Wednesday, 15 January 2014


I suspect that when most people are asked, "what makes you happy?" that they are able to come up with quick and easy answers for the question.  I believe that I do that for the sake of convenience.  And yet... for myself, someone who is infamously used to making a simple concept complex, the idea of happiness is not so cut and dry.  I find that often times questions bring more questions instead of answers.  Is happiness in a moment?  Is happiness a prolonged event?  For most everyone the answer would be that happiness can be found in both, but when someone is asking me the question, "are you happy?" I'm not always sure how to respond because I don't know the parameters of the question.  Does my uncertainty automatically mean I'm unhappy?

I can experience happiness in a moment or happiness over a prolonged period and those actual experiences are distinctly different from one another.  There are prolonged aspects of my life that I am either happy or unhappy about and instances where I am very happy or unhappy in the moment.  So what takes precedence?  Therefore, I assume that the question, "are you happy?" when asked often refers more often to the intrinsic teleological concept of happiness that is all encompassing and extends over a period of time.  So in a self-defining of the question's parameters you'd think the answer might be easier.  But for me that's not necessarily the case.  Given that definition is it fair to say both yes and no?  I believe that when I've been asked if I'm happy most times I could answer in the positive and negative. 

So does true happiness require that you are happy with everything?  Or at the very least a plurality of the things you value in life?  I guess we each make that assessment on an individual basis.  For me I think that I'm very happy with the external factors in my life.  I could not have been born into a family that means any more to me than the family I am a part of, and my friends, while they have not numbered many over the years have far surpassed quantity by virtue of their quality.  So when someone asks me if I'm happy, when I consider that aspect of happiness the answer is an easy yes.

The place where I struggle most to find happiness is internally.  Ultimately happiness with myself.  I imagine a lot of people could speak to this.  It's not like what I experience in that sense is unique.  I expect more of myself than what I have achieved professionally and personally.  Sometimes I worry that my friends and family are also disappointed in me in those respects.  Given the people I love in my life, I'm not sure that disappointment is the right word though.  I think they want more for me.  And I guess for the first time, I'm saying... I want more for me too.  Except it's probably easier for me to come out and say that I'm a bit disappointed in myself  than it might be for those I love. 

Recently Carlyn and I posted our goals for 2014.  While I certainly don't want to constrict myself to one year, I definitely envision a family, a stable financial situation and the ability to spend more time traveling to vacation destinations globally as long term goals.  The goals are easy to envision.  The way to them is a lot tougher.  Am I an interminably unhappy person?  Or will the things I listed make me happy?  I believe that ultimately those things will make me happy.  But the proof is in the pudding as they say.  I recently turned 38 and while I think I have the right ingredients I'm still looking for the right recipe to put them all together and achieve true happiness with myself. 

If our readers might add either how they are searching for or have found happiness, perhaps something will resonate and help me and or you to find the right recipe. 


  1. JB, I think this could be your year of finding out what you want to do with yourself. I think it might help if you were more spontaneous.

  2. Reading this blog entry really got me thinking. I like what you said about having the right ingredients but still looking for the right way of putting them all together to achieve true happiness. I guess all of us are just on a lifelong path to finding the "formula" for happiness.

    With that, I personally feel that while this search may seem elusive at times, happiness is in the journey itself. I recently read that ironically, the #1 cause for unhappiness is the pursuit of happiness. What I've come to learn is that day by day, we may not seem to live the most exciting lives. But as the years go by and we look back, the fond memories prove that happiness does lie in simplicity!

    But that's just my two cents, you've got a whole two decades of life experience on me so there's not much I can say that would seem new and insightful :P

    Here's wishing you a great 2014, may you achieve all your goals and I'll look forward to reading your online accounts of them!



  3. Thanks Carlyn, I know I can over think things and sometimes it's easy to create inactivity by over thinking and worrying too much.

    Thank you Renae. For whatever life experience I have I believe we all keep learning. Those lessons come from the old and the young a like as long as we listen and have an open mind. So thank you for sharing.


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