What Makes You Happy?

“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”
– Omar Khayyam 

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What makes you happy?  Simple question, but one that is worth thinking about.  What makes you happy in this moment, for as Omar Khayyam declares, this moment is your life.  At the moment I am smiling and feeling happy.  The sun is shining, the view from my window where I sit writing is beautiful, and I love to write. So it’s easy to be happy in this moment.
What makes me happy in that larger sense, well that’s pretty easy for me too.  My sons.  I only have to think of my two sons, and a smile spreads across my face.  They are on the other side of the Earth from me at the moment, and that tugs at my heart and tempers my happiness a bit.  But nothing can take away the joy that those two amazing young men bring.  They make my heart sing . . .  in loud operatic ways!
Professionally I have a lot to make me happy.  Today I saw people who like books by Julia Cameron, Brené Brown and Anne Lamott also like my book, This Way Up.  That makes me really happy. What an affirmation!
This gives me a real feeling of accomplishment and achievement, which is one of the places happiness sits.
“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”
– Franklin D Roosevelt
It was my great pleasure to be interviewed on the topic of happiness recently by Sarah Jordan.

We talked about an array of topics but really focused on happiness..what it is, the benefits, and how we tend to block it.
I’ll close this post with a wonderful Ted Talk that has been around for awhile. Cognitive researcher Nancy Etcoff looks at happiness — the ways we try to achieve and increase it, the way it’s untethered to our real circumstances, and its surprising effect on our bodies. It’s interesting and informative and well worth the watch.

I’d love to hear what makes you happy.  What are you happy for in this moment? What brings you happiness in your life?
And as always, thank you for taking the time to visit.  I appreciate it.
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13 thoughts on “What Makes You Happy?

  1. Great article! I am happy with a hot cup of coffee, listening to my daughter’s laugh, seeing her dimpled smile, working on a collaborative project, dreaming out loud, writing, listening to the birds in the trees, watching the snow come across the hillside on its way to my home, listening to the Beatles while I work in the yard…I could go on! Choosing to find joy in the everyday definitely has made a difference in my life. Thanks for sharing this, Patti!

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  2. so happy for you!! I like to get outside and work in the yard.. that makes me happy. Hanging out with my kids and just having fun and laughing together, really makes me happy!!! going on a road trip to a place I haven’t been before makes me happy too. Even if all we do is go to a city near us that we haven’t been to before. Simple things… Sometimes the best things are the simple things..

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  3. I am tempted to let this question/blog pass without comment, but the compassion and candor of your posts always seem to awaken a sense of responsibility to participate in the conversation you invite. You have the gift of reaching across distances and silence where one could easily retreat to avoid what is so often, these days, uncivil discourse. What makes me happy? Nothing makes me happy. I am at a loss at times to even define happiness, to claim to be a happy person, to even look at the world in those terms anymore because the term ‘happy’ is so rooted in a child’s perspective. To be honest, for years it simply reflected whether or not I got what I wanted: ice cream, praise, a date, a bb gun, etc. Fleeting, needy, shallow…there was no other con text for happiness. My father would never have asked, “Are you happy?” When my mother asked, my answer would reflect the weight of responsibility for her happiness. She needed to know I was happy because to not report happiness would awaken her sense of failure. I do not see myself as a happy person. Nor do I believe anything can make me happy. At best, happiness is a place of balanced acceptance between what gives me joy and what merits sorrow, a point of ease between disappointment and satisfaction with how close I have come each day to being the person I aspire to be, how closely I have stood on my Sacred Ground in terms of my thoughts, words and deeds. In that context, I have moments of surprise, great delight and belly laughs that genuinely, honestly honor the moment just as tears honor other real moments. I love my children, my wife, my work, my recovery, Yosemite, good coffee, bad coffee, music, travel, my vegetable garden, our kitties, YES the magical bear, William…with no expectation that they make me happy.

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    • Thank you Scott for taking the time to respond honestly. The word ‘happy’ has become overused and is often rooted in a child’s perspective. But words are words and we have to do our best. perhaps you will find my next post more relatable – with Sarah Brach discussing Joy. To be honest – I a bit shame-facedly admit to this last post being somewhat self-promotional. Ah well . . .

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      • I found your post very relatable and the language/words most apt. It was a perfect invitation to reflect upon the language I relate to or chose to use to describe my own place in the world. I don’t think a ‘blogger’ can do better than that for inviting conversation. I am, of course, more interested in JOY than HAPPINESS…but that’s more like having preferences when several ice cream flavors are available from a reliable source.

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  4. By the way, I would welcome a child’s perspective on the world if I could have maintained it in the face of experience. God bless the children who can hold on to happiness without debate for as long as possible…and freely share/talk about it without punctuation in the present tense…..

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  5. Pingback: Pause . . . to Help Joy Stick | This Way Up

  6. I have learned that happiness is an “inside job.” No matter what the noise and chaos is going on in the world, I have a choice to make – to be happy, or to not be happy. Once I realized that it is a conscience decision that is entirely up to me, I then begin to figure out what I value, believe, and what my behavior says about my values and beliefs. When my values, beliefs, and behavior are in harmony, my days go pretty darn well. I have also added to that equation by starting my day with a gratitude meditation, and then when I go out my front door for the day, I look for an opportunity to be kind to someone. Have a great day Patti!

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    • Sounds like a perfect equation! Yes absolutely – it is a conscious decision; I need to figure out what I value and believe and then act accordingly. And then start of the day doing a gratitude meditation – and yeah – I agree – the day is set up to go well! Thanks for taking the time to comment Darryl.

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