ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Common Sense of Happiness

Updated on January 19, 2010

Finding Happiness Through Common Sense

I spend many hours musing about happiness. I don’t proclaim to be some kind of self-professed guru on how to be happy. However, I’ve devoted many a waking moment trying to understand how this process works and have come up with a unique perspective.

There are two influencing factors which determine achievement of happiness that can give overall satisfaction and tranquility in life.

  • Environment
  • State of Mind/Behavior - How You React in Adverse Situations

You have limited control over the first factor; however, you have total control over the second by controlling you. Through trial, error and some common sense, I have learned that happiness can be attained by applying mind over matter and mastering my state of mind and actions.

I’m probably not winning any genius points with you yet? Probably won’t, but I have been able to achieve an existence that satisfies me to the point I can say, “I AM HAPPY!” I didn’t use any parlor tricks or religious cult ideas... just common sense. Here’s the skinny. You have to ask yourself, “Why am I unhappy?” Then take out a sheet of paper and list the many hindrances in your life that you believe keep you from being happy.

Granted, if your basic biological needs aren’t being met (i.e.: food, shelter, clothing, social activity and health), well you have cause to be unhappy. Take consolation that even you can still be happy. I’ll discuss a little later.

Once you have finished your list, begin crossing off those impediments which:

  • Are unrealistic. – If anything on your list is impossible to achieve, take it off. For example, if you are a balding, penniless, fat guy looking for a supermodel wife who’s a freak in the bed, a wiz in the kitchen and willing to ruin her looks by baring your children, get over yourself! You must stay grounded and be willing to accept and appreciate your lot in life. Therefore, the chick with the skinny legs and mustache will have to suffice. I am not saying don’t be ambitious. Sure you can rob a bank, buy some hair, lose weight, etc., but do you think that shallow supermodel you finally end up with will ever love you the way you desire? Of course not.
  • Would sacrifice other’s unhappiness. – You can’t rain on another’s parade for your own selfish needs. If your idea of happiness is to go out and say, murder someone’s dog, well it’s pretty obvious you are enveloped in your own selfish desires. DUH! Take a moment to consider how much time you waste thinking about you and the things you want others to give you. Here’s a hint…if it made you happy because someone over exerted or hurt themselves to give it to you, then you are a self-absorbed leech and didn’t deserve it.
  • Exists because you refuse to take action. – It’s “happy physics for dummies”. An inert object without the force of momentum stays at rest. Translation, if you are in a bad situation that you (and the world) would recognize to be bad and have the ability to change course simply by taking action – do it! Many people stay in unhealthy environments and relationships trying to will it better. You must get off your duff and put in the work. Most of us have options, even if you are being held back against your will. Inertia comes from the Latin word “iners”, which means to be idle or lazy. Remember, you always have at least one other choice no matter how bleak it seems.
  • Exists only in your head. – We all know folks like this, but would you recognize it in yourself if you looked in a mirror? That old proverb about “seeing the glass half-full” will always stand the test of time, because it encourages us to appreciate life. If you appreciate being alive, then you won’t indulge in self-centered thinking. You also will be less callous about the choices you make. Lastly, and most important, you will learn to respect and appreciate the life of others. Don’t create imaginary obstacles that unnecessarily hinder you from happiness.
  • Exists as a result of your own destructive behavior. – This is the biggest no-brainer! Remember, I previously talked about creating obstacles? Yeah, those vices you partake in have to go! The seven deadly sins are anger, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony. Stand clear from these impediments and your problems will be cleared up in less than a week.
  • Exist because of your inability to cope. – Some people are unhappy because they don't know how to behave in a time of crisis. Their emotions and reactions are staged in black and white, and the grey areas are never considered. For example, when they find something upsetting, they either become extremely angry, depressed or fall into state of denial. If you behave like this, ask yourself, “What process did I use to get to this point?” If you don’t apply the correct emotions you can both overreact and under react, ultimately complicating the problem. Instead use perspective and apply the right amount of concern with the same level of effort based upon its ability to cause turmoil in your life. Think about it this way, how important is this problem to my life? Will it stop me from paying my bills, putting food on the table or shelter over my head? If no, don’t sweat the small stuff.

This last point brings me back to the position I made about biological needs not being met. By no means do I imply that your situation is meritless and without valid concern. I have lived a good part of my life broke, sometimes homeless and without a significant other to love. I truly understand the disparaging feeling of telling a child there’s no more to eat. Be encouraged to live a positive life despite your misfortune. You can find simple pleasures in nature and love that won’t cost a cent (like in a child’s smile). Seek out help from others who care and press on.

The Bible sums it up in Mathew 5: 1-13, “Blessed are the poor in spirit…”. Take comfort in the knowledge that your situation is temporary and to not let life’s adversities define you. You aren’t a failure by any means. You are experiencing a difficult time in life. (If you aren’t into Christianity, or organized religion, here’s a story that sums it up pretty good too.)

Now, that wasn’t too painful was it? Take a look at what’s left on your list. Hopefully, nothing is left. If there is something, reread the bulleted points and reapply. It’s just common sense anyone can achieve by thinking carefully about it.

You might say, “Who died and made you the authority on this?”  My response is…my unhappiness died. That’s who.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)