What is the key to happiness? Does such a concept actually exist in reality? Sure, everyone experiences moments of happiness at various points during his or her lifetime, but for most of us these are short lived and fleeting bursts of the emotion, quickly trampled upon by the seemingly unstoppable forces of anger or sadness that inevitably follow. How many people exist in the world who have managed to acquire not just a moment of happiness, but a genuinely happy life?

HAPPY1

One of the most popular theories on, perhaps not living a happy life, but on how to live your life, period, is religion. We’re promised heaven, or virgins (depending on the religion), and many are convinced that God will guide you to a better life. I have seen several people, my father included, who have proven this theory to be effective; however, there are an embarrassing amount who are corrupted by it, causing grief not only to themselves, but to others, all in the name of God. A good example: more war has been waged in the name of God/religion than for any other cause.

Although clearly not a wise path, a second favorite theory is money. A good number of people would agree that money is, in fact, the root to all evil, but as human beings, and particularly Americans, we cannot help but strive for as much money as possible because we’ve become addicted to the results. Bigger and better televisions, fancier vehicle….HAPPY2

A third, and quite legitimate, manner in reaching happiness is through meditation. Cultures based on daily meditations tend to be some of the most peaceful in existence. Meditation works to quiet the mind and the body, and can bring genuine peace to one’s life. not just during the time of meditations, but throughout the entire day. Many professionals, life councilors and/or clergy etc., recommend putting aside twenty minutes per day in a comfortable place, and then clear your mind of all stresses.

The most important thing to remember is that each individual is just that, an individual, and therefore each person’s path to happiness will be different. Happiness is not the endpoint to our lives; even if happiness is met, it must be practiced, just like anything else.HAPPY3

About Denna Holm

I love reading and writing about fantasy and science fiction.

7 responses »

  1. David Powell says:

    There is another school of thought, is there not, which states that as soon as we try to make ourselves happier, as soon as we ‘seek happiness’ we tend to destroy it.

    Oliver Burkeman makes this point very well in his book ‘The Antidote’, a fascinating new book, in which Burkeman introduces us to an unusual collection of people – experimental psychologists and Buddhists, terrorism experts, spiritual teachers, business consultants, philosophers – who share a single, surprising way of thinking about life. They argue that ‘positive thinking’ and relentless optimism aren’t the solution, but part of the problem. And that there is an alternative, ‘negative path’ to happiness and success that involves embracing failure, pessimism, insecurity and uncertainty – those things we spend our lives trying to avoid. Thought-provoking, counter-intuitive and ultimately uplifting, The Antidote is a celebration of the power of negative thinking.

    His book starts at a ‘Positive Thinking’ seminar where people are exhorted to get rid of certain words, like failure, in order to ‘think’ their lives better. As it happiness the man running the lecture went bankrupt a few months later.

    Burkeman also writes about the Stoic way to treat setbacks.

    But I won’t spoil it here.

    It’s just a refreshing way of looking at life as it is, not as we want it to be.

    • Denna Holm says:

      Hi, this is Kari actually responding, just using my mom’s profile.. I couldn’t agree with you more! I found out the hard way in life that I hadn’t experienced any kind of genuine happiness until I’d “hit rock bottom” so to speak and lost everything, only to realize that I’d gained something more valuable than I could’ve ever imagined which was a better sense of who I was as a person and also what I was capable of enduring and overcoming. Through it all I found a kind of freedom and have lived a happier, albeit more challenging life. I think the hardest step to such “enlightenment” (for lack of a better word) is letting go of the chains with which we’ve lived our entire life and grown comfortable and accustomed to which although not doing any real harm they instead can hold us back from experiencing life to the fullest. I will definitely take a look at the book you mentioned for sure, it sounds fascinating, and right up my alley in terms of thought process! Thanks for commenting on my post!

      • David Powell says:

        I’m glad the book has sparked your interest. The book is a very good read, simply written but intellectually challenging.

        I was given it at Christmas by my daughter, who is a Consultant Paediatric Anaesthetist, a job which requires a huge amount of scientific training and intellect, is very well paid and very satisfying. (How can one replicate, or even describe, the feeling of being instrumental in saving the life of a tiny baby) and yet could still feel her life was ‘off-track’, as it were, but she found this book which teaches, among other things that acceptance of the fact that one is not happy all the time, no matter how successful, actually makes the ‘downs’ far less important while not diminishing in any way the ‘ups’.

        And even at my considerable age it is still possible to learn. In my case it was the grasping of the concept that it is the circumstances that one is in that cause the pain, it is your reaction to those circumstances. That’s a hard one, but if fact, is is true.

        Burkeman writes it far better than I do, so my strong advice is to get the book and read it carefully.

    • esterdeluna says:

      This is a really interesting way of thinking. Interesting book too. But I think happiness is a way of life, it’s a choice. You only have to choose to be happy, and voila you will be surprised in the end. 🙂

      • Denna Holm says:

        I agree our mind set has a lot to do with whether we are happy or not. When bad things happen, and I’ve had some real big ones in the past couple of years, it can be difficult not to get stuck in self-pity mode. But at some point you put things behind you and get on with life, find happiness through choice, as you said. Thanks for dropping by. We’ve picked up some interesting thoughts on this fascinating subject. 🙂

  2. Denna Holm says:

    Interesting view. I’ll have to get the book and read it. I’ll pass your comment on to my daughter. She’s a deep thinker and the author of this post (another up and coming writer in the family). I’m sure she will find this interesting. I’ve always just followed the path of whatever I happened to be interested in at the time, my family, passion with horses, and now with writing. Happiness in my opinion comes with being satisfied, and accepting, what we can–or can’t– do. Thanks for dropping by. It was good to hear from you.

  3. esterdeluna says:

    It’s a pleasure to share my thoughts with you. 🙂 I appreciated your reply too… Will drop by your blog again next time…

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