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3 Simple Questions: An Uncomplicated Guide To Happiness

Updated on November 9, 2013

A Simple Goal

The only intention for writing this article is to offer some food for thought via three unobtrusive questions with the hope of initiating one of the greatest journey's one can travel...a life of happiness.

Do I Really Want To Be Happy?

The answer: Yes, of course!

Who would say no? Few I would guess, but do our daily actions, habits and thoughts reflect that answer? How many times have you asked yourself that question, exactly as written with the full and honest intent to live the answer? In my humble opinion we don't ask ourselves this question because we often are unable to focus on "being" happy because we haven't determined the answers to questions 2 or 3. Please read on.

What Makes Me Happy?

Easy, right? Just give me all I consciously want and I'll be happy. So what makes you happy when what you consciously want isn't present in your life? If your desires never materialize does that mean you will be miserable...forever?

If you are looking externally for your happiness I suggest it will never be found. When the inside is happy, (when the being is happy) the outside becomes an expression of what's in there and...voila, happiness. So which came first, the internal or the external vision of happiness? Both are just a decision away and it's your choice! Don't believe me? Good, answer the third question.

Do I Believe I AM Happy.

Knowing what it would take and having the desire to be happy are only two of the elements, and not even the most essential ones, to attaining to the state of "being" known as happiness. I know, this is not new! I didn't say it would be. That doesn't take away from its validity. Happiness is something you are, therefore the best way again, in my humble opinion, is not to ascribe to happiness but to decide to "BE" happy.

If you say I can't because...you are absolutely correct. If you say "I AM" because...so too, are you correct! Food for thought and the discovery of all that exists within and without is in your capacity to believe!

Peace be with you my friends!

Tips From A Happiness Expert

There is More!!! Go find it! I Am Happy to recieve your comments and views!

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    • TravelAbout profile image

      Katheryn 4 years ago from United States

      Good hub. If we expect to find happiness through 'someone' or 'something', happiness eludes us. Unhappiness is all around us, look at so many dependent on drugs and alcohol. Look at the suicide rate even in youngsters. Finding happiness first from within ourselves is necessary to find happiness with and through others and the world around us. This is something that perhaps should be taught in schools once children reach an age to understand which could help a child find the resources from within. Just a thought! Voted useful and up.

    • Rebecca2904 profile image

      Rebecca 4 years ago

      Great hub! I think if we all asked as ourselves everyday how happy we were and did something positive to make ourselves happy, the world would be a much nicer place :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are preaching to the choir here my friend. I am not only happy; I'm absolutely ecstatic with life....and so are you....and I respect your message and you.

    • DFiduccia profile image

      DFiduccia 4 years ago from Las Vegas

      I like this a lot, and the video is great. You've put forth three important questions for everyone to think about.

      ...voted up—DF

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Happiness, elusive as it is, but worth pursuing, can only be found by looking within for that "thing" we define as happy. You have given great advice and insight here.

    • Born2care2001 profile image
      Author

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 4 years ago from Asheville NC

      Thanks to all who read and commented on this short hub. Your comments confirm that happiness begins within and takes action to maintain and grow.

      @ TravelAbout

      Tal-Ben Shahar got the idea right and positive psychology is proliferating. I think you're right though, learning this "practice" at a younger age only makes sense as that is when we are closer to the source of happiness.

      Thank you!

      @ Rebecca2904

      Hi Rebecca and I so agree. in fact, writing our actions and their outcomes in a journal daily would be a great way of teaching ourselves how valuable out actions are toward living a happy life! Much the same a gratitude journal works.

      Thank you for reading and commenting. I am grateful!

      @ billybuc

      Hi Bill! Are you singing in the base or tenor section now? Doesn't matter, I hear you loud and strong and I love the harmony! Step up to the mic sir!

      Thanks Bill, I knew I could depend on you! Keep Preaching brother!

      Always grateful for your time and comments!

      Bruce

      @ DFiduccia

      I knew the action part would be right up your alley, D! My gratitude for you for your teamwork in spreading such an important element of the happiness message. We do have to work at it don't we?

      @ xstatic

      I appreciate your comments particularly since I know it is a shared message and you have experienced this type of "being." I feel it in the peace of your words and read it in your work and comments to others.

      Thank you for that!

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and interesting. If we are not happy we have only ourselves to blame.

    • Dee aka Nonna profile image

      Dee aka Nonna 4 years ago

      There was a time when I though happiness came from a place, a person or a thing. When I realized it must come from within me.....everything change. Good hub, great subject.

    • profile image

      PWalker281 4 years ago

      Great hub on happiness being an "inside job." And the video was excellent. I'd never heard of Tal Ben-Shahar, so I'm eager to find out more about him. Voted up and across and shared!

    • Born2care2001 profile image
      Author

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 4 years ago from Asheville NC

      Hi Gypsy Rose!

      Welcome back and thank you for the read and the comment. When I discovered this choice, I decided to commit myself to happiness. It's fun and the alternative as you would say is to blame myself. I think I'm done with that! Hahahaha.

      @ Nona

      You got it! But, of course you would! Thanks for reading! I'm grateful.

      @ PWalker281

      Tal Ben Shahar is one of my favorites! You tube's full of his work along with Shawn Achor (also from Harvard) and Dr. Martin Seligman (University of Pennsylvania), all of whom are pioneers in positive psychology. (the psychology of happiness. I'm fascinated by it!

      Thanks for stopping by and come back soon. I really appreciate the support.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Great hub! To be happy, we have to think what makes us happy. We have to look inside us if we are happy. If not, we have to do something and achieve something that make us happy by working on it, how to become happy. Get rid of the balast that hinder us from being happy. Thanks for sharing.

    • Born2care2001 profile image
      Author

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 4 years ago from Asheville NC

      Thanks Thelma!

      For many people happiness is elusive because although it is a desire, they forget how to focus. The gift of life is a huge gift and within it, as it is in us, is happiness!

      Thanks for the comment!

    • Woody Marx profile image

      Woody Marx 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      It's always nice to read what people think is the essence of happiness. I suspect no two people would give the same answer. Personally I'd say that you only become un-happy when you forget that you really are happy--you just forgot it. The 'default' state of us humans, I think, is happiness. The trick is not to forget it!

    • Born2care2001 profile image
      Author

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 4 years ago from Asheville NC

      Hi Woody and thank you for reading and so astutely commenting on the hub. As you say "no two people" would agree in total on what happiness is since each of us, though having many traits in common, is uniquely different.

      I appreciate your perspective and it "makes me Happy" to know you are remembering what your happiness is!

      Thank you,

      Peace be with you!

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Excellent hub and comments, too. Real and abiding happiness is above all else a choice. When (and why) did we forget that in America. All over the world, people who have so much less than we do and have real difficult and harsh lives are happy. They choose to be. You choose to be, I choose to be.

      Please keep writing. Sharing.

    • Born2care2001 profile image
      Author

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 4 years ago from Asheville NC

      Thanks Theresa!

      Part of my experience has been from living in other parts of the world over the last 30 some years. I don't travel much now, but my stints in Panama and Korea taught me much about gratitude and my choices. What I learn generally winds up in my hubs and that's why I appreciate the reading and sharing.

      Thank you very much for choosing to read, to teach and to live!!!

    • shalini sharan profile image

      shalini sharan 4 years ago from Delhi

      a really useful hub, we actually need to introspect how happy we are, life is indeed how we live it and how we decide it should be

    • Born2care2001 profile image
      Author

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 4 years ago from Asheville NC

      Thank you shalini sharan!

      I am grateful that you chose to spend a few moments of your time reading this hub. We often do not realize the power of just one decision. Thanks again for stopping by, please come again.

      Bruce

    • izettl profile image

      Laura Irwin 4 years ago from The Great Northwest

      So I've got a background in psychology blah blah blah, but I have always been interested in positive psychology- don't buy into to it, but I'm interested.

      here's my take on any school of psychology- what literally helps people is medication, counseling, and behavior therapy- or a combination of all or some. Positive psychology won't work for people who have chemical imbalances, hormonal imbalances, etc. To me, positive psychology is a lot like th ehype in self-help books which are fun, temporarily motivational, but rarely help people.

      i think exactly what is wrong with our society is that we think we must be happy...all the time. Since that is impossible you've got people out there thinking they need meds when they really don't because they don't feel happy all the time. I get over my down times by reflecting on what i've gotten through in the past and by having a couple sh*tty days, allowing myself to be down if I need it then that acutally makes me feel better.

      So to your first question "Do I want to be happy"- No, I want to be balanced. I want to feel what I need to feel which doesn't mean feeling bad about not being happy all the time. I learned this lesson when I had to grieve a friend who passed- there just isn't any way around it- it's better to grieve than to feel rushed into having to get back to happy land as quick as possible. Some of the most balanced people out there like Buddhists do not buy into being happy nor wanting to be happy all or even most of the time- content is a better word.

      Sorry such long comment but it's great you got me thinking...also I couldn't think of a more fake place than facebook and you'll find most of the posts there are happy- in fact people respond to the happy posts most AND they took off the dislike button, there is only a "like" button.

      If you do not know sadness then you will not know (or appreciate)happiness.

    • Born2care2001 profile image
      Author

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 4 years ago from Asheville NC

      Hi Izzetl!

      First, thanks for the read and the comment! I greatly appreciate them both.

      Second, you're profile was accurate! My wife is a tell it like it is person and I have learned much from her. I value the trait!

      I agree with your response in most areas. I will say here that all I have to use as a basis for my viewpoint is personal experience, which isn't clinical, just personal. I don't buy into any one methodology for everyone because we are all unique and while I agree with you about chemicals (very limited), counseling (for those willing to accept it) and behavioral, I most agree with your assessment that a combination tailored to the needs of the individual is the better approach for most.

      This is my experience. (Short version of course) For those who really need it, medical and psychiatric help is appropriate. Question is, who determines what "really needs it" means? I think this is your point about happiness. We have been sold on the idea that we always need to be happy and Wall Street connected that to sex, money, power, prestige, you name it. We have also been sold on the overuse of medication, the value of convenience and let's not leave out GMO foods and a host of other nonsensical ideas for the sake of profit and power.

      You are correct, contentment would be preferred to happiness, but that concept is only now nearing some acceptance. (chuckle) So, I use happiness as a beginning point to help those in the pool who can swim but may not have yet decided too!

      I too prefer balance. I do, however, believe there are enough "shitty days" to go around and I would prefer to help balance that out by being on the happiness promoting side of the equation.

      I lost everything that mattered to me once and have looked death in the face on several occasions. I succumbed to living by others conditioning and I came to one conclusion, for me. (May not be for everybody) I may not be in control of the circumstances of the world, but I am in control of what I think about them. I have a choice and as long as I do I choose to look for balance or contentment or happiness. Any of the three, or what contributes to them, will be okay with me.

      Thank you and peace be with you!

    • DFiduccia profile image

      DFiduccia 4 years ago from Las Vegas

      Born2care and izettl.,

      I enjoyed reading this mature exchange of ideas between you two. It’s nice to see logical points of view tossed in the ring without anger or sarcasm. Both of you set a proper example of good protocol for positive interaction between Hubbers here on Hub Pages.

      DF

    • izettl profile image

      Laura Irwin 4 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Yes I absolutely agree about not controlling circumstances but being able to control what we think about it. I think that's close to what I mean for balance- balance is that we have happy days and sad days and what we should strive for is to get back to a "good" happy (ish) normal. Meaning we can have some highs and lows but there is always a center to come back to.

      Might I say I like your wife already :))

      I also agree with you about what happiness means in our society 9not the right htings like power, sex, money)- very correct on that point!

    • Born2care2001 profile image
      Author

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 4 years ago from Asheville NC

      Hi Don!

      I thank you for the encouraging comment and for following or even caring about the interaction. This marks what I think Hubpages is about and IF we're able to do it here, perhaps others will take note that we don't have to agree on everything to get along. For me, I really enjoy diversity of thought and action as long as the sanctity of human life is observed!

      Both you and izettl have warmed my spirit!

      Thank you!

    • Born2care2001 profile image
      Author

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 4 years ago from Asheville NC

      Thank you izzetl!

      I can see we're off to a good start! Next, I'll ask your thoughts on Viktor Frankl and logotherapy.

      Thank you for being who you are!

      Bruce

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Good Evening Bruce - You already know I appreciate this Hub based on my earlier comment. But I must agree with Don, how incredibly wonderful to read civil, thoughtful, rational comments from two individuals who hold very different beliefs and positions. Makes me think there is hope for mankind. :)

      On the other hand, as your congenial conversation continued ( totally unintended alliteration, I promise) and you both defined terms and so forth, you don;t seem nearly as far apart as at the beginning.

      Lastly, your first lengthy comment to izzeti was a masterpiece of clarity and I could not agree with your world view or philosophy (for lack of a better term) more. (I strongly urge you to expand upon what you wrote ad post it as a hub.) There are individuals who need serious intervention, long-term therapy and medication to correct chemical imbalances... But I think many of us reach for these solutions when we have yet to do the basic personal and emotional work that is well within our capacity to do

      Finally, really I mean it this time, I too struggle with the word "Happy." I want my life to have purpose and meaning, happiness is a secondary or even tertiary concern. But I realize what you meant when you used the word. I would use contentment, izzerti might use balance. But I do not think we are talking about radically different hings at all. :)

      A couple of comments down, when I saw your reference to Victor Frankl and logotherapy, well, it was like I had died and gone to heaven (old southern saying, not sure how it plays in the rest of the country). I have introduced Frankl and his biography, and the basics of logotherapy every year for the past ten years in either my History of Germany class of my Holocaust course. I consider it one of the most important things I do for and with my students.

      Theresa

    • Born2care2001 profile image
      Author

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 4 years ago from Asheville NC

      Theresa,

      If I was capable of understanding the true depth of Frankl's work, perhaps I would do him justice. His life (what I know of it) and his viewpoints hit me right between the eyes about 15 years ago and have been a point of reference for every coaching session I have ever performed.

      Would you be so kind as to either direct me to the hub or write one about this remarkable man and his findings.

      I am blessed (translated "made happy" in some languages) by the interaction with my hubpages peers. It moves me. When people are genuinely trying to express themselves, its a win-win-win.

      Again, I am grateful,

      Bruce

    • momster profile image

      momster 4 years ago

      Very informative hub. Knowing happiness can be challenges in everyday living. If we do not know what makes us happy, how do we know we are happy? The video really helps in understanding how to help with happiness and knowing it is an important value. Great job on this. Shared and voted up.

    • Born2care2001 profile image
      Author

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 4 years ago from Asheville NC

      Hi Momster!

      A great moniker! Thank you for reading my hub and for leaving an excellent comment. How would we ever be happy without knowing what it is that makes and Keeps us that way? The secret (if there really is one) is in the doing and trying and noticing how what we do makes us feel. If there is a difficult part its staying in that place of happiness.

      Thanks again and please come back soon!

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Very insightful article. I can't agree with this more! You have to decide within yourself to be happy; you can't find happiness through someone else. You can be happy with someone but your happiness cannot depend on another person. I think your questions are perfect. I am happy in life and look forward to each day!

    • Born2care2001 profile image
      Author

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 4 years ago from Asheville NC

      Hi Suzette!

      Thanks for stopping by. If there were more of us who actually and totally looked forward to each day think what we could accomplish. Besides, it might turn out to be one heck of a party!

      I sincerely appreciate the comment!

      Bruce

    • thost profile image

      thost 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Great Hub, makes one think how lucky we really are to be alive. Thank you, I will vote this one up.

    • Born2care2001 profile image
      Author

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 4 years ago from Asheville NC

      Hi thost!

      Welcome to my Hubpage! I greatly appreciate the time you spent reading and commenting on this hub! I agree, we are fortunate to be alive and I would add fortunate to be connected! We learn from each other so I hope this is the beginning of a friendship that we both recognize for what it is...valuable to both of us!

      I look forward to reading your hubs and learning more about your world!

      Sincerely,

      Bruce

    • profile image

      Deb Welch 4 years ago

      Wow! I needed to read this Hub and learn about Tal Ben-Shahar. Thank you. I have had an upside down smile too long. Well done, Useful, Awesome and Interesting.

    • Born2care2001 profile image
      Author

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 4 years ago from Asheville NC

      Hello Deb Welch!

      Thank you for reading my hub. I often read the profiles of those who read my work. Right off the bat I saw Clapton! Best concert I've ever seen, so I'll be reading that hub first and soon!

      I'm also glad to know you feel you have something to offer this world. I know you do!

      Looking forward to reading what you produce!

      Thanks again and come back soon,

      Bruce

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      This is a very insightful hub with some interesting comments, too. I think if one is living a life with purpose and meaning, happiness comes naturally. I am happy. That's not to say I don't have moments of sadness, but generally I am living the life I want to live, doing things I think are making the world (or at least my little piece of it) just a little bit better for my having been here, and valuing the relationships I have. And that makes me happy.

    • Born2care2001 profile image
      Author

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 4 years ago from Asheville NC

      Thank you Deborah for reading and for commenting.

      It pleases me to know there is happiness for you and I agree that happiness follows purpose. That is why it is my life's quest to help people find their purpose(s).

      A good read on the subject is Gregg Levoy's Book "Callings: finding and Following an Authentic Life"

      Peace be with you!

      Bruce

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 4 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      This is a superb Hub, both for its content and its "content" remarks from our fellow Hubbers who have added so much with their comments. Thanks for starting the ball rolling. May it turn into an avalanche of better understanding for us all.

    • Born2care2001 profile image
      Author

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 4 years ago from Asheville NC

      Hi Perspycacious my friend!

      Welcome back! This was a fun hub, especially in view of the comments. It proves my point that people can communicate, especially if we're willing to listen to each others views. As Theresa (phdast7) stated above, our views really aren't that different. Why would they be? In my view we're all still connected!

      Thank you very, very much for reading and caring enough to offer your input!

      gratefully,

      Bruce

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Great hub! Happiness is always found within ourselves. We have to make a definite choice and decision to be happy. As you say, who wants to be miserable. Well done and well said. I enjoyed reading this.

    • Born2care2001 profile image
      Author

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 4 years ago from Asheville NC

      Hello Suzette!

      I owe you a debt of gratitude. Why you ask? Because your timely reading and commenting brought me back to my own happiness right here in this hub. Even when we write about a topic we often forget what we write, right?

      Well, anyway, I got a chuckle out and I really am grateful for the read and for the comment because when others read about happiness I know one of two things happen. Either one recognizes that they are happy and they're thankful or they ask themselves why they're not and seek to change. I love it!

      Thanks again for the good deed done!

      Bruce

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