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Thread: How do you define happiness?

  1. #1

    Question How do you define happiness?

    When you think about what would make you happy, what comes to your mind? Is it money? health? love? work? All these things? Or is it just making enough to spend on your favorite hobby whenever you want?

    It's hard for me to pinpoint exactly how I feel after this experience. Sometimes I think back at the way I acted and I ask myself, who was that guy? Do you ever think back at an episode of your life and say to yourself, what the hell got into me?

    All this to state my current definition of happiness: to remain in control of my emotional state and to reflect before I act on my emotions.

    GG

  2. #2

    For me

    Happiness for me is trying to understand what makes me happy and going for it without thinking about what society might think. We are often conditioned to believe happiness is going to be achieved with certain things but it is not. Happiness is understanding who you are and what makes you truely happy. This is sometimes very hard. All my life I knew I had lots of artistic talent and I knew I wanted to head in that direction. People told me it was hard and that a future in this buisness was almost impossible to obtain. People tried to make me believe that I would be happier with security. I got told many many time to stop dreaming and find a REAL interest, something practical. People tried to make me believe that job security is something that can make me happy and in fact it isn't. I followed my passion and what my heart told me. To be truely happy, you have to listen to yourself. I was very lucky because I was born with an optimistic outlook on life and a strong head that is both rational and passionate. It is also important to understand that sadness is part of life and should be felt as strongly as our happiness. I take pleasure from small things and am thankful to be alive and well. But the greatest pleasure I will ever have is touching someone, making them find their own happiness, and if I can do that with my talent in the arts I feel my life is worth it. Also, I find that living my life passionately, feeling that this could be my last day on earth and feel like I had an accomplished life, is the best way to live. I don't know if I am alone in being so hopelessly romantic about life but it has been good to me so far. Take Care!

    Miss Maria
    XXXXX
    Smile and the world will smile with you

  3. #3
    The definition of happiness changes throughout life. However, there are some prerequisites for happiness that do not change. These prerequisites are money, health, freedom, trusting relationship(s), and positive outlook.

    When prerequisites are not satisfied, a person tends to get unhappy. If you are not unhappy then you must be happy and this is my general definition of happiness is. It serves me well and is independent of what phase of life I am into.

  4. #4
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    Happpiness

    Yup, agree with BD....in whatever order...with may change with the aging process!!!

  5. #5
    Happiness is often associated with the presence of favorable circumstances such as a supportive family life, a loving marriage, and economic stability.

    However doing what you love is probably one of the key steps to finding happiness. People who find their passion and do what they love are truly finding happiness! Whether for musical theater, video games, constitutional history, camping, stamps, shoe-shopping, teaching English as a second language, or whatever. Passion gives you purpose, It gives meaningful structure to your time. It makes the world a richer place. When you’re in pain, it can be a refuge, a distraction, a solace.

    Money is just a tool. Millionaires do you think that they're life is perfect?
    Yes I am grateful to be healthy but does it make you happy on a day to day basis? When you loose it, you do feel unhappy, same with money. Being unhappy about not having something doesn't necessarily means that you will be or stay happy when you get it. Happiness is influenced by the attitude and perspective taken when circumstances occurs.

  6. #6
    It's a whole new ballgame
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    Tight pussy, loose shoes and a warm place to shit.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by rumpleforeskiin
    Tight pussy, loose shoes and a warm place to shit.
    Yankees standing 12 games behind Boston and so on and so forth...

  8. #8
    a-pe-nis defenition From Wikipedia:

    The word "penis" was taken from Latin and originally meant "tail." Some derive that from Indo-European *pesnis, and the Greek word πεος = "penis" from Indo-European *pesos. Prior to the adoption of the Latin word in English the penis was referred to as a "yard". The Oxford English Dictionary cites an examples of the word yard used in this sense from 1379,[1] and notes that in his Physical Dictionary of 1684, Steven Blankaart defined the word penis as "the Yard, made up of two nervous Bodies, the Channel, Nut, Skin, and Fore-skin, etc."[2]

    The Latin word "phallus" (from Greek φαλλος) is sometimes used to describe the penis, although "phallus" originally was used to describe images, pictorial or carved, of the penis.[3]


  9. #9

    Thumbs down Bertrand Russell's on how to conquer happiness

    From Tim LeBon's top 10 self-help classics: http://members.aol.com/timlebon/conquest.htm

    Bertrand Russell’s books were described by Time magazine as a modern substitute for the Bible. If this is so, the The Conquest of Happiness must be at the very center of his works.

    Make no mistake, this is no abstract philosophical treatise – it is a recipe for good living, written for the likes of you and me. Russell’s work is based on two assumptions. First, happiness needs to be conquered. You can’t expect to waltz through life reaping happiness without putting in some thought and effort. But – and this is why The Conquest of Happiness is essentially an optimistic book– if you do make this effort, you can, given average fortune, attain happiness.

    The conquest of happiness comes in three stages: first you need to learn about the principles that lead to happiness, next internalize them and, finally, put them into practice. Unless you had unusually wise parents, you must forget what you learned on your parents’ knee; you must also put aside what teachers, friends and, especially, priests have told us. You must replace these ideas with ones that really will make you happy. One way to do this is to read The Conquest of Happiness, for what Russell has done here is describe fourteen characteristics of happy and unhappy people. This is the essential first stage, but it’s important to realise that Russell does not think that it is sufficient. Next, you have to really internalise these principles – it’s not enough to repeat them parrot fashion, you have to really feel them as you do your feeling of wanting to protect your own children. A superficial reading of the book might not pick up the point, yet Russell emphasizes it several times.

    “Let your conscious beliefs be so vivid and emphatic that they make an impression upon your unconscious and be strong enough to cope with the impressions made by your nurse or your mother when you were an infant.”.

    The third stage – the transformation of your life - will happen automatically if the first two steps are carried out. For example, take a theme close to Russell’s heart – that you shouldn’t feel shameful about sex. The first step involves realizing at a conscious level that, whatever the priest said, consensual sex is part of a happy life, not a sin. The second step is to fully internalize this belief, to feel it, not just to recite it; if you’ve really done this, then the pay-off will be that a sense of shame will no longer stop you leading a sexually fulfilling life.

    If you can follow these three steps for each of the fourteen characteristics described by Russell you will give yourself the best chance of achieving not just happiness but also freedom from what the Enlightenment philosopher Spinoza called ‘human bondage’. You will no longer be flotsam and jetsam, acted on by the forces of society and the commands of your parents, but a self-determining human being. You will be happy and free.

    This framework is given flesh by Russell’s analysis of the fourteen characteristics of happy and unhappy people. Each chapter consists of a justification of why the chosen characteristic is good or bad, nice distinctions between its various senses and a discussion of other writers’ views and Russell’s practical advice for attaining happiness. Sometimes Russell digresses to make some rather tangential remarks about society and education and other personal concerns. Since our concern is with how to be happy, rather than Russell’s other preoccupations – such as the difficulty of obtaining good housemaids in the 1920s – this will be our focus.


    The Conquest of Happiness in a page

    To CONQUER UNHAPPINESS



    1. Don’t be taken in by melancholy


    Melancholy is only a passing mood; don’t mistake it for wisdom.


    2. Don’t get caught in the competitive treadmill

    Feeling happy is the only true success.


    3. Develop the right attitude to boredom and excitement


    Excitement is best sought in small doses and in the right places.

    A certain amount of boredom is to be expected.


    4. Make your worries concrete, don’t suppress them


    Get a sense of perspective; Ask yourself ‘what is the worst thing that could possibly happen?’


    5. Don’t envy, admire!

    Enjoy what you have for its own sake, don’t compare yourself with others


    6. Fight back against guilt & shame

    Look out for the superstitious voice of your early influences; reason with it and defeat it.


    7. Don’t suffer from an exaggerated sense of injustice

    Exaggerate neither your own good nor others’ interest in you!


    8. Don’t care too much what others think

    Respect public opinion only to avoid starvation and stay out of jail.



    To CONQUER HAPPINESS


    1. Cultivate zest

    Get into the habit of taking a lively and friendly interest in everything

    2. Be affectionate

    Reach out to other people and give affection; accept, but never demand it, in return.


    3. Be a good parent


    Give your child time & user your parental your child’s good


    4. Do interesting, varied and constructive work


    Find work that is varied, builds on a skill and creates something.


    5. Cultivate plenty of relaxing minor interests


    Enjoy as many diversifying hobbies and pursuits as you can; make sure these provide variety from your day job.

    6. Find the right balance between effort and resignation

    Do your best and when you have done all you can leave the issue to fate


    ***Footnote: Russell was a brilliant and eccentric philosopher of the 20th century. He also enjoyed many extra-marital affairs. The Conquest of Happiness is an excellent read.
    Last edited by General Gonad; 07-05-2007 at 10:21 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by General Gonad
    When you think about what would make you happy, what comes to your mind? Is it money? health? love? work? All these things? Or is it just making enough to spend on your favorite hobby whenever you want?

    It's hard for me to pinpoint exactly how I feel after this experience. Sometimes I think back at the way I acted and I ask myself, who was that guy? Do you ever think back at an episode of your life and say to yourself, what the hell got into me?

    All this to state my current definition of happiness: to remain in control of my emotional state and to reflect before I act on my emotions.

    GG
    My definition would be:

    Health + Money + Love = Happyness

    All 3 factors are interdependants.
    They can compensante and fluctuate
    with time but remain part of the
    equation to a lesser degree. Although,
    it's easier said then done.

    vodka236

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by vodka236
    My definition would be:

    Health + Money + Love = Happyness

    All 3 factors are interdependants.
    They can compensante and fluctuate
    with time but remain part of the
    equation to a lesser degree. Although,
    it's easier said then done.
    I find it interesting how you put money before love and how money figures into the equation of happiness of many people. The reality is that if you work and are able to afford a decent lifestyle, then too much preoccupation on money can be counter-productive to being happy.

    Read what I posted above from Russell. We all fall into the "competitive treadmill" and define our happiness by differentiating our financial status relative to others. Much like chasing after the next best SP, you'll never get enough money. As you make more, you'll want more.

    GG

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by General Gonad
    I find it interesting how you put money before love and how money figures into the equation of happiness of many people. The reality is that if you work and are able to afford a decent lifestyle, then too much preoccupation on money can be counter-productive to being happy.

    Read what I posted above from Russell. We all fall into the "competitive treadmill" and define our happiness by differentiating our financial status relative to others. Much like chasing after the next best SP, you'll never get enough money. As you make more, you'll want more.

    GG
    General Gonad, they are in no specific order. The concept
    is basically 3 circles which has intersections between them.
    It means that ideally, the 3 should have a similar size...
    You explained yourself with examples.

    For example,

    Too much of money, you get stressed/burned out
    by overworking and you neglect your love ones.

    Too much of love, you get non-productive and
    neglect your own well-being.

    Too much health, you become obsess with your
    body and end wasting money finding the advertised
    "miracle" solution.

    The same apply for the "Not enough" situations.

    In my last post I mentionned "easier said than done",
    it was the "how much is too much" I was referring to.
    It depend on each individual life experience.

    vodka236

  13. #13

    I dissagree

    Happiness is much deeper then all that. It has nothing to do with what we have but mostly on our perspective of life and how we choose to live it. So many people dont have their health, don't have money, and are not head over heels for someone, but they can still find beauty in everything and rejoice about it. True happiness is a state of being which makes life so much more wonderful to live.
    Smile and the world will smile with you

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miss Maria
    Happiness is much deeper then all that. It has nothing to do with what we have but mostly on our perspective of life and how we choose to live it. So many people dont have their health, don't have money, and are not head over heels for someone, but they can still find beauty in everything and rejoice about it. True happiness is a state of being which makes life so much more wonderful to live.
    Miss Maria, I agree.

    For example, a baby can have no money but still be happy.
    A vegetative-state person (in coma) can also be happy.
    A lonely widow, ... But, through all there entire life?

    True, it is much complex but still "Nomen est Omen".

    I find this thread very interesting. Thanks GG for broughting
    this subject up and also for the book.

    To clarify a bit:
    money -> material possesion (house,car,food,clothes,toys,etc...).

    vodka236
    Last edited by vodka236; 07-05-2007 at 04:30 PM.

  15. #15
    To be happy, you have to stay away from unhappy people. If unhappy people see you happy then they will find ways to make you unhappy.

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