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The Importance of Being Happy

“When I was in school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.

I wrote down happy.

They told me I didn’t understand the assignment,

I told them they didn’t understand life”

The pursuit of happiness is often thought of as a desperate urge to find something that will fill our lives. That will light up a spark. That will make us feel alive. However, now and again it is good to simply pause that pursuit and simply be happy. Even with the consoling thought that everything could actually be worse. And whatever the situation, there is also something or someone who is worse off.  Like Aristotle himself stated “happiness depends upon ourselves”. It is up to us to decide to be happy whatever the circumstance. If we keep moving forward, happiness is bound to follow.

Happiness, defined as the quality or state of feeling pleasure or joy, can be found in the simplest of things, the smallest of objects, the most remarkable places. For some it may be wealth and money; but for others it is much more, or rather less. It can be like Linus says a thumb and a warm blanket. It can be a tight hug from a person you care about. Holding hands with the one you love. Snuggling in bed. Playing with a puppy. Listening to a kitty purr. Laughing so much your muscles ache. Falling in love. Knowing that someone cares for you and loves you back. Taking a road trip with friends. Constantly finding things in common with your partner. Feeling a sense of accomplishment. Happiness is many things. But it all starts from you alone.

Being happy is not easy. But as the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining. And happiness can be found even in the darkest of places, if only one remembers to turn on the light. “Happiness is not something ready-made; it comes from your own actions” (Dalai Lama).  It is wanting what you get and appreciating what you have.

In fact, even studies have shown that happy people live longer and healthier lives. Happiness is the opposite of stress, and happy, positive thoughts actually induce the production of chemicals in our bodies that enhance immunity, cell repair, and building strength. In addition, happiness is linked to optimism. Optimistic people see bad things as temporary and good things as permanent. Their positive expectation of good things helps them see and act on options and opportunities faster. Happiness also improves people’s ability to learn and remember things. There is a saying: you get what you look for. Optimists look for opportunities for a good outcome and tend to see opportunity more frequently, thus they are more likely to make lemonade when life gives them lemons.

Happier people are more attractive and being happier makes you more likely to be attracted to someone else. Obviously a smiling, cheerful person is much more worthwhile to befriend and talk to than a sorrow, miserable one.

Studies have shown that happy people are more willing to share their good fortune to help others than unhappy people. Happy people make the world a better place. Moreover, studies have also shown that happy people are luckier. They are often respected for their virtue and are more likely to find good outcomes when bad things happen.

In our world today, and under the current circumstances, it is not easy finding happiness. But “people are just as happy as they make up their minds to be” (Abraham Lincoln). It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks or does. What is important is that inside you your heart beats in harmony, your soul is bright and you can feel the tranquility and peace of mind that truly being happy brings. People indeed may not remember what you say but they will certainly remember how you made them feel. And that is perhaps the most important emotion of them all.

“Rules for Happiness:

something to do,

someone to love,

something to hope for”

 ― Immanuel Kant


Also part of Daily Prompt: Happy Happy Joy Joy


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