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How to be happy

Updated on July 12, 2008

Wow! This is a great hub idea. Thanks for making the request. I will do my best to answer it.

According to Buddhist views, desire causes suffering, and suffering is no good. What is desire then? If we can pinpoint this desire thing that causes suffering, we'll just have to do less of it to be happy. Desire, to me, means having expectations to fill. For example, many women in today's superficial society desire 20 pounds less in weight. Following Buddha's logic, they would be suffering; and indeed, Buddha hits the nail on the head. Women with weight OCD dishes out money for the gym, painfully sweats on the treadmill and elliptical, and lift weights. They also deprive themselves of great food by going on cracker diets, and mentally abuse themselves by reading magazines with retouched photos of corporate-defined "beautiful women". Women in the 20th century strapped themselves down with corsets, and many suffered from broken bones. This is desire and the result of desiring.

Happiness, then, would occur if the woman has no problem with her weight. (Side note: This is just one example of a common happiness problem; the example could also stretch to success at school, pursuing some form of business career) Since desire means harboring expectations, I guess happiness is when you shorten the bridge between your expectations and your reality. If you do not have a lot of expectations, you will be happy easily.

However, I think that happiness is best temporary for it to be permanent. What I mean by this is people should always have what they see as problems in their lives, that they can look forward to fix. I think that human advancement owes itself to the fact that people are always desiring more. Hence, we can now enjoy air conditioned rooms and bigger and juicier apples. Without our perpetual improvement complex, we would still be wearing leaves and lying around outside our caves. Eternal satisfaction is unhealthy because we would be both unproductive and bored. We achieve temporary happiness when we fix our problems, but we revert back to being unhappy problem solvers as soon as we spot another one, but that is a good thing, because we need to solve problems. The satisfaction we obtain from solving a problem is worth the problem itself, and this cycle of temporary happiness amongst other emotions will lead to a life of overall happiness, because it is worth your while.

The key to happiness is managing the types of problems you have. If they are too overwhelming for you to handle, just tackle one thing at a time in order of priority. Don't be afraid to ask your boss which project has more weight so that you can work on it first. Humans are designed to be problem solvers; while other organisms are equipped with fur, strong shells made of chitin, and pseudopodia techniques, we are born naked and powered by our brains. Thrive on problem solving, and taste the sweet wine of your answers.

My favorite smiley face. Designed by/for L'arc en Ciel.
My favorite smiley face. Designed by/for L'arc en Ciel.


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    • williamblake profile image

      williamblake 8 years ago

      Nice hub but people still thinks that they're not happy. My words for those people that just view funny movies, daily jokes I mean always be connected where fun rocks..

    • Nordy profile image

      Nordy 9 years ago from Canada

      What a refreshing perspective you have! Even people who are happy are never happy, if you know what I mean. You are totally right - we always needs something to strive towards, it is part of our human nature. Well written hub!

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 9 years ago

      "happiness is when you shorten the bridge between your expectations and your reality."

      Very well said. Some people tend to keep dreaming, expecting, anticipating the future so obsessively that they forget to enjoy the present and what they have now. Nice hub :)

    • quensday profile image

      quensday 9 years ago from New York

      Hey guys, thanks for visiting! :)

    • guidebaba profile image

      guidebaba 9 years ago from India

      Great Ideas. Thanks.

    • summer10 profile image

      summer10 9 years ago from my happy place :)

    • summer10 profile image

      summer10 9 years ago from my happy place :)

      I love your viewpoint. It made me happy just reading it. So, I suppose you've accomplished your mission effortlessly. I look forward to reading more. :)