Monday, February 20, 2012

Being happy is super important

Is it important to be happy?

I've heard some people say they don't think it is important to be happy.  I've heard people say it isn't worth the effort to try to be happy.  I beg to differ. 

Yahoo answers most popular answer says:

Happiness is the greatest sensation we can feel. Man has always striven to feel happy and almost everything we do now as a society is so that we can feel happy as individuals. Being in a sate of happiness puts less stress on our bodies and can even bring us better health. Generally, happy people live healthier and even live longer. The need to feel happy is what keeps our world in check and out of a state of total chaos and mass destruction.

I think it is pretty important to be happy.  I certainly think it's worth striving to be happy.  I absolutely believe happiness is within our grasp.  And being happy is certainly better than being unhappy.

Some misconceptions about the pursuit of happiness are that other people can make you happy.  Or, money can make you happy.  Or, things can make you happy.  I don't believe anything or any person can make you happy.  As far as distinguishing happiness from joy?  Well, I think this is an exercise in semantics.  I don't think a person who considers themselves unhappy would say they are joyful.  I think happiness is a decision I make every day.  I find happiness in my life every day, because, every day, I find purpose in my life.  I think a life devoid of purpose can be a very unhappy existence.  Maybe this is why some cannot find happiness and therefore, minimize its value.

In Viktor Frankl's book, Man's Search for Meaning, Frankl speaks of focusing on what is possible.  He says to focus on the great things you can do and don't think about the things that are making you unhappy.  Don't focus on the haunting dark thoughts, but focus on the dozen great things that are possible for you.  These great things will be your creations.  These creations will only be possible if you create them.  You create the great things in your life.  This is one of the ways man can produce meaning in his life.  Frankl says, when the emotions work in terms of values, the individual can feel pure joy.  Man needs to have meaning in his life to feel the happiness we all desire.  Frankl's experience while imprisoned during the Holocaust taught him it was the striving and struggling towards a goal worthy of him that gave him the sense of well being that a tensionless life could not.

Being happy is good for us, physically.  We feel better when we are happy.  Laughing is good for the body, as well as the soul.  Studies have shown that happy people are less likely to catch a cold when exposed to a cold virus.  Happy people are also less likely to catch the influenza virus.  Amazing.

Happy people make the world a better place.  Happy people are less likely to be criminals.  Even happy people with weak characters or poor values are less likely to harm other individuals or engage in anti-social behavior.  If more people chose to pursuit happiness, the world would be a better place.  I think our founding fathers understood this concept.  They put it in the Declaration of Independence as an unalienable right endowed on us by our creator.

I think the Yahoo answer guy got it right.  Being happy is super important.  It's worth the effort.


  1. I think happiness is super important, too. But I think joy is more important, still. I love you, Evie, and you make me happy. Someday soon, I'm going to drive to where you are and call you by your real name.

  2. I'd enjoy that very much.  I don't get hung up on semantics.  A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.  :)

  3. i think happiness is important...i dont think it can be the only thing by which we judge our life...(as i was pointing out in my own poem yesterday)...if you are unhappy say in your marriage and decide to change because you think you will be happier else where....i know it happens but i think that in many cases our society right now is on a happiness quest and finding it a rather hollow pursuit jumping one thing to the next....on the other hand i think being happy is important, just not the most important thing...

  4.  Oh me they're not similes but very different things. I think it's possible to be happy but not joyful. Or joyful but not happy.

  5.  Right on. Peace is more important than happiness. I think joy is more important than happiness, too. But I am definitely happiest when I'm happy. :)

  6. I've never understood the distinction between happiness and joy.

  7. Absolutely! For me, being happy is super important. I want the real happiness, profound happiness. Life has proven to me that things don't make me happy, they actually make me sad because being surrounded by clutter makes me depressed. I would love to reach happiness in a way where it doesn't matter what's happening around me, if people say or do things I don't like, that I'm still able to feel happy inside. That would be wonderful.

  8. I posted my comment yesterday, but it didn't show. I'm sorry if you show two comments later on. Like I was saying ha! I agree completely. For me, happiness is super important. I'm interested in the happiness that is deep and profound. I know that owning things doesn't give me that kind of happiness. I'm constantly focusing on being happy. If I could totally understand and accept that nothing is permanent, then I would be happier.

  9. I was struck by this quote on Cloudia's Comfort Spiral blog this morning: 

    " Judge nothing, you will be happy.
     Forgive everything, you will be happier.
     Love everything, 
    you will be happiest.” 

    Sri Chinmoy

  10. I like this explanation from Larry Jones: "Happiness is dependent on outward circumstances. Joy, on the other hand, is internal and constant." Like, recently, when I was going through a miscarriage, I found happiness impossible. But I tried to stay grounded in my joy in the Lord; I knew He would work even that bad situation to my good; that He loved me; that His promises to me remained constant.

    Ok, Evie, I'm gonna shut up, now.

  11. I think this quote has so much truth.  Thanks for sharing it with me.


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