Does happiness depend on us?
Definitions may vary.
Happiness is something that we all aspire to in one way or another. However, it’s not easy to find it when we have a vague idea about what it is. Quotes about being happy can give us inspiration and a focal point.
If you go online and start browsing quotes about being happy or happiness, you will find that many people see it in different ways. Some might emphasize relationships. Some might focus on personal growth and achievements. Some might make fun of the idea of happiness or define it in a sarcastic way. Many will focus on the big things in life, and some will focus on the small things in life.
So, what is happiness?
Happiness can be described as an on-going state where you feel mostly satisfied with your life and experience more positive emotions than negative emotions, although this doesn’t mean that negative emotions are absent. Let’s delve deeper into what happiness is by considering what elements are important before getting into some powerful quotes about being happy.
Is happiness an emotion?
When looking at quotes about being happy, you might find that many definitions will emphasize the presence of emotions like joy, bliss, pride, and so on. Our own definition involves the presence of positive emotions to a greater degree than negative ones.
However, is happiness an emotion by itself? Emotions are usually reactive: we experience an emotion in response to something happening in our lives or within our minds. However, emotions are also fleeting. We don’t usually experience an emotion throughout a year or so, and, when we do feel an emotion for so long, it’s usually seen as a problem.
But happiness can be lasting, so it’s not as fleeting as an emotion. Happiness can weather both good and bad emotions without disappearing or changing. Happiness is also not reactive, or is it?
Does happiness happen in the right circumstances?
Is happiness a reaction to the right circumstances and nothing more? You may find many quotes about being happy that emphasize the right circumstances: having enough, winning the lottery, finding your one true love… These quotes focus on the idea that happiness is determined by external circumstances, and it’s a trap we often fall into.
However, if these quotes about being happy were telling the truth, then people would only feel happiness when they were in perfect health and had a perfect life. However, studies find consistently that this is not true,
People who win the lottery feel a burst of happiness and then go back the same happiness levels they had before. People who have life-changing accidents feel a drop in happiness, but when reach the same happiness levels they had before the accident.
Happiness is not just a reaction to our circumstances. We might be unhappy even if everything is fine and happy even if we are facing difficulties and problems. It is clear that a personal loss or a significant change in our personal circumstances might make us feel unhappy for some time, but it seems to be that our circumstances are not as linked to our happiness levels as we might expect.
It’s worth noting that on-going circumstances continue to affect us and might continue to affect our happiness. It’s pretty difficult to be happy when you are depressed for instance. It is difficult to be happy when constantly being under stress or living in an abusive relationship. Let’s take a look now at some of my favorite quotes about being happy.
Here are some of my favorite quotes about being happy:
- “It is helpful to understand that if one is not happy with present circumstances, the chances are that happiness will still be elusive when conditions change to meet one’s current desire. That is, if happiness is elusive now, it will continue to be so in the future because the ability to locate the source of happiness has not yet been found.”
- “Desire is fueled by the illusion of lack and that the source of happiness is outside oneself and therefore has to be pursued or acquired. The importance of the object of desire is thereby inflated and overvalued by its symbolism and mystique. The pleasure of the sense of Self is blocked by desire. When that desire is fulfilled, the ego ascribes the resultant sense of joy to the acquisition of an external. However, this is a clever illusion because the actual source of the pleasure is that the block to experiencing the joy of the Self has been temporarily removed. The source of the experienced happiness is the radiance of the Self that shines forth when it is not shut off by an ego distress.”
- “Happiness is yours in the here and now. The painful states of anxiety and loneliness are abolished permanently. Financial affairs are not financial problems. You are at ease with yourself. You are not at the mercy of unfulfilled cravings. Confusion is replaced with clarity. There is a relieving answer to every tormenting question. You possess a True Self. Something can be done about every unhappy condition. While living in the world you can be inwardly detached from its sorrows to live with personal peace and sanity.”
— Vernon Howard
Here are some more (but shorter) quotes about being happy:
- “Happy is he who forgets (ignores?) what cannot be changed.”
— quoted in Our Famous Guest, Mark Twain in Vienna, Dolmetsch
- Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.
- “If the words ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ don’t include the right to experiment with your own consciousness, then the Declaration of Independence isn’t worth the hemp it was written on.”
— Terence Mckenna
- “Money is numbers and numbers never end. If it takes money to be happy, your search for happiness will never end.”
— Bob Marley
- “There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.’
— Thich Nhat Hanh
- The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet.
— James Openheim
- “The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature.”
— Anne Frank
- “I care less about the gross national product and more about the gross national happiness.”
— King of Bhutan
Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.
— Omar Khayyam
Is happiness a choice?
The quotes about being happy that might identify the core idea of happiness are those that view happiness as a choice, however, saying that happiness is just a choice would not be accurate either. Happiness is a choice to a significant degree because we choose how we see the world, how we interpret the things that happen to us, and the habits we create in our daily life.
Our genes may contribute to a degree. To a certain extent, though small degree, it is linked to our environment. For example, living in a situation of constant stress and despair might significantly affect a person’s happiness. However, a pretty big chunk of our happiness is in our hands.
When we find quotes about being happy that say: “Happiness is in your hands,” they are not actually that far off. We are able to determine a lot of our happiness by choosing how we act and how we think about our lives.
What helps us be happier?
Despite being cliches, many sappy quotes about being happy do have the right idea. According to recent studies, the things that make us happy involve things like kindness, gratitude, optimism, good relationships, and other similar attitudes and behaviors.
These types of behaviors, as identified in many quotes about being happy, can be practiced easily. We can all find ways to be kind, to be grateful, to be optimistic. We can all find ways to make us happier in our daily lives. This is why happiness is a choice: we can learn ways to become happier and apply these ways in our daily lives.
Although our environment’s influence can not be ignored, the key to happiness lies within us, not outside of us. Even people in difficult circumstances or facing big challenges can find ways to make their lives happier and more fulfilled through different practices.
PS: What are some of your favorite quotes about being happy? Love to hear some of yours….
PSS You may want to take a peak at my You Tube video Find Your Happiness – How To Deal With Depression and What Causes Depression