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Guide to Happiness

Updated on November 23, 2014

Introduction to Happiness

Why would you need an introduction to happiness? Isn't everyone happy? If you are a happy person, then this lens is not for you. You need to suggest this lens to an unhappy person who wants to be happy or who, in your opinion, could use some happiness.

If you have never experienced true happiness, then this lens could be of help to you. Perhaps you have never felt much happiness. Perhaps you have never felt even one moment of happiness. It might seem unlikely to those who have never suffered clinical depression or a neurological disorder that makes it impossible to feel happy but everyone walks a different path through life and you might actually have some rare condition.

Do you regard our society as kitsch, "ersatz culture" ? Does it strike you as all so plastic? Then you might want to consider, tossing away the valium and prescriptions and pot and go drug-free the way hippies do. [I had two lenses on that but Squidoo deleted one for being too popular and too anti-drug. At least, that is my assessment.]

Why are so many children illegitimate, born out of wedlock to unmarried parents? You know the B word before it was borrowed and used to refer to an obnoxious or despicable person. You yourself might not know who your father or mother are. Why are there so many persons in this status? That one is easy. The parents did not care enough to give the child a stable home by getting married. They could not make or honour vows. The child may have been an accident (most children are) since this and many other countries are anti-family planning. All the parents cared about was a few seconds of pleasure and you paid for it with a lifetime of questions and regrets. You may have been the product of rape. It is interesting that people assume that the product of rape will be a boy. What if it is a baby girl? What if the parent takes it out on the boy or girl? It is true that teen parents are not much older than their children. Babies having babies. A girl can think that she wants to be a woman. Or she just wants to collect a welfare check or child support check for squirting out a baby. Then again she may have paid the price of acting older than she is by being raped by an older male. I have little sympathy for boys who think with their genitals rather than their brains in an attempt to act like a man or an adult. I teach young people that it is more important for boys to say no than girls because girls cannot always stop themselves from being raped and because boys have no control over what happens to their child if they are unmarried. All of this breakdown of traditional families and marriage has actual human costs that certain people do not care about and one cost is unhappiness. [Contact me if you want to know about the Adoptee Rights Advocacy]

Is your life full of substitutes for happiness, the man-made (instead of the natural), the unreal, imitations, faux "news", knock-offs, affected people with their affectations, the bogus, copies, counterfeit goods, distorted thoughts, fakes, falsity, artificial flavourings and colourings, forgeries, homogenised society, junk, junkies, Facebook Likes, the make-believe, the makeshift, metaphors, mimicry, mocking of people trying to do something worthwhile, reproductions (instead of originals), "the next best thing", perverts, phonies, thieves, fool's gold (pyrite and pinchbeck), plagiarization, pretending, proxies, the pseudo, replacements, US Representatives who do not represent us, second stringers, shams, shoddy goods, sexual surrogates, synthetics, temporary workers (because companies do not want to pay benefits nor hired permanents), tinsel from Tinseltown, tokens, twisted sociopaths as CEO's and leaders of nations, the unnatural, the unreal, living vicariously through others (sports stars and our children), and other warped things? Is that your life?

Why does anyone want to be happy? That question is easy. People want to be happy because it sure beats being unhappy or emotionally dead.

How can one be happy? Funny you should ask that . . . This lens is the Guide to Happiness.

Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.

— Aristotle

Myths about Happiness

  • Myth: Marriage is the way to happiness.

    Fact: The people saying this are miserable married people saying this to gullible single people to lure them into Hades also. Why? Misery loves company.

    Fact: That b*stard/b*tch you are married to has caused you nothing but unhappiness.

    Fact: A happy marriage is a way to happiness but the majority of marriages are unhappy.


  • Myth: Babies are bundles of joy. So having children is the way to happiness.

    Fact: Yes, babies are bundles of joy. For a while. Then they cry nonstop. Then they get older and whine nonstop. Then they become teenagers and get drunk, wrap the car around a tree, get busted for possession, and you have to bail them out. The fact is that children are vampires who suck out your energy, then your life, and when you are dead, they have your stuff.

    Fact: There is the rare child who remains a joy throughout life but it is rare. Do you think you would have better luck than King Lear in figuring out which of your children is the good one?


  • Myth: Your work is the way to happiness if you choose work you love.

    Fact: Most people can't seem to find work that they love. They end up in a job that they hate.


  • Myth: Money can't buy happiness.

    Fact: Actually money can buy happiness. It affords food, clothing and shelter. It pays for doctors and school. It can buy transportation and recreation. Saying that one cannot eat currency misses the point. There are few places one can go without being expected to fork over money. The fools who think that money can't buy happiness spend their money on drugs, alcohol, nicotine, gambling, and other vices.

    Fact: You don't need money to talk a walk or watch a beautiful sunset or be with friends or hug a child. There are free things that bring happiness too.


  • Myth: Financial ruin brings unhappiness.

    Fact: Logically it should but some people react to financial ruin by being glad that they no longer have that burden on their shoulders. A few others simply shrug and start over and whistle happily as they build their new fortune.


  • Myth: Illness makes you unhappy.

    Fact: Usually it does but do not use your level of happiness as the most reliable indicator of health.

    Fact: There are terminally ill people who are happy. We all know that.

    Fact: You cannot neglect exercise, sleep, eating nutritious food, and other sensible health care and get away with it forever.

You have heard politicians talk about happy campers

Toni Roman, reporter, accompanied by Clark Kent of the Daily Planet, has finally tracked down the Happy Camp to which they all have referred. You don't get hard-hitting reporting much better than this.

This is the part where you laugh ;)


Telling jokes or listening to jokes and laughing is one way to be happy. In fact, it is one of the better ways.

The exception to this rule is if your humor is at someone's expense and you are too stupid, callous or evil to care.


When raptor volunteers release a bird back into the wild, it is like a child leaving home. You are happy to see them soar in the sky but there is a bittersweet empty nest syndrome. In this case, there actually is a nest involved.


US AID Images
US AID Images

Most mothers are happy after delivery because the birth pangs have stopped, the baby looks cute (most babies look cute because the human brain is hard-wired to think so), the hormones are telling you to be happy, people are congratulating you as if you had done a rare miracle (7 Billion+ people on Earth, it is not rare), and you have not seen the obstetrician or hospital bill yet. The post-partum depression comes later.

Considering the morning sickness, the backaches and the labour pains, the real miracle is that any sane woman would go through this ordeal twice. However, the brain scientists say that we can remember pleasure but not pain. I mean yes you can know intellectually that you went through pain——torture while kidnapped, punched in a fight, a conk on the head in softball, a concussion from lacrosse, broken arm from falling off a horse, broken leg while snow skiing——but you don't relive it enough to be able to summon the pain, just the images and sounds. I can buy that I don't remember the pain and that other women don't remember the pain enough to scare them away from having a second child. However, surely rape victims are in a different category since that involves violence (bad) and sex (good except here) and anger over the violation of your personal space (bad despite our culture getting used to being felt up every time they want to get on a plane) and fear of contracting an STD (bad) and fear of getting pregnant by a man that they can't stand (bad) and having to face police to report the rape (bad, like being raped a second time) and having to tell family (bad, if they are Muslims because they will "honour" kill you for being a victim) and wanting to tell best friend (good because they will comfort you and give you moral support) and having to go through court trial (bad, like being raped a third time) and having to deal with TV and photographers (always bad dealing with the news media,like being raped a fourth time) and if you are famous the paparazzi will enjoy trying to drive you to commit suicide. There may be no memory of physical pain as measured by PET scans or MRI scans but the psychological trauma may be far worse and result in the type of PTSD flashbacks that military veterans who have been in combat experience.

I suspect that post-partum depression and crazy behavior is a complex of over-prescribing drugs, family history/genetic predisposition to hormonal imbalances, isolation at home while husband is back at work or maybe there is no husband and they are a single mother, other factors, and building up expectations too high. Just like weddings are "supposed" to be perfect, no baby can live up to all that hype of being a bundle of joy. Babies are in fact factories of endless diapers (I could be graphic here), endless worry over whether they have some illness, endless crying, and endless feeding. They want attention at the worst possible times (when you are dog tired and need sleep) and at the worst places (when you are driving and the vehicle in front of you has stabbed their brakes while the car behind you is tailgating.).

I was lucky. I used to think that something was wrong with me or the baby. Supernaturally quiet and content.

This is the part where you hate me because you are jealous of me.

If you live in a high-rise apartment, then you can use a catapult or giant sling shot to get rid of full diapers. The pedestrians below will really enjoy getting those pasture pies in the face. This is why the windows above the second floor do not open and why you can get long prison time for a felony. So do not do this nor get any ideas.

Don't even laugh very hard at that weak bit of humor.

How many fathers have wanted to divorce when mother says: "Look! Baby made a present for Daddy!" ? Every man knows that this is a passive aggressive thinly veiled statement of how she really feels about him.

I think this mother and child photo has been analysed to death. The real humour is watching the media's treatment of birth and babies. Yeh, they're cute but if you really love them, then stop the wars and clean up the planet where they have to live. This is why I am so political and constantly harp on cleaning up the environment as well as keeping our homes clean. The fact that a lot of people feel the same is something to be happy about!!!

Jumping for Joy

I'm gonna snap my fingers

Gonna jump for joy

Got a clean bill of health

From Doctor McCoy

{quote from Star Trek}

People jumping up in the air either because they just did something like complete a hike up a hill or simply because they feel healthy or are celebrating something great and want to capture it for a camera are all a cultural meme that the media loves to showcase. I have seldom seen this and I cannot remember the last time that I felt like imitating those people on TV commercials or movies and jumping for joy. I have done it of course and then felt stupid.

Even so, there is no need to apologise for being happy or pretending to be happy. Happiness is its own excuse. If you do this in public, then some people might think you are mental but just as many people will grin and be tempted to do the same thing.

Unless you do back flips daily, refrain from trying (and breaking your neck) until you have practised with a safety harness and a gymnastics coach and a spotter (and a paramedic nearby). Otherwise, confine your back flips to a trampoline and if you get too close to the edge, then you will still need that paramedic.


The next day you are out running, make a point to jump for joy at the end of your run. Do the Rocky in Philadelphia thing with arms up. You know about the statue to Rocky Balboa in Philadelphia in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art near the famous "Rocky Steps". Until I did this module, I did not know that there is another Rocky Balboa statue. This one is in Zitiste which is a town and municipality in the Central Banat District of Vojvodina, Serbia. The photograph was uploaded by Alexzr88.

By the way, there are better ways to become happy than getting beaten in the face in an overly extended boxing career and ending up punch drunk and too brain damaged to properly invest the money from your purses. The odds of you winning might be 50/50.

Summer Joy - Children for the Childless

Kids. Gotta love'em.

A good child can cheer you up. However, if you are a parent, uncle, aunt, or grandparent, then you should reciprocate and cheer them up when they are down.

To people who are all alone and isolated, I could suggest that you go to a city park and watch the children playing to cheer yourself up but that advice might backfire and remind you of how alone and isolated you are. There are Big Brother and Big Sister programs that are begging for volunteers if you do not have any young cousins or nephews or nieces that you can borrow. Children come in handy when you want to do kid stuff like going to a children's museum or the zoo or a local amusement park or Chuck E Cheese or a water park or ice skating at an ice rink and you would otherwise feel foolish being the only adult in a sea of children.

Other advice for non-parents:

You can babysit and be paid for what you might otherwise pay them to let you do. You can tutor children in courses that you excelled in at school.

You can even adopt a child. Time was when no child could be adopted by a single. But desperate times and crowded orphanages have altered that policy. Unless you have a good command of adolescent psychology, you will find yourself rejected by an older child who is about to age out of the system. They have been passed over so many times for adoption and rejected so many times that they react by rejecting before they are rejected yet again.

It is best if you do not have a child out of wedlock for the reasons dissected in the introduction.

When you finally get back into the dating scene, avoid single parents despite wanting to be around children. Because you are not a single parent yourself, you will always be treated like an outside at the least disagreement. You don't deserve to go through life with people wiping their feet on you. Date only childless singles. Adopt a pet from the pound.


photograph © Heather Lawnicki



by Anita Wagner on Pixabay
by Anita Wagner on Pixabay

Some people are just happy people. It is one way of explaining how their smiles look different from those of people who have to force a smile. In the latter case, it looks more like a grimace than a smile.

How do you get to be a happy person if you are not born that way or have genes from unhappy parents? It turns out that even when our genes would otherwise work against us, we are not programmed to a life of misery. We can override our genes and shape ourselves into the kind of person we want to be. The girl in this photograph may simply choose a happy philosophy. I would suggest that you choose a happy philosophy. We all have the freedom to choose our own personal philosophy. That is something that no government and no religion and no society can take away from us. We choose our actions and we choose our reactions. If the big institutions want to crush us, then we can choose to move to another neighbourhood, another community, another county or district, another state or province, or even another country.

In the near future, we will have the option of moving to the moon or another planet. After that (with scientific breakthroughs), we may have the choice of stellar systems and then galaxies. Do not listen to those who say that we are meat puppets or programmed by genetics or replaceable by machines. We can replace them with a brighter future. And that is something to smile about!

"Would someone please stop me before I do it again?"

This man is relieved and happy that the long arm of the law has finally caught him. He is free of freedom.


photograph some rights reserved by Keith Allison

Creative Commons license

Douglas Aircraft assembly worker

There once was a time when the presence of a camera was enough to make people smile. Whether this woman was happy about being part of the war effort (World War II) while her husband was in the military, we can only conjecture.

We do know that times have changed. Point a camera and some people (me among them) will slug the photographer or sue them for photographing without a signed release. We have adopted this attitude partly because the news media is more concerned with feathering its nest than in protecting our rights. They kept silent while Bush and Cheney wiped out 225 years of Constitutional protections and rights. But we mostly adopted this attitude because we know that our government collects data and facial recognition images of us and anything they collect can and will be used against us and anything they collect they will never uncollect or erase or delete or purge. Dictatorships have perfect memories because they are machines. Machines that crush people and crush their souls.

Again, why am I injecting such gloom into an analysis of a photograph? Simple. I study history. This is a photograph from the World War Two era where we supposedly fought against fascism. General Eisenhower, supreme allied commander, went on to become President Eisenhower. When he left office, his closing address warned us about the military-industrial complex. He might well have called it the intelligence-Congressional complex. All that fascism the USA and the allies fought against is eating away like a cancer at the heart of the nation. It is not eating away at the brains of the nation because this nation has no brains, cancerous or healthy.

Ignorance is not bliss. The people who were herded into showers of Zyklon B suspected the Nazis were up to no good but they simply could not imagine it was that bad. I mean people could not possibly create a death factory. Could they? Oh yes, they did. The company that manufactured Zyklon B was prosecuted for war crimes and went out of business. It therefore is not fair to tar BASF, Bayer, and Hoechst with the same brush. Except one of these companies is one of our worst polluters. Toxic chemicals kill. Sometimes in seconds in the case of Bhopal, India. Sometimes over decades in the case of the chemical industry knowing about certain chemicals' toxicity since the Nineteen-Thirties. Sometimes over decades in the case of Love Canal which is near Niagara Falls.

This photograph is simply of a woman with a nice smile. It is unfair perhaps to project our modern concerns onto a person of the past but we moderns do it every time we watch an old movie and are surprised (shocked) that women of olden times were different. Movie critics sometimes laugh at the antics of American actresses who insist upon acting like 21st Century women in movies about the past. Since Americans rarely crack a history book, many producers cast British actresses because Europeans see history all around them. Americans bulldoze history and heritage and drill oil wells in places like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and spill oil in Yellowstone. The Brits can do a better job of depicting the past because, like the American South, they have never left it.

Don't get me wrong. I don't look at the assembly worker in the photo as a naïve or stupid person. She had to have some smarts and skills and self-confidence to land the job in the first place. No. What I feel is pity. Not for her (she has a job and a clean environment) but for us. We Americans are deer in the headlights. We have already had a Watergate Nixon and Iran-Contra Reagan and The Patriot Act Bush. Will Americans trustingly step into a gas chamber? Probably, considering our tolerance of climate change and pollution. Right wingnut Limbaugh actually blamed environmentalists for the BP spill. There are fools who still believe him.

So this Douglas Aircraft worker is not the naïve one. We are.

Now that I have brought you down, I have nothing with which to cheer you up.

. . .

Except this.

If you were one of the millions disgusted by the NSA revelations, then there may be hope for this nation yet if we push for the abolishment of the NSA and the repeal of the Patriot Act. At least we can hope for that outcome.

school children in Basrah, Iraq

by Ben Barber, USAID
by Ben Barber, USAID

These children are happy because there is no jihadist militant group shooting them, at the time this photograph was taken.

People ask why people become comedians. Often it is because they are dealing with their own pain and laughing and making other people laugh is catharsis or therapy. Some comedians and some scientists who study humor dispute that hypothesis but there are few others that make sense. And some of them use mathematics to explain their hypothesis.

The Bible says that the man who makes his fellows laugh has a place reserved in heaven.

There is nothing funny about children or adults in danger. But we have to deal with it. There are children (child soldiers for example, and war refugees) who have had to deal with horrible things that we adults safe in America cannot imagine. At least these children are in school and are not so traumatized that they have lost the ability to smile. You have to wonder what kind of cause sends boys to terrorist prep schools (madrassas), shoots girls for going to school, kills women for being victims, and insists that men be as ignorant as possible.

When you compare these children to spoiled kids here, you don't know whether to laugh or cry. Kids. Gotta love'em.

The 14th Dalai Lama

Wonderland via Creative Commons
Wonderland via Creative Commons

They invaded his country, committed genocide against his people, recently burned down a city full of irreplaceable archaeological artifacts, and so the USA rewarded the perpetrators by making them major trading partners so that Americans can get cheap food and cheap products.

If ever there was someone who should not be happy, then it is this man.

A Fish Story

The fellow sitting on the little fish is happy about two things:

1. He caught the fish instead of the fish catching him

2. He has photographic and physical proof that the fish really was that big.

I hope he has a couple of deep freezers and a large family because they are going to be eating fish steaks and fish sticks the rest of the year.

A Smaller Fish

from a polluted sea but at least they are smiling blissfully unaware of how dangerous seafood is these days.

No, I do not spend my days at the beach complaining about windburn or strong UV rays from the hole in the ozone layer. Believe it or not, I actually concentrate on having a good time, getting exercise, being with family, and sightseeing.

I actually know how to smile. Shocking eh?

Now I have to come up with better jokes to make you smile. Too bad Richard Pryor and Sam Kinison are not around today because they knew how to take the most depressing material and make you laugh your *** off.

The two funniest men who ever lived

Links to the videos rather than the videos themselves. Sorry to pull my punches but I am tired of censorship. Appropriately enough, the two funniest men in the world did not censor themselves.

Neil Armstrong after first walk on moon

"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

He admitted after the flight that he was trying to say, "That's one small step for a man," and said the "a" got lost in static. He told interviewers, the few times he spoke publicly, that he didn't settle on what to say until after the Apollo 11 landing ship Eagle was safely on the lunar surface and it was time to suit up for the moonwalk.

Both he and the whole human race had a right to pause and be happy for this achievement.

If you want to be happy, be.

— Leo Tolstoy

How to be Happy

Just declare yourself happy and then take your mind off yourself by helping someone.

This ancient Greek wrote books but for some reason those books were lost because no one was interested in being happy.

It makes a weird sort of sense when you think about expectations. Denmark is the happiest country on Earth (nations now keep statistics on such things) because the Danes have low expectations.

There are now ministers of happiness in several countries.

Can you imagine that there are people who hate science? There are people who happiness too.

Why stumble around when you can do what works?

A balanced person can be happy alone or with other people. An unbalanced person will probably end up on the news drawing the attention of SWAT teams.

The Secret is no longer secret.

The Ultimate Guide to Happiness

Ultimate. No half-measures here.

  1. Enjoy the arts such as ballet, comic opera, symphony, theatre, and movies about happy people. Art critics will hate this next one but go to art galleries that feature happy art. "Happy art" need not be kitsch and roadside velvet art of puppy dogs. Don't be a pedestrian philistine but, on the other hand, don't feel guilty if Edvard Munch's The Scream brings you down or Giacometti's attenuated sculptures leave you feeling alienated. Those statues could make an anorexic fashion model feel overweight. There are lots of paintings of Western landscapes and impressionism and plein airs that can lift the spirit. There are whimsical sculptures too. Many, if not most, modern artists seem to think that their job is to pump out the ugliest images that their drug-soaked brains can vomit onto canvas. This is a complete reversal of the idea that art should be about beauty.

    Note: The advice to be happy is not the same as advising you to be shallow and superficial like most Americans. That idea of worshiping stupidity comes from the anti-intellectualism streak found in American society. Such mooks and midriffs believe that thinking too hard leads to unhappiness. However, about five minutes observation and one notices that stupid people are not very happy. This is allied to that other idea of believing that poverty is happiness and rich people must be miserable. Old rich are bored. That's not the same thing as unhappy. They are bored because they think that they have seen, done, and had everything. They haven't. Studies show that rich people are happier. It is better for your psychological well-being for you to admire rich people that you admire rather than hate or be envious of people (such as bad national leaders and CEO's of polluting companies).

  2. Read books about happiness.
  3. Read happy poetry.
  4. Open a pleasure account at a bank.
  5. Find the right work. You do not have to be a Buddhist to see the wisdom of seeking work that makes you happy.
  6. Buy and drive a nonpolluting car. You can lie to yourself but your subconscious knows that death is coming out of your exhaust pipe whenever you see smog or sit in a line of traffic or smell diesel fumes or feel grit under your collar (can't wait to shower off road grime after a long trip) or hear loud vehicles. All electrics are quiet to the point of silence.
  7. Spend less time with gadgets.
  8. Spend less time on the internet—except to visit this lens :)
  9. Be with happy people.
  10. Move to a happy neighbourhood.
  11. Move to a happy town.
  12. Choose a major in college that will make you happy.
  13. Avoid depressing entertainment and media (such as carnography).
  14. Take off the Goth clothes & makeup.
  15. Avoid sugar and Sugar Blues.
  16. Avoid starch. Such food breaks down to sugar and puts you on a roller coaster of temporary feel good followed by permanent diabetes.
  17. Eat foods that maintain happiness long-term. Unprocessed whole foods, salmon, almonds, apples, sunflower seeds, tofu, legumes (especially lentils), spinach, quinoa, real tomatoes (not those green plastic things with fish genes), vitamin-D fortified milk, walnuts, real strawberries (not the GMO kind), raspberries, blueberries, eggs, clams not exposed to city sewage, oranges (not the GMO kind), cayenne pepper, parsley, turmeric, green tea, red grape juice (with extra resveratrol), chicken, avocado, Greek yogurt, flaxseeds, bananas, chia seeds, buckwheat (Eddie Murphy as Buckwheat will also make you happy), Swiss chard, butternut pumpkin, asparagus, nettle tea, coconut, honey, carrots, grapefruit, pineapple, and oats.
  18. Dark chocolate should be eaten in moderation and white chocolate should not be eaten at all. Coffee should be drunk in moderation (if at all) and alcohol should be avoided altogether. The health benefits of beer and wine are far out-weighed by the toll alcohol takes.
  19. Avoid violent games and toys.
  20. Find hobbies that make you happy.
  21. Design or re-design your house for happiness. This includes both interior decoration as well as attention to factors like soundproofing (See my Guide to Quiet), proper ventilation (no radon or carbon dioxide build up), good kitchen, and ease of cleaning.
  22. Grow a garden.
  23. Make a happy home as a homemaker be you male or female. Remember that a housewife or househusband is not married to a house. They are married to a person. The reason that they are home is to prepare home cooked breakfast and dinner, wash dishes, launder clothes,pickup and drop off clothes at the dry cleaners, keep the house clean, deal with repairmen, mow the lawn, pay bills, look after children too young to be latch key kids, and take children to school and pick them up. If there are no children, then the reason that they are home may be to attend graduate school and prepare to become the primary income earner of the family. In any case, "home" is not the house. House is the house. Home is a couple or a nuclear family or a multi-generational family of elderly parents and young grandchildren. If you doubt that home is people, then go visit an empty abandoned house that has no furniture. The people who lived in that house are gone or dead. That is not a home.
  24. If someone drops dirty clothes on the floor and does not pick the item up, there should be a swift kick up the rear. Mom or dad is not a maid or a butler.
  25. Play your favorite music unless it makes you unhappy. In which case, you should consider exploring until you find a composer or band or singer who does make you happy.
  26. Volunteer for your favorite charity or cause.
  27. Be with happy children. Get a babysitter for whiners or send them off to boarding school.
  28. Be with happy adults. Get a doctor to check for undiagnosed illness or injuries if your elderly parents whine. I am telling you this because I lost a beloved parent because I did not listen and hear the words: "I am short of breath." Turned out to be pneumonia. There is a vaccine and immunization and treatment for that. Now I have to live with that knowledge. Learn from my loss and listen with your brain not just your ears.
  29. Other people? Avoid whiners. Friends you've known since childhood and close family you have to take care of, but casual acquaintances and neighbors two blocks over are not your responsibility. Avoid negative people.
  30. Avoid the news. If the day ever comes when there is something on the news other than evil Washington politicians and corporate polluters getting away with mass murder and foreign leaders killing their own people, then when that day comes (in the year One Billion AD) then you can turn on the news. Until then, a steady diet of accidents, crimes and disasters will just make you unhappy. Avoid negativity.
  31. Keep pets outside and take them to a vet often. Lyme & other mood-altering syndromes are traced to ticks and fleas and other tiny parasites that pets carry.

    [Dogs drink from toilets, lick themselves, sniff other dogs, lap up their own vomit, wipe themselves on the carpet and then lick your face. These are their cleaner habits. And anyone who has seen House M.D. knows to keep cats away from pregnant women and other humans.]

    If this still has not turned your stomach, then invest in an electron microscope and look at what Frisky and Fluffy brought in. Keep the pets outside if you don't want to wonder why you are not happy or why your medical bill is so high.

  32. Date a happy person.
  33. Marry a happy person.
  34. Have a family night at least once a week every week.
  35. Insist that the family sit down together for breakfast and dinner weekdays, lunch too on weekends.

    The purpose is not to fight or sulk or engage in other negativity. The purpose is to discover who those adults are and who those growing young people are. The purpose is to catch up on what everyone has been doing by going around the table round robin style. The purpose is to ask other family members for help if one needs help (such as a bully at work or school). The purpose is to encourage each other when they are down (probably the single most important function and a great way to save money on therapy and drugs). The purpose is to celebrate a parent's small victories at work and to celebrate a child's small victories at school. The purpose is to explain to the rest of the family exactly what one's job is or exactly what one's obscure course is. There are families who have no clue that their father's obscure job of welding holds up skyscrapers and bridges. There are families who don't know that some schools have curricula unknown in other parts of the country. There are families who do not know what mom does all day at home. Do we really need reality shows that swap husband and wife's roles to know what happens? The purpose of meals together is to remind everyone that the family is a family.

  36. Avoid sports where people argue with the umpire or referee.
  37. Travel to places that make you happy and avoid places that bring you down.
  38. On that "happiest of occasions" brides should not morph into bridezillas and not notice that the groom has shown no interest. It is all about her. She is marrying herself and he is an afterthought or perhaps not important at all. Perhaps he can phone it in or send in a substitute or proxy so that he can go off and have some fun because once they are married, it is going to be decades of misery. The wedding preparations have proven that to him. Little boys do not fantasize about weddings as a sort of coronation. In fact, they do not fantasize about weddings at all. That should be a red flag or alert to little girls but each gender grows up in a world apart, repulsed by the doings of the other.

    "The bigger the wedding, the bigger the divorce." -- Toni Roman

  39. Avoid drugs of all types: legal, illegal, prescription or over the counter.
  40. Learn about ecology. Go green. Go organic. Go natural. Go healthy.
  41. Deal with grief and loss the way immortalists do.
  42. Avoid X-rays: Get up and leave if the physician, dentist, surgeon or technician wants to use X-rays. Computed Tomography, digital and CT scans have less X radiation but it is still X-rays so do not be swayed by their assurances that "it is safe" or "it is safer". What does this have to do with happiness? Simple. Cancer and tumors do not make you happy. Insist upon alternatives like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), PET scans, ultrasonography, T-rays (terahertz), and visible light ["It's like putting a flashlight behind your hand," said Sylvain Gigan, a co-author of the recent Nature Communications and a scientist at the Institut Langevin in Paris.]

The Ultimate Guide to Happiness Part II

Because twice is nice.

  1. Spend time with happy people (regardless of whether they are family, relatives, friends, neighbors, acquaintances, co-workers, or total strangers)
  2. Appreciate who you have
  3. Appreciate what you have
  4. Appreciate these times we live in (it is not entirely bad)
  5. Assuming that you do not live in a toxic waste dump or a war zone (in which case you should move), appreciate the place you live whether town or country.
  6. Be an optimist
  7. Follow your purpose in life -- If you are young enough, then you already know it. If you don't remember what you were born to do, then you will have to dig deep in your memory to remember it.
  8. Live in the moment -- This is advice best given to the poor because it is lost on people in the middle class.

    Please note: I am not advocating a vow of poverty unless you are into that whole asceticism thing or want to be a Franciscan monk or a Jain monk. I am simply acknowledging that different classes have different time orientations. The poor live in the present and so telling them to live in the moment is something that they do anyway. The middle class lives in the future. Their way to happiness is studying futurology and preventing wars and reversing climate change and preparing for our future in space and preparing for immortality. These are long-term goals that stretch into decades, centuries and even millennia. The other classes are mentally unable to think long-term about their great-grandchildren's great-grandchildren. The Japanese must truly be a middle-class nation because this is no stretch for them to think in the long-term. It is one reason (as if they needed more) why no matter what blows the global economy deals Japan or what history or what natural disasters befall them, they will always come out okay.

    The upper class is oriented to the past. Their path to happiness is preserving what they have in terms of wealth, genealogy, preserving the national parks (this comes easy to them because it is obvious to them that the national parks were America's best idea), preserving historic landmarks (that the middle class developers would simply bull doze), studying history (archaeology and paleontology also come naturally to the upper class), marrying aristocracy or royalty, and the better members of the upper class provide role models for proper decorum that gutter trashy and nouveau would do well to emulate. I mean piercing and tattoos and other graffiti on the body just advertises to the world that you are trash in that you don't respect your own skin or your own body enough to avoid flesh eating diseases that are common among the common. If the Old Rich seem smug, then it is because they have had generations to learn what does not work. A lot of times, it is not smugness but a polite smile because it is bad manners to laugh at the foibles of the lower classes. You show me an unhappy member of the upper classes of wealth and I will show you someone who is on drugs or is nouveau riche or who won't do philanthropic work or who has no worthwhile hobbies or who will not accept the responsibility they have to make their companies stop polluting and stop changing the climate. If the American ruling class wants to rule, then they could take a page from the British Aristocracy and hog-tie people like the Kochs, Rex and Senator Jim who openly want to destroy the planet and kill the human race. Idiots like the Council on Foreign Relations should not be allowed to advise any president or any Congress on "the Middle East crisis" (a permanent condition) until they can deal with reversing climate change. The Chinese will choke themselves on their own filth so we need not waste CFR time on silly "global security alignments in Asia" either. This is my prescription for upper class happiness whether leisure class or ruling class.

  9. Follow your gut instinct if you have analysed and weighed the pros and cons but cannot decide between three choices.
  10. Try to get your income up to $40,000 a year if you are below that and learn to live on less money if your income is above this number.
  11. Exercise daily, eat health food and get enough sleep each night.
  12. Volunteer for a good cause (I recommend anti-pollution, reversing climate change, and educating on overpopulation because they can make the biggest impact on creating world peace.)
  13. Make a microloan.
  14. Give to food banks, clothing banks and donate to homeless shelters.
  15. Talk about important things instead of small talk.
  16. If you are a student, then pick a major that will make you happy.
  17. If you are a worker, then pick work that will make you happy.
  18. Make yourself smile.

Balloons of Happiness

by Egor Gribanov

The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.

— Benjamin Franklin


Creative Commons_by_Moyan_Brenn
Creative Commons_by_Moyan_Brenn

"life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"

Who are the happiest people on Earth?

What is happiness? (so we'll recognize it when we see it, hear it, or feel it)

When are you happiest?

Where do people go to be happy? (Trick question. A better question is: Where do you avoid?)

Why are people happy? What is the advantage in being happy as humans and mammals seem to be with limbic systems? Beats being unhappy? That actually might be it. It provides additional motivation and therefore gives humans an advantage over species that feel no happiness or only a limited amount of happiness. Do not confuse happiness with pleasure (the mistake of a non-scientist).

happiness is a choice

a happy life

happily ever after . . .


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