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The Key to Happiness

Updated on February 21, 2013

The Key to Happiness

Life is a precious commodity.

Everyone of us deserves to be happy but many of us are not. In this lens, I hope to have you look at your own life, make whatever adjustments you need to make and in doing do, make a step towards being happy.

This is just one of several self-improvement lenses which I wrote. By clicking on AlF's photo on the upper right side of this page, you can see a list of all the lenses i wrote.

Happiness is really a state of mind as I think this lens will show.

Purple Star

This lens has received a Purple Star.

These stars are awarded from nominations within the Squidoo community when members feel a lens is of very high quality. I am happy to say that this lens received its Purple Star in April, 2011 and has been improved several times since then.

Does The Key Always Work ?

Nope unless you are clinically insane in which case then answer might very well be yes.

For most of us, the key I am about to give you a duplicate of, will work most of the time. Due to the climatic environment around you, there will be days you will have to jiggle the key and other days, no matter what you do - the key will not undo the lock.

No doubt you have figured out already that this is a light-hearted approach to a more serious subject. And that, my friend is one aspect of the key.

Let's break it down into the modules you will find below. I also will be giving you links that should help you arrive to the same spot in the road where I find myself. When you do get there - walk beside me. Do not walk behind me because I have already got you to where I am and I don't plan to lead you any further. And don't walk in front of me, because I have never really followed anyone and I don't plan to start now !!!

Don't Worry - Be Happy

Yes, I know - easier said then done. But worrying over things , especially those you have no control over, only induces stress and you are the one who induced it.

Keep an inner faith that there is a purpose to your life - that there is a Big Guy up there who is watching over you and your life is evolving as He intended it to.

As soon as there is a problem in your life that you can and must take control of - do so quickly, bury the problem and move on. If you have no control over the problem, then just respond as best you can,. In some cases, you will be able to say the heck with it (or a more decorative phrase). Some people worry about dying - the heck with worrying about that - you can't change it. Better to think what lies beyond and what an adventure that will be. And should you no longer exist after you die - you won't be aware of it anyway. So why worry about it?

Be Grateful

No matter what your lot is in life, be grateful for whatever positive things you have. Regard your life as one which is in the middle of the pack. There are close to 7 billion of us on this planet - not one of us is the same and hence, no two lives are the same. And we all have had good periods and bad but tempt not fate by complaining of the current life you have.

Think about this way: At the moment you are not working under the hot sun in a rice field in Cambodia earning $1.50 US a day. Maybe you'd rather be in Iraq dodging bullets and bombs. Things could be worse - a lot worse..

I never got to know my daughter beyond her first birthday. Forces outside my control created a void in my heart. I shall never see her again because she committed suicide just before her 21st birthday (I go into this in depth in my lens entitled "Self-Destructive Behaviour). Still, I am most grateful for the life I have. I have a spouse who is open, honest and caring. She is my friend and intellectual equal. We spend 95% of our time together and fighting between us is a very rare event. I am blessed that she is a part of my life.

Carry No Liabilities - Especially Emotional Ones

We all make mistakes but only some make amends. No one is perfect - we all do things that we regret. The important thing here is that we make amends to those whom we did an injustiice to. It might have been something you said - perhaps it was something you did or didn't do.

We have a neighbour who was very spiteful toward our chestnut tree because of the sap and falling chestnuts in the fall. Like, the tree has been there ever since he purchased his porperty 50 years ago. In any event, we love our chestnut tree and certainly had to intentions of chopping it down just to appease him. One day, he received a medical diagnosis that he was dying from cancer. He called my wife over to the fence and made "peace" with her. He is one of the wise ones - never leave this earth if you have negative emotional baggage with someone else. Once someone dies, no matter how much you would like to say you were sorry for what you said or did - at that point, it is too late. Funny things is our neighbour is still alive.

It is best to carry as little emotional baggage as you can in life. Make your apologies while you still can and in so doing, you shall find that your "burden of living" will have been lightened.

I truly believe that negative thought attracts negative events. That is why I (for the most part) try to accentuate the positive. Life can change on a dime - live for the moment and be grateful for it. One other thing worth thinking about - negative emotions can turn into a malady within one's physical body. There are many instances in which cancers are attributed to grief, guilt, remorse and other emotions which have not been properly dealt with. Negative emotions and thought can not only make you miserable - it can end your life prematurely.

I guess this is as good a time as any to mention another one of my lenses - The Dangers of Non-Communication, Problem Avoidance and Suppressed Emotions. To find any of my lenses - just click on my handsome face in the upper right corner of this page. You should then find a list of the 80 or so lenses that I have written.

Listen to your Inner Voice

Outside advice is not always good

Sometimes we ask people their opinions of what we should do. Sometimes that can be good - other times, not so.

The bottom line here is that you and only you, knows what is best for you. What you need to do is listen to the inner voice inside of you and follow what that and your hearts tells you.

That is the only sure way of doing what is best for you. Many people will tell you what you should do and though they are trying to be helpful, sometimes they can cause you more problems than if you had ignored their advise.

Nobody can lead your life for you or make decisions for you. It is you who must do that. You will not find happiness by running to others or riding on their coat-tails.

Avoid Frustration

A lot of frustration is self-induced. You try to do something which you are unable to do - so why bother? You're trying to change the taps on the bathroom sink - and you are getting angry because you can't figure out how to do it without drowning. So, make a few phones calls and find a friend or professional to do it for you. You don't need the frustration.

You must know some people who frustrate the hell out of you every time you talk to them. So STOP talking to them - avoid them - that's simple isn't it?

Getting a Good Night's Sleep

Yeah - like as if I knew anything about this as I write this at 3 AM in the morning.

One thing that does work - maybe I should start doing it again - play music or nature sounds while you sleep. NO - not Iron Butterfly, Jefferson Airplane or Led Zeppelin - are you stupid or what? - try New Age Musicians such as Llewellyn, Cusco or others (e-mail me for a list . Also the best nature sounds are thunderstorms, surf, rainfall, owls hooting, cries of coyotes (seriously) and of course, the blowing wind. Listening to snow fall is NOT a good idea.

On the Importance of Being Kind

We should try to be kind to others when we can - it is a positive ego booster and it also makes someone else happy. Certainly when one is kind to you - you should do something to reciprocate that kindness.

About 10 years ago, we spent Christmas in Montreal. While we scurried about from subway to subway and street to street, we encountered many street people, We came prepared. We had acquired a stash of small little chocolate bars from the $ store. No big deal really but we did hand them out as we encountered those folks who somehow slid down to the bottom rungs of our society. For the most part, they were gracious and happy to get that little gift for Xmas. It, I believe, made them feel that they were still a part of society and had not been completely turned away. It made us feel good and really what did we do - not much at all.

Recently we bought a cottage in a small village about 40 miles from Halifax. We wondered how we "newcomers" would fit in.

One day, I went down to one of the local fishing wharves and asked it I could buy some fish. I was told I couldn't and I began thinking "Oh boy, here comes a fight now". What he in effect was saying was that he was not going to sell me some fish - he was going to give me some, That was most kind and he could have easily said a few bucks and I would not have blinked an eye. It took me over a month to find him again and when I did, I had 2 cans of beer to reward him for his kindness.

The importance of being kind to one another cannot be overemphasized.

Less Coffee - More Beer

I find that most people drink too much coffee and not enough beer. Coffee is a stimulant and after a couple of cups a day, you might find yourself "wired" more so than being just awake and alert.

Now for me - I try to chug-down 2 cases of beer per day. That's a joke ... Jack! Usually I will have 2 beer per day in the summer and down to just 1 beer per day in the winter, Beer acts as a flushing agent and helps keep the body tuned up. Think of it the same was as you would oil for your car.

Oh yes ..this lens is about being happy. Now, if you did down 6 or more beer at a given time - you probably would be happy ....for a while. You might not be so happy come the next morning.

As for tea, beats me. I don't drink much tea and therefore can't comment much about it. I suspect it's affects are similar to that of coffee. Partake of the things that give you pleasure - all in moderation of course.


Counting any midday naps along with your regular sleep time, I wonder how much the average person sleeps per day.

How many hours of sleep do you get each day?

See results

4 other Self-Help lenses by me

The Dangers of Non-Communication, Problem Avoidance and Suppressed Emotions
This lens is written from my own personal experiences and is here in the hopes that it will help others. Those that already know me on Squidoo will realize ...

Attitude, Perceptions and Understanding Yourself
Too many people don't realize that. They would rather blame others and wallow in self-pity. Though we cannot control all situations that happen to us, much ...

Self Destructive Behaviour
Many people have self destructive behaviour which not only hurts them but also those around them. This behaviour destroys oneself, one's family and causes em...

Self-Help Lenses - Mine and Others
I put this lens together so that it could be a one page resource to many different self-help and personal improvement lenses. This page will include religio...

Sounds that will relax you ...

Have a Dream or Two

No, I don't mean while you are sleeping. I mean when you are awake !!!

(You are really making it difficult for me to give you a duplicate of my key)

Always have goals in your life - ones that are attainable . For me, one of my goals is to see Machu Picchu in Peru and with a little effort on my part, I should be able to get there. Without goals, your life lacks purpose and direction. You will "bog-down" and eventually become bored and that's just one step before getting depressed. Deep depression can lead to suicidal thoughts - I know because I have been there and lost my daughter that way.

You don't want to find yourself that far off the path to happiness. Make sure you have some goals and dreams for you really are nothing without them. Even if it's just to have a nice grilled cheese sandwich later on in the day - it is something to look forward to and it is those things which keep us going.

Be Happy !!!

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Busy Busy Busy Time vs Free Open Time

I believe that keeping yourself busy is a key to avoid being bored because when you are bored, your are not happy. Of course, you need time to relax but you also need to be busy with work, helping others, personal projects,etc.

Busy time is Committed Time and Free Time is Relaxing Time.

The perfect balance is different for each of us.

What % of your time each day is Committed Time?

See results

Inspirational Videos

Desiderata (Video)

My Coach and Me

She's a Great Coach but we are a bit different. While our philosophies are somewhat compatible - our approaches are different. She is mainly serious with a side-order approach of corn flakes - whereas I am Corn Flakes with a side-order of seriousness.

She's a tomato where I am a tomatoe and she's a potato where I am a potatoe. Oh heck - let's call the whole thing off !!!

Actually I expect a job offer from her to be her Personal Assistant but that's not possible unless she wants to pay my expenses to travel back and for the from Canada to the USA every week.


Oh ...One More Thing ... The less debt you have, the less worries and hence more happiness.

Try not to incur much debt and decrease the debt you have. The quicker you do that, the better.

Nice Music Videos

What's Next ?

I plan to add more info soon which I hope will make your life a little happier. That is on of my goals in life - to bring a little happiness into someone else's. So stay tuned as I am not finished yet and God hasn't finished with me either. Any complaints so far - if so, contact God as he is the one responsible for my existence - not me.

Reader Feedback

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    • profile image

      Sadheeskumar 5 years ago

      This is one of the best lens I have read today. Thanks for the wonderful content.

    • ValentineAngel profile image

      ValentineAngel 5 years ago

      Great content Thanks for the lenses

    • profile image

      miaponzo 5 years ago

      The key to happiness is inside each and every one of us!

    • Zut Moon profile image

      Zut Moon 5 years ago

      @anonymous: You gave me happiness with your info on my other lens ... Thank You and have yourself a Great Day !!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Coming back here to share some happiness! :)

    • janicemiller lm profile image

      janicemiller lm 5 years ago

      Makes me think of the song "Don't worry, be Happy" - thanks for putting a smile on my face.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Be happy be free!!!!!

    • LadyelenaUK profile image

      LadyelenaUK 6 years ago

      Beautiful and Inspiring. Your neighbour's story was so touching. Sometimes, what we worry about, is so trivial when compared to other people's situations. Congrats on your 100th Lens. I will post this on the squidoo group on facebook. I'm sure many will enjoy it.

    • priscillab profile image

      priscillab 6 years ago

      Thanks. Good reminders.

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 6 years ago

      Looking for things that make me happy is my life philosophy, too! :)

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 6 years ago

      Back again just to say "You're incredible!" One of my most favorite people and lensmasters!

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 6 years ago

      Excellent with key points most of us overlook (like adequate sleep). Adding this to your devoted section in Part IV of Squidoo people with a good heart.

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 6 years ago

      Very nice lens with great advice. We have a lot of similar ideas on life - well, except for the beer - never acquired a taste for it, rather have margaritas! . Blessed!

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 6 years ago

      What a beautiful lens. I think my key to happiness is to 1)believe there's a reason for everything that happens and 2) having no regrets. The last one is huge in my book. I know people who live regretting decisions every single day of their life - they should just have done the right thing to begin with!

    • Scriber1 LM profile image

      Scriber1 LM 6 years ago

      This lens definitely put a smile on my face. Thank you for putting this together and sharing this with the world. Very well done!

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 6 years ago from Alabama USA

      Hi great lens,I so enjoyed reading it.I needed this to keep myself on the right path to happiness.I do not always do the things needed to be happy.I stay to much in the past and I need to let go and not worry about what I can not change.Thanks for writing this,I needed to read it.God bless.I am glad I found your lens.

    • siobhanryan profile image

      siobhanryan 6 years ago

      This is by far the best lens I have read. If only we could stay committed to these pratices-our lives would be so much better.

    • profile image

      Ladyeaglefeather 6 years ago

      You brightened my day.

    • jstarley profile image

      jstarley 6 years ago

      I'm so glad I got to read your lens. I've wrote a couple of lens about Happiness because it's a subject near and dear to my heart. Happiness to you my friend!

    • CraftaholicVete profile image

      CraftaholicVete 6 years ago

      Great lens, good information, thanks for sharing

    • kaposzta profile image

      kaposzta 6 years ago

      This is an exceptional lens, full of great advices. Thank you!

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 6 years ago from Land of Aloha

      Positive thoughts and actions, being kind to others, getting enough sleep, less debt, setting goals.....I think you about covered it all. Those really are keys to happiness. Good article!

    • traveller27 profile image

      traveller27 6 years ago

      Great job!

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 6 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Great job! We all need more happiness, and you've shared some with us here. Angel blessed!

    • profile image

      poutine 6 years ago

      love the way your presented the key to happiness.

    • profile image

      redleafloans 6 years ago

      Lol @ the 'less coffee and more beer'.. Really clever..

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      LOL, very well written, lighthearted lens on a topic that's so important to our lives. To definitely touch on many key points that are practical. Maintaining a positive attitude is so important and makes such a big difference. Stay happy and blessed! :)

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 6 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      smile and embrace the world, you are truly a happiest person in the world. nicely done.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Life is simple.... Starts with A. B, C and ends with X, Y, Z! Math and science teaches us the A's and B's; reminds us about variables like X & Y's... Invariably, we Zzzz through it at the end! :))

    • profile image

      crstnblue 6 years ago

      Wonderful lens!

      Glad to find it and relax a while while enjoying reading it! :)

      Thumbs up to you!

    • wilfredpadilla profile image

      wilfredpadilla 6 years ago

      I want to be happy someday! Thanks for sharing!

    • livinglargeandh profile image

      livinglargeandh 6 years ago

      I'll bask in the glow all day. :-) Nice collection of thoughts combined with proactive steps.

    • profile image

      flipflopju 6 years ago

      Great ideas and advice.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Excellent tips on being happy!

    • vkumar05 profile image

      vkumar05 6 years ago

      Some very useful advice. thanks for sharing.

    • Board-Game-Brooke profile image

      C A Chancellor 6 years ago from US/TN

      Very good advice! I've read that keeping a "gratitude journal" and writing in it daily also helps to increase happiness. (I used to do that... I should probably start again!)

    • profile image

      WHBricker 6 years ago

      Good job Mark!

    • profile image

      Helene-Malmsio 6 years ago

      Very informative and useful lens, and thank you for featuring a couple of my self help lenses here, much appreciated!

      Helene Malmsio aka SCSS

    • JanieceTobey profile image

      JanieceTobey 6 years ago

      Excellent tips on being happy! I love this lens! Blessed!

    • Burningwoodarts profile image

      Burningwoodarts 6 years ago

      Very nice lense :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      A return trip bearing angel dust and mentioning to God that you're doing real good on you goal of making the lives of others a little happier. I did a review and had dropped a couple keys that I had to have recut while here....sleep is a good thing and uncommitted time had become a rare thing for me. Thanks Zut for caring and giving me a good pep talk here once again! All happiness to you me friend!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 6 years ago

      Ah, you have hit on something quite important ... happiness! And, peace of mind. I wish you all the happiness in the world ... too much is not enough?

    • lyttlehalfpint profile image

      lyttlehalfpint 6 years ago from Canada

      I left my complaint ticket with God re happiness not falling in my lap and making me work for it, minor flaw with the product of happiness. Inspiring lens.

    • profile image

      aishu19 6 years ago

      Happiness is indeed very important..You have chosen a fun and motivational way to remind us of that. Be happy!

    • MBradley McCauley profile image

      MBradley McCauley 6 years ago

      Wow, this makes my Six Steps to Happiness should not be in the same category. This is beautiful and so inspiring. I am going to be learning from viewing your lenses.

    • anka05 profile image

      anka05 6 years ago

      Inspiring and motivating to think more about your own life. Thanks for sharing!

    • LadyelenaUK profile image

      LadyelenaUK 6 years ago

      Very inspiring.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Fabulous lens, and a much needed topic. Really enjoyed your lens.

    • lyttlehalfpint profile image

      lyttlehalfpint 6 years ago from Canada

      Full of great advice, common sense and classic Zuk lines. Great read, though it didnt motivate me to switch from coffee to beer.

    • profile image

      grannysage 6 years ago

      There is a book I just finished reading called Zen and the Art of Happiness that is fun to read and very helpful. I think a lot of us have been brought up to believe that being happy is selfish, that we should try to carry the problems of the world on our shoulders. But we can't help others if we are mired in misery ourselves. A fun lens that contains some great nuggets of wisdom.

    • CrossCreations profile image

      Carolan Ross 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      The key to happiness... ah thanks, always wanted that. Now will you say abracadabra and make my teenage sons mature and responsible quickly before I disown them? THX!

    • whiteskyline lm profile image

      whiteskyline lm 6 years ago

      This is great. Less coffee more beer cracked me up :)

    • Susan300 profile image

      Susan300 6 years ago

      Good advice. Glad I stopped by. :)

    • marigoldina profile image

      Heather B 6 years ago

      Great advice, especially regarding the point about respecting what you have. I know that I wouldn't want to be picking rice in Cambodia, that's for sure.

    • Zut Moon profile image

      Zut Moon 7 years ago

      @AuthorNormaBudden: Thank you so much ... hope I get it.

    • AuthorNormaBudden profile image

      AuthorNormaBudden 7 years ago

      I just nominated your lens for a purple star. I hope you get it.

    • AuthorNormaBudden profile image

      AuthorNormaBudden 7 years ago

      I really enjoyed my visit here. Not only does this make great suggestions for having a happy life, it's a wonderful way to embrace relationships and marriages as well.

      I am the resident Squid Angel for Relationships and Family - Marriage lenses. Though this is not in that category, it could just as easily have been placed there so I hereby grant it an angel blessing.

      You can find your lens featured at Relationships and Family ~ Resident Angel

      Furthermore, I have lensrolled this to A Stroll Through Human Nature and Ways to Enhance My Life.

    • photofk3 profile image

      photofk3 7 years ago

      Great content here. I think what you described here is what we call positive thinking. You detailed it very well. Great lens, keep it up.

    • FunGifts4All profile image

      FunGifts4All 8 years ago

      I loved this Lens!!! The approach you took kept me wanting to read more..and I agree with all that you wrote. Awesome job!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      This is a wonderful reminder of what matters most in life...happiness above all else. Without it everything else seems non-existent because we cannot see beyond that which ails us - that which has caused us to be unhappy in the first place.

      I believe in all that you have written here - how generous of you to share this with us - I try to live my life pretty much the way you have shared here. But I also firmly believe that we have to have come from somewhere painful and the lowest point in our life before we can see beyond the veil that has hidden us from being happy. And to move another phase of our life, a better, happier (for some just happy at first) place. Time to shed all sense of negative thoughts, depression, sadness and all downers. Life is too lovely to waste.

      I doubt I have complaints but if I do, I won't be taking it to God - for one, with so many religions out there, I am likely to find myself at the doorstep of the "wrong" God. Although they say, there's only one...even that has caused too much confusion. I am a woman with a small mind and confusion sends me into a tailspin and a loud thud as I hit the hard floor. I hate pain! For another, God may be responsible for your existence, but from then on you and your environment are responsible for the formation of your character. So I will find myself at your doorstep if I have a complaint. Let's give God a time out, He's still trying to explain why he made Adam and then made Eve the fall guy to the temptations of Satan the genderless creature.

      Seriously though, what you have shared is a great philosophy to live by...really, I don't see anything bad that can come out from it. So, thank you for sharing.

    • profile image

      windowsot 8 years ago

      Very insightful Zut. I would just like to add to the list engage in a physical active that you enjoy. Chopping wood, lifting weights, gardening, swimming, kayaking etc. I helps in allthe areas you have discussed. Staying healthy as possible physically helps staying healthy spiritually and mentally. And the other way round. thanks again Zut.

    • Rachel Field profile image

      Rachel Field 8 years ago

      I totally agree with the goals/dreams thing!

      I make them all the time- I have to have deadlines and goals to work to otherwise I get really depressed.

      But I think I'd be pretty miserable if I could have everything I wanted whenever I wanted.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Beautiful thoughts!

    • profile image

      qlcoach 8 years ago

      Beautiful lens with encouraging comments, humor, and music. Thank you for the kind words on The Eby Challenge. Best wishes for your success too. Sincerely: Gary Eby, author and therapist.

    • GaryGzik profile image

      GaryGzik 8 years ago

      Love it! Those are perfect thoughts - thanks.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Great way to start my day with this happy lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Yoko will love to see this lens! - Just seen your tweet to this very fun, and very heart felt visit here with you. - Touched my heart again Zut!

      Love that rendition of Stand By Me!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Hey Zut! nice lens man. How have you been?

      See ya!


    • profile image

      wienersmom 9 years ago

      As always, a great lens. Keep up the fantastic work. Keep spreading the word.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Sage advice sound philosophy Gus (the guy upstairs) has it all planned........ only one small correction happy from the old pagan "hap" should be changed to ....."joy" joy to the world today eh???

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Thanks for your thoughts. It was great way to start the day.

    • profile image

      GrowWear 9 years ago

      You philosopher, you. :)

    • profile image

      marsha32 9 years ago

      I've been in a really good mood all evening, which is great for a change :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Well, have hot upon some real good points. I feel happier right now! :))

    • profile image

      Vacation-In-My-Head 9 years ago

      Great lens...Happiness really is the key to everything. 5*'s, I'm going to lensroll you to my pageThe I Wish Game I can't wait to see what else you have to add. Thanks

    • profile image

      a-ha-design 9 years ago

      It's so nice to be happy! Five stars for this lens. :)

    • MartiLawrence profile image

      Marti Lawrence 9 years ago from Grain Valley, Missouri

      What a great lens! Lots of really good ideas here - wishing you all the best!