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Finding Happiness: The Meaning of Life (for me anyway)...
Could HAPPINESS be the Meaning of Life?
When I was young a thought popped into my mind. Maybe "finding happiness" is the meaning or purpose of life. It was more of an interesting thought than a spiritual revelation, but it stuck with me nonetheless.
Years later, as a father and husband with a little more life experience to go on, I'm still enamored by the thought of it.
I thought this lens would be a good opportunity to organize my thoughts and put them down to paper (ahem, virtual paper) and to give others the chance to ponder, comment, and maybe even change the way they think about things big and small.
So, here's why I think happiness might just be the meaning of life.
Well, for me, anyway...
Reason #1 - Happiness is Available to Everyone.
People are different. Their lives, circumstances, and environment couldn't be more unique.
But happiness is universal.
Regardless of age, sex, race, religion, education, status, class, or any other classification people place upon themselves or others, happiness is available to everyone.
In my mind, the meaning of life must have that component. The ingredients to each person's happiness may vary, but that will never impose a limit on anyone else's pursuit of it.
Reason #2 - Happiness is Tied to Good Things
If there is a "meaning of life" I'd like to think that the path to finding it is paved by good things.
Happiness is tied to everything good.
It's tied to friendship, family, love, respect, patience, honesty and generosity. I don't believe the contrary is true. People who take more than they give, people who are dishonest, people who regularly inflict harm or hardship on others, can't possibly be happy.
Equally important is that while "good" promotes happiness, "bad" (for lack of a better term) doesn't disqualify you from it.
People aren't perfect. We won't always do the right thing. But we can change. We can grow.
We can learn from our mistakes - and in the end "get" that having done good, means having lived well.
hapÂ·piÂ·ness [hap-ee-nis] - pleasure, joy, exhilaration, bliss, contentedness, delight, enjoyment, satisfaction. the result of the possession or attainment of what one considers good
Reason #3 - Happiness Impacts Health
Happiness impacts health - both mental and physical. It's critical to life itself.
What's interesting, is that health doesn't have to impact happiness. It's bigger. There's something remarkable about that. All over the world people face illness with courage, positivity, grace, and peace.
You can live happy. You can die happy. And when you go, you can leave a trail of happiness behind you.
Charles Shulz is On To Something...
Reason #4 - Happiness is a Choice
Life is a series of choices that we face - and that we make.
But happiness is the choice we face every day of our lives.
We can always to choose to find things to be happy about. Things to appreciate. It's up to each person to realize that. And to make that choice.
Someone once told me, "the secret to finding happiness is to just wake up each morning and say, 'I choose to be happy'."
Making that choice can be hard. But maybe it really is that easy?
Do you believe that happiness is a choice?
My FAVORITE Book on Happiness - The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner
Part travelogue, part twisted self-help guide, is "one grump's search for the happiest places in the world". Laugh-out-loud funny this book will take you all over the world - from America to Iceland, Switzerland, Quatar and beyond - to learn where people are the happiest, and what it is about these places that drives their happiness. It's an adventure laced with psychology, science, laughter, and great insight. The Geography of Bliss
Reason #5 - Happiness is All Around Us
Happiness can be found everywhere, in everything, and in everyone.
You find it in the most obvious... and even the most unlikely of places. If you're looking for it, you'll definitely find it.
And if you're not, it has a way of finding you anyway.
I believe that the meaning of life is something that needs to be discovered, not just uttered in a phrase.
Happiness most definitely takes discovering... and thankfully, the clues are all around us.
Reason #6 - Happiness Takes Effort
Like life, happiness is a journey.
If happiness is the meaning of life, it just seems fitting that you can spend a lifetime pursuing it... or simply finding it over and over again.
Send Someone a Smile!
There's no faster path to happiness than bringing joy to someone else. It's great to get cards on your birthday, but sending someone a card or token of appreciation on a random day is often even more special. Go ahead... send someone a smile and make their day!
Need some inspiration? Here are some great thoughts on happiness.
"Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be."
- Groucho Marx
"People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be."
- Abraham Lincoln
"I've got nothing to do today but smile"
- Simon and Garfunkel
"I think happiness is what makes you pretty. Period. Happy people are beautiful. They become like a mirror and they reflect that happiness."
- Drew Barrymore
"No one has a right to consume happiness without producing it."
- Helen Keller
"Happiness is like peeing in your pants. Everyone can see it, but only you can feel its warmth."