is perhaps the brass ring that drives all of our other behaviors. Some would say that happiness is the reason why people do anything at all.

We will continue to examine this topic in future articles. For now, please contemplate the above questions, and learn a little more about yourself in respect to your relationship with happiness. How do you define happiness, what gives you happiness, how happy do you estimate you are in general, and what could happen that would cause you to not be happy?

Your answers to these questions may give added dimension to the way you understand the information in the articles to follow.