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What is Happiness for You?

Updated on April 21, 2013

Have you ever asked yourself this question? If you haven't, perhaps you should? If you seek happiness, then you need to know what happiness is for you. I say, "for you," because I don't believe there is one universal definition of happiness. Happiness is a very subjective emotion, according to me. Put two people in identical situations (same amount of money, life experiences, etc.) and you can be pretty sure that they both wouldn't feel equally happy or equally sad. Hence, it is a very subjective emotion. I believe this is so because there are two kinds of happiness. There is one happiness, which is kind of universal and then there is the other kind, which is a happiness that is very individual to each one of us. It is this happiness that I find more interesting.

The second kind of happiness that I talked about comes from our expectations out of our lives, which vary from person to person. For example, a person who expects a lot out of his/her life, may find that happiness is hard to find. They are constantly in the search for that one thing or two things in life, which always seems to elude them. Those things may be money or fame or power or any of the other pursuits that humans have, but it would be likely that such people are less likely to be happy, if their goals/obsessions are not met. In most cases, even after their goals/obsessions are met, they don’t find happiness, because they seek more – new goals, new wish lists, it’s a seemingly never-ending process for them!!

On the other hand, a person who takes life as it comes along and makes the best of each day is more likely to be happy every day. They have no self-induced pressures or goals to occupy their minds and they can derive happiness from the simple pleasures of everyday life, finding love, making time for the family and kids, seeing their kids grow, etc. So, I do think that the expectations people have of life has a bearing on how happy (or not happy) the person is going to be. Of course, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't have any expectations at all. You should, but it helps to keep those expectations reasonable and manageable.

Happiness is All Around You - Just Find it And be Free!!


What is Happiness - The Different Perceptions of Happiness

The reasons for different perceptions of happiness!!

Culturally too, the perception of happiness can vary. Things that an individual has may be valued different by different cultures. Someone living in one country may be viewed as poor or miserable by his/her own countrymen, but from the perspective of another culture/country, they can be viewed as being privileged and have all the reasons to be happy. Also, different people may derive happiness from doing different things. For some, happiness may be derived by helping the poor and needy, whereas for others, it might be derived from spending time with their pets. Yet, for others, happiness might be just having a roof over their head and having enough food to sustain themselves through the day.

Being rich or poor doesn't matter when it comes to happiness, because it is a frame of mind in my opinion. It is derived from our expectations out of life. If we have reasonable expectations and don't expect the moon, I think we all can find happiness in the little things we have and should cherish. You can always aim for more and work towards getting more, but you can at the same time, enjoy what you have and find time for your most loved ones and find happiness in doing so. Money can’t buy happiness; it can at best be an enabler of happiness. One should work towards earning money, but without getting so obsessed with it that you miss out on the simple pleasures of life in your obsessive pursuit of more riches.

Copyright © Shil1978® 2013 - All Rights Reserved


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    • Lor's Stories profile image

      Lor's Stories 

      5 years ago from Central New Jersey

      While we can't define happiness I think happiness is understanding the you inside of you.

      I find praying makes me happy, or seeing a friend.

      I like time to myself. At night I find myself secure and happy I got through another day.

      I know this is bad but shopping takes the edge off when I am stressed.

      As Charles Shultz said " Happiness is one thing for one and another for someone else."

    • Shil1978 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Sassy, there is a saying that goes, "No one can hurt you without your consent." In other words, the choice is yours! You can choose to ignore the hurtful words of your loved ones.

      I know its not easy, but its possible. That's what I do. I don't take things to heart too quickly or too often.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      How can you be happy when there are loved ones in your life who make you unhappy ? Help please...

    • Shil1978 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Thank you GTC for stopping by this hub. I so much agree where you say "Without growth we merely exist." Well said!

      Agree also where you say "I don't place as much importance on whether I achieve a goal because I have learned that the journey is the important thing along with the lessons I learn from it."

      Wise words GTC. You have a great outlook towards life and happiness. You gave me some food for thought too with your views, so thank you :)

    • green tea-cher profile image

      green tea-cher 

      8 years ago

      Hi Shil! I agree that if you don't have happiness within, you will not find long term happiness in acquiring an object or achieving a certain goal. However, I truly believe that I could not be happy if I did not strive to achieve goals. Goals need not be difficult, they can be simple to achieve, but they are goals nonetheless. I believe that enjoying the simple things in life, watching the kids grow up, finding love, spending time with the family and kids and writing hubs - those are all goals. And to me they are important ones. Goals mean growth. Without growth we merely exist. I don't place as much importance on whether I achieve a goal because I have learned that the journey is the important thing along with the lessons I learn from it. Sometimes the journey teaches me that I really don't want to achieve the goal at all. Thanks for a great topic and for giving me food for thought.

    • Shil1978 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Beautifully put Mystique, love the way you view things. Thanks for your wonderful perspective and thank you for your appreciation :)

    • Mystique1957 profile image


      9 years ago from Caracas-Venezuela

      My dear Shil...

      There is an undeniable truth in this "eye-opener" hub: NO matter how many material possessions you have, there`s no guarantee that it will bring everlasting happiness. A Master once said: " What is true for you in your heart and soul, represents the Truth for you" There`s a very simple formula that can help us get much closer to what we seek: Desire( to want with all your heart that particular something), Conviction ( to know for certain that is what we really want to obtain) and Acceptance(the willingness to receive and accept what we are trying to get). WE must just Be(Flow with the tide), Do(perform all the necessary things to attain our goal) and Have(the result of Being and Doing)

      IN my humble opinion, Happiness is way beyond a physical manifestation, it is the capacity of being grateful for everything we have and everything we have achieved, and not what we do not have!

      Great hub!

      Warm regards!


    • Shil1978 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Thanks Larry for your interesting take on this subject. I must say I can't disagree with it!!

    • maven101 profile image


      9 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Hi Shil..I tend to agree with Feline Prophet up to a point...To be solely focused on achieving certain goals would smother most joy or happiness. ...but I also believe the struggle itself can be a source of great joy and satisfaction if one transcends the struggle from without to one within...a personal challenge accepted without any expectations, simply the Sisyphean acceptance of the challenge...What I'm saying, somewhat poorly, is that goals should be placed a little further than our reach, and in the struggle we find happiness...

      Very interesting and well written Hub...Thanks, Larry

    • Shil1978 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Thanks FP for dropping by and for your comments. I've seen people like that, and I've seen just how unhappy they've been in their lives, even though outwardly they have things that others would envy!!

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 

      9 years ago

      I think you're right...a person whose life isn't driven by goals has more chances of being happy than one who has to struggle to achieve all that he thinks he needs to make him happy!


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