What is happiness?

This is a question that has not bothered me for a long time, precisely because I don’t know how to answer it.

Some people seem to be happy: they just do not think about it. Others make plans: “I’m going to have a husband, a home, two children, and a house in the country”. While this keeps them occupied, they are like bulls looking for the bullfighter: they don’t think, they just keep moving forward. They manage to get their car – sometimes even a Ferrari – and they think that the meaning of life lies there, so they never ask the question. Yet, despite all that, their eyes betray a sadness that they themselves are quite unaware of.

I don’t know if everyone is unhappy. I do know that people are always busy: working overtime, looking after the kids, the husband, the career, the university degree, what to do tomorrow, what they need to buy, whatever it is they need to have in order not to feel inferior, and so on.

Few people have ever told me: “I’m unhappy”. Most say: “I’m fine, I’ve managed to get all I ever wanted”.

So then I ask: “What makes you happy?”

They answer: “I have everything that a person can dream of – a family, a home, work, good health”.

I insist: “So the meaning of life is work, the family, children who grow up and leave you, a wife or husband who will become more like a friend than a true love-mate. And one day the work will come to an end. What will you do when that happens?”

They answer: there is no answer. They change the subject.


  1. john seitz says:

    It has been fun to read many peoples ideas of what makes us happy… where we find happiness. So much wisdom in so many writers. Happiness for me is a decision each day… to be happy with some of the things going on in my life. We can’t control everything that happens in our lives, but we can choose how we will think about it. Choose to be happy each day about something. Appreciate something, love something, be greatful about something… and do something nice for others that is not tracable back to you.

  2. RK Sharma says:

    Happiness is feeling grateful and enjoying for what you have. A contented soul is a happy soul. Desires lead to distress – absence of desires leads to happiness.

  3. Najia says:

    Happiness merely resides in one’s soul. We are unaware of it until we get a reason to feel it. The reason can be anything, Family, love, wealth or health.

  4. c.santamaria says:

    Happiness is peace of mind with our path in this world. Of course, we will still have internal struggles, external struggles and insignificant daily annoyances, however to be truly happy is to know oneself, or to be in the process of discovering oneself. Love will also gives us peace within our heart and happiness, but love will only follow once we truly know ourselves.

  5. Hara says:

    Happiness is inside you.
    I’m happy smelling the cold air and the burning wood in the winter evenings, watching the sea, listening to good music, I’m happy spending my time with my affairs, being useful, making people smile, I’m happy… There is no standard recipe. What makes me happy not necessarily makes you happy either. The only way to be so is to comprehend yourself by accepting your deepest needs, emotions, thoughts and sensibilities. Quite often we are unable to reach happiness, just because we are unable to forgive our own mistakes, though who’s been damaged of them maybe already has. Errors are important, once you are in the condition to recognise and accept them of being so, they help you become a better person. To reach happiness demands interior serenity. Get to know yourself better, then everything comes easier…

  6. prithvi sangani says:

    can anyone create a good omens for themselves??
    and is jealousy a good omen?

  7. Marie-Christine says:

    that reminds me a bit of that song that has been adapted from Michel Legrand and I found the words onto a site.
    It is on you tube I think Tina Arena sings it as well
    ‘the windmills of your mind

    Like a circle in a spiral
    like a wheel within a wheel
    Never ending or beginning
    On a carnival balloon
    Like a carousel that’s turning
    Running rings around the noon
    Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
    Past the minutes of its face
    And the world is like an apple
    Whirling silently in space
    Like the circles that you find
    In the windmills of your mind,

    Like a tunnel that you follow
    To a tunnel of its own
    Down a hollow to a cavern
    Where the sun has never shone
    Like a door that keeps revolving
    In a half forgotten dream
    Or the ripples from a pebble
    Someone tosses in a stream
    Like a clock who hands are sweeping
    Past the minutes of its face
    And the world is like an apple
    Whirling/ spinning silently in space
    Like the circles that you find
    In the windmills of your mind.

    Keys that jingle in your pocket
    Word that jangle in your head
    Why did Summer go so quickly?
    Was it something that you said
    Lovers walk along a shore
    And leave their footprints in the sound
    ‘is the sound of distant drumming
    Just the fingers of your hand?
    Pictures hanging in a hallway
    And/or the fragment of a song
    Half remembered names and faces
    But to whom do they belong?
    When you know it was over
    You were you suddenly aware
    That the Autumn leaves were turning
    To the colour of his hair
    Like a circle in a spiral
    Like a Wheel within a wheel
    Never ending or beginning
    On an ever spinning reel
    As the images unwind
    Like the circles that you find
    In the windmills of your mind.

    En francais
    J’aime le timbre de la voix Ecoutez Michel Legrand et vous comprendrez..
    c’est magnifique!
    ‘.L’homme une pierre que l’on jette
    Dans l’eau vive d’un ruisseau
    Et qui laisse derriere elle
    Des milliers de ronds dans l’eau
    Comme un manege de lune
    Avec ses chevaux d’etoiles
    Comme un anneau de Saturne
    Un ballon de carnaval
    Comme le chemin de ronde
    Que font sans cesse les heures
    Le voyage autour du monde’
    D’un tournesol dans sa fleur
    Tu fais tourner de ton onde
    ‘Tous les moulins de mon coeur.

    Comme un echeveau de laine
    Entre les mains d’un enfant
    Ou les mots d’une rengaine
    Pris dans les harpes du vent
    Comme un tourbillon de neige
    Comme un vol de goelands
    Sur des forets de Norvege
    Sur des moutons d’Ocean
    Comme le chemin de ronde
    Que font sans cesse les heures
    Le voyage autour du monde
    D’un tournesol dans sa fleur
    Tu fais tourner de ton onde
    Tous les moulins de mon coeur

    Ce jour la pres de la source
    Dieu sait ce que tu m’as dit
    Mais l’ete finit sa course’
    L’oiseau tomba de son nid
    Et voila que sur le sable
    Nos pas s’effacent deja
    Et je suis seul a la table
    Qui resonne sous mes doigts
    Comme un tambourin qui pleure
    Sous les gouttes de la pluie
    Comme les chansons qui meurent
    Aussitot qu’on les oublie
    Et les feuilles de l’automne
    Rencontre ciels moins bleus
    Et ton absence leur donne la couleur de tes cheveux.

    Une pierre que l’on jette
    Dans l’eau vive d’un ruisseau
    Et qui laisse derriere elle
    Des milliers de ronds dans l’eau
    Au vent des quatre saisons
    Tu fais tourner de ton onde
    Tous les moulins de mon coeur.’

    si j’etais vous Jose, j’oserai…on sait jamais.:)
    Avec amour

  8. 'nother says:

    It’s not about what makes me happy. It’s just the way I am.

    And I am.

  9. gabe says:

    i have seen and met one of the riches men in Vancouver, the owner of all of the kegs and Joe fortes..he has that look, sadness betrayed. I am working for minimum wage, but doing what i love best in work creatively, in love as a polygamist, physically pushing my barriers, I love rollerblading everyday, learning languages, learning about mycology, and doing it consistently.

    I prove and convince myself everyday that life is worth smiling and WORKING for. For the moments I get to touch, im grateful, and im happy, happy because i live, and because i am happy :)

  10. Elizabeth says:

    Happiness, I think, comes from so living your life that everything you do keeps you in harmony with yourself and the universe. When I am happy, I feel that all is right with my world. It need not be that I have everything I want. Rather, it would be an acceptance of myself and the situations and people in my life, with all inherent shortcomings. I cannot define happiness, but am only trying to explain what get me there, how I experience it.

  11. Tony Robledo says:

    I do not have the answer to this question either, but I am finding more and more that happiness is not to be found in the “things” we acquire (things society tells us we must have to be happy); rather I’m finding happiness in the moments and experiences I share with people with which I have a strong bond or relationship . Expressing gratitude for the little things and savoring life’s moments – has brought me more happiness than my new car.

  12. Jose Martinez says:

    My questions resides in me. I just need to know how to find myself with in myself and accept myself. I need to learn to Love myself first and then just be. Regardless of what happens accept it. Im not saying im going to lie down and never get up. thats not acceptance. Im saying im not going to be scared or be sad or be anxious or worry. Well im going to try to not do any of those things. I have desires and i will fight for them and i have goals and i will work for them but i need to fuel them with hope, “happiness” faith, spirittuality, courage, strength positivity. I believe happines is inside of us. And whats inside of us shines on our outside and until that happens we wont be happy. But Life goes on friends. we must live and learn to enjoy our momments today right now. read, sing, walk, run, sleep, eat, make Love, love, text, talk, learn travel, stop all the mindless chatter in your mind and focus on the moment you are having right now. Drink water and enjoy the water and how it will quench your bodies thirst. its the ability to live in the moment and focus on those moments. we are in a time that requires multitasking yet even the human brain cannot multitask. happiness is in everything you do. everything you just have to accept it that it is and believe deep within ourselves that we are happy. I have read “you yourself above everyone else deserves your Love” Love yourself. and do not feel guilty loving yourself. love who you are. There are 7 billion people on earth but you are the only one. Love yourself and be your biggest fan admirer and lover. live like this, practice like this and soon it will be second nature. it will build confidence and courage and faith and before you know it you will be happy and not know how you got there but it will feel great to turn around and see that troubled past and wonder what was i thinking? whatever it was im glad im happy here, today, right now in this very moment in the present. I have acquired these ideas from reading several sources around the web and i am grateful to them. My journey continues. However long or short i do not know but im learning and this learning is making me happy because im learning that Loving myself and seeing myself happy is one of the greatest feelings ever! good luck friends! and never give up!

  13. Cynthia says:

    Paulo, are you happy? and why?
    I am happy cause I love, cause I feel beautiful inside when I do something nice for somebody or surprise them with more love

  14. Gerlinde Keating says:

    Happiness is a state of mind. It is how you feel about yourself. Money does not guarantee happiness, it just makes life easier. Material things do not guarantee happiness.

    I always say: “Life is a journey through valleys and over mountains, through canyons and over cliffs” That’s how my life has been so far.

  15. Smita says:

    Happiness is about our attitude.

    To make a decision, to chose to be happy irrespective of the crazy stuff going in our life……………………………some people chose happiness as a way of life, even through hardships and others turn there misery into art form.

    I feel happy when I smile, laugh like crazy with my pal and mom, see a rainbow, snowfall, river, smell of fresh grass, flowers, winter sky, etc……………..so many things around me to fill me up every morning :)