The Complexity Of Happiness, Plain And Simple

The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be. (Marcel Pagnol, French writer, producer and film director)

What is happiness? Is it the lack of sadness? Is it some preconceived notion we’ve heard from someone else? Do we consider ourselves happy when we reach all the goals someone else sets before us? Are we happy when we are free of debt? Employed? Successful at our careers? Does happiness depend on good health, companionship, or financial security?

Does being happy mean that life will no longer have difficult moments? Or does it simply mean that we have attained the skills to survive set backs?

Does being happy mean we fear nothing and no one disagrees with us? Or does it simply mean we are willing to take risks and are accepting of what is different from us?

Does being happy mean we’re overjoyed every minute of every day? Or does it simply mean that we have learned to find gratitude with the familiar?

Is happiness taking responsibility for our choices, actions, and feelings?

Could happiness truly just be peace of mind and heart? A lack of worry? Could it simply be awareness and acceptance of the moment, and the ability to find comfort in the here and now?

Many consider happiness to obtained only by wealth or sacrifice. Can it not be considered a value? After all, we are all given the basic right to pursue it. It is available. It’s a matter of looking in the right place for it. Do you know where happiness thrives?

Is happiness an opportunity, a destination, or a way of living?

Writing Through Life, Journal Prompt: Happiness

45 thoughts on “The Complexity Of Happiness, Plain And Simple

  1. My you ask a lot of questions! 🙂

    Happiness is kind of like love (in my opinion) it means something different to each individual so how it is achieved is different.

    I also think that most of us have things in our lives that we can be sad about. We could all just break down and cry . . . . life is not always easy, but some people CHOOSE to be happy. It is an attitude and an action.

    But . . . . that is just what I think.

    Interesting picture. What is it?

    HAPPY Friday! 😉

    • Well, I think we can have answers for ourselves. Don’t you? I mean, I know what makes ME happy. I believe that I can answer all your questions but only for me. I think we all have different ideas of what happiness it and how to get there or acheive it or find it or whatever.

      So, yeah, I totally know I have answers but they apply to me. And as you say below answers (definition of happiness) can change.

      Oh, thanks for the answer. I have a friend who always talks about hosta and I didn’t know what there were.

      • Of course, you can have your own answers…that’s why I asked the questions. We all have different answers and those answers change through time; the funny thing is that as we experience life our answers change to much the same.

    • My answer has definitely changed over time. I used to think happiness came through “things” and “success” and that other people were responsible for making me happy…now, I see that I was WAY off base. The ability to be happy is within each of us…not to say we won’t have hard times or moments of sadness…it’s all in how we handle those times.

  2. I love the quote at the beginning. It’s so true, you know. The future is scary because we cannot know what will happen, and the present always seems worse than it really is. I see many of the questions I’ve been asking myself are present in this post.

  3. I love that quote. Unhappiness really is all about damaged perspectives, while happiness is about getting the viewfinder situated right. You can’t change the past and the future cannot be known; the present is all you have. Happiness is about choosing to find good in the present, regardless of the situation. Bad days, super irritating co-workers, financial stress, ill health, or whatever other difficulties you face are still there, but being happy means that you embrace the chance for growth that each of those things offers you. That’s what brings me happiness.

  4. “There is no way to happiness… Happiness is the way.” a dear friend gave me this quote to ponder some years ago and it has lingered with me. I think, after all your questions today, it still feels like “my” answer.

  5. I like the quote you start out with and the visitation you make of all the influences we assume affect our happiness. You have learned a lot along the way, and you point us in the right direction. Here is my capsulized take on the subject at this point in my life. Happiness is contentment with the present, peace with the past, and hope for the future. Blessings to you, Suzi

  6. That is a great quote, and a great, thoughtful post. I gave someone a wedding card once that said ‘happiness is not a destination, but a way of travel’. A lot of things are beyond our control, but the way we react to them is less so. I think I make myself unhappy a lot by obsessing why I’m not happier.

  7. Happiness is a choice. Everyday you have the choice to be happy or to be sad, angry or depressed. Choose happy and then work hard to make it a reality.


  8. I think happiness goes hand in hand with contentment. Wasn’t it Abe Lincoln who said most people are about as happy as they choose to be? Sure, it’s easy to get sad, especially when it seems like everything is going downhill fast, but it’s important to keep looking up and finding the sunshine in the cloud. Kinda like Little Mary Sunshine, huh?!

  9. Excellent questions, Suzi!

    Happiness, for me, is peace of mind . . . which surfaces of its own accord when I remain mindful of the moment in the here and now.

    There is always something to be happy about . . . even if there is also something to be sad about. We get to choose the direction of our focus.

  10. Inquiring minds want to know? I love that quote at the beginning. And I think it’s ll relative. Happiness is ever shifting and how I attain it shifts with my moods!

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