the HAPPINESS factor

“Yellow Gold” (Southern California)

Life is a journey that begins and ends in a relatively short period of time. And, in between those two events, most people are in the constant pursuit of…Happiness.

Does anyone really know what happiness means? Philosophers, spiritual leaders, and therapists have been defining, and giving advice on, happiness for thousands of years. But have they helped all of us figure it out? Because it seems to me that despite all of the wisdom being bestowed upon us, so many people still cannot find happiness.

And when these people do find happiness, it is fleeting. Here in an instant. Gone in a flash.

Is that how it’s supposed to be? Maybe. I don’t know. A constant shift between happiness and other emotions may just be the human condition. To appreciate happiness, maybe we must lose it sometimes. Otherwise happiness would simply translate to a state of just – “being.” But maybe that’s not a bad thing either.

I am not sure of the answers. But…I do know this. Whatever happiness is. Or isn’t. One thing is certain.

Each of us finds happiness in different ways. We each have a unique sense of self, and a sense of the world around us. We receive and interpret information in our own distinctive manners.

We see the world through our own eyes. We love with our own hearts. We cry with our own tears. And we find happiness through our own experiences.

This past weekend, my wife and I took our 21-month old daughter to an amusement park for the very first time. She had a ball in Camp Snoopy (the section for little kids). Our little girl even got on some rides for the first time. Watching her enjoy the rides filled my heart with love and pride. It made me happy.

Is that what happiness is? For me. Yes.

But I also find happiness in spending time with my wife. Writing. Taking photographs. Telling jokes. Watching The Walking Dead. Being outdoors.

I’m not always happy. But, I strive to be.

My point is this. Each of us must find what makes us happy. And we shouldn’t concern ourselves with other people’s versions of what makes us happy. How could they possibly know what makes you happy? They may have somewhat of an idea. But in all honesty. No one can truly know. Only you can. No one else is inside your head.

Of course, when you meet someone special, they can certainly make you feel happy. But that happiness is dependent on you. It depends on how you interpret their actions. It depends on your openness to their love. It depends on your willingness to allow them to share their life with you.

We should never underestimate the importance of happiness. A happy person can transform the world around them. A happy person can generate love and peace. A happy person can shine light where there is darkness.

I know many struggle with happiness. But…the silver lining is this – when you do find happiness, you will appreciate it all the more. You will embrace and nurture it. And you will hopefully finally find that peace you’ve been searching for.

I wish you all much happiness!

67 replies »

  1. Thank you for wishing me Happiness, and I with all my heart and existence that you may find beauty and happiness every now and then Kevin.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for liking “Glory of the Grass.” Great post on happiness! 🙂 One mistake I used to make was putting too much hope for happiness in one event. I used to think, “Oh, I will be happy once I achieve ___ (whatever goal I had in mind at the time).” Then when I met that goal I would discover it did not bring me as much happiness as I thought I would, which led me to build my hopes around something else.

    After many years of going through this disappointing cycle, I finally learned what you wonderfully point out in your post – that you are responsible for your own happiness. While this is a liberating concept, it can also be distressing. For some people (including me when I was younger), it is much easier to blame others or their circumstances for their unhappiness than to go through the self-reflection and effort required to make themselves happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I completely agree. I did the same thing. Always longing for the next thing. Got there. Felt happy. But, then I yearned for the next. And the next. And the next. It isn’t until you find that inner fulfillment, that you realize where happiness exists.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Could not agree more. Happiness can mean different for different people. One’s sadness can be someone else’s happy boat. Some say expectations lead to unhappiness but for some keeping expectations is what keeps them going. The hope, the dream, the wishes but I believe being satisfied is what makes one truly happy and that state is the most difficult to reach.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Kevin. Thanks for a great post 😀 Personally, I think searching for happiness leads to more unhappiness. For me stumbling across things that make me happy (like your post with its images) works better for me. I think if you go searching for happiness that’s when you let others (especially ad agencies) tell you what happiness is ‘supposed to look like’. But it’s different for everyone, as you’ve said 😀 I’m glad you’ve reminded us of this. What’s best is realising that happiness is not a rare commodity and it available to everyone! Leenna

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Kevin….I can totally agree with all that you have said…Happiness is indeed an inside job….AND once you use it every day and strive for it until it comes easy to you to laugh out loud, you find that you RADIATE it; and everyone around you gets that little bit ‘infected’ with it! So, it is contagious….THIS kind of contagion I LOVE! Sending you and your wonderful family, Love and Blessings, Barbara xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kevin this is amazing! Thanks for sharing this as it’s frequently so easy for every one of us to get caught up in various confusing, convoluted definitions of happiness when we really need to look within to see what we really love and what makes us happy. It is always the simple things too and as the old cliched saying goes – the things that money cannot buy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So beautifully said and I agree wholeheartedly. I believe happiness is something we must make and find for ourselves and in a way, I also believe it is a conscious choice, that you can choose to find happiness in even the little aspects in life just as you find happiness in writing and spending time with your loved ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think happiness springs from inside us, it is being at peace with ourselves and the world. It’s all in where we put our focus and it grows on a level with our appreciation. I think happiness is a choice.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Excellent post…. I don’t think anyone can make me happy, guess I just depend on it being a state within myself. I can experience happiness many times by being with someone or watching kids, animals, many things. I just cannot put the burden of “making me happy” on someone else. That is a lot to ask of someone else…. not that I’m suggesting you meant that, just saying. Great post though… 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I find this to be a beautiful post! Happiness can be such an elusive find for so many. That, in itself is sad.. But as you state sadness is not the same as not being happy. There are so many worthwhile ways to find happiness and we must all find our own. It is simply, not facing each day with laughter but definitely facing it with joy and the understanding that it is, indeed, another day…Be willing to overlook the shortcomings of some we come in contact with and thoroughly enjoy those who can make us smile! To me happiness is watching the delight of a child when they experience the simplest of life’s adventures. If we could only maintain the innocence of their sheer pleasure there could be a calming, happy outcome for many to share.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great post Kevin. Sometimes trying to find happiness is like chasing our own tail. It is right there, but we could be going in circles until we realize that is happiness. Like you said, happiness is so varied for everyone and it is something we all need to understand and accept. A thought provoking post.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Happiness is so abstract and defined differently by different people. It is affected by our experiences and circumstances and by those surrounding us. Sadly, some people are never really happy. Then there are those who find joy in the simplest of things and because of that bring joy to those who surround them…..that beautiful photo with those yellow blooms make for happiness….lol.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I love your thoughts about happiness. Wow, there is a lot in it. Great! To me real happiness is a feeling (not an emotion) which is developed from within and independent of other people or circumstances. That doesn’t mean that we are constantly laughing. There are happenings which make us sad, frustrated, angry… but when have developed this feeling of happiness (which I call my carpet of happiness) then the sad stuff doesn’t throw us off our feet anymore. It only goes until to a certain point but stops when the core of happiness is reached. Sadness and being unhappy is not the same. That’s what I experienced. Wonderful post, Kevin. You are amazingly inspiring!!!

    Liked by 2 people

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