Friday, March 20, 2015

... Clap Your Hands!

Thought for the day:  It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness. [Charles Spurgeon]

[morguefile]

Know what today... March 20... is? International Day of Happiness! How cool is that? Don't feel bad if you didn't know about it, though, because it's fairly new. This is only its third year, since the United Nations General Assembly established it in the summer of 2012. (Following Bhutan's initiative)

Its purpose? To recognize the relevance of happiness, and to promote it as a universal goal and aspiration in the lives of human beings around the world. 

So what better topic to talk about today than (ta DA!) happiness?

[wikipedia]


What's happiness to you? To me, it's more a state of mind than anything. An attitude.

Most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be.  [Abraham Lincoln]

Have you ever known people who hang their personal happiness on some future event... like when I get married... when the kids go to school... when I graduate... get that promotion... publish that book... retire... and on and on. What if those things never happen? Wouldn't it make more sense to work on being happy with right now?

Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling. [Margaret Lee Runbeck]

[seniorark]
Does it require a bunch of money to achieve happiness? Depends on who you ask.

What's the use of happiness? It can't buy you money.  [Henny Youngman]

People who say that money can't buy happiness just don't know where to shop.  [Kathy Lette]

Money doesn't make you happy. I now have fifty million dollars, but I was just as happy when I only had forty-eight.  [Arnold Schwartzenegger]

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Do you need stuff to make you happy? Fancy cars? Jewels, furs, designer clothes, around-the-world trips?

True happiness cannot be found in something or some person, because as everything changes, that level of happiness is bound to be temporary.  [Sharon Salzberg]







[morguefile]
After years of happiness research, one thing in particular has proven to be fundamentally important to achieving a sense of well-being and happiness: connections to other people.

Friends. In-person friends, Internet friends, on the radio friends... doesn't matter. Just a connection to other people. Connections to other people can diminish our sorrows... and multiply our joys

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.  [Buddha]

[morguefile]

I am happy. On just about any given day, I am disgustingly happy. Matter of fact, sometimes it makes me feel guilty: Is it horrid to be happy when so many are so sad? Is it heartless to have peace inside when war's all some have had? (start of one of my poems in Old Broads Waxing Poetic) Is it pathologically nuts to be happy when there are so many problems in the world? I say NO. It'd be much worse not to seize and appreciate each day. (It ain't gonna be here tomorrow!)

Be happy for this moment. This is your life.  [Omar Khayyam]

[morguefile]

I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstances but by our disposition.  [Martha Washington]

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.  [Dalai Lama]

Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is just beyond your grasp, but which is you sit down quietly, may alight upon you. [Nathaniel Hawthorne]

I'm gonna do something I haven't done in a while. Tell you a story. It's a story I recently read on the blog of the loverly L.D. Masterson, and with a wee bit of alteration, here's my version:

Once upon a time, a woman looked into the mirror and saw she only had three hairs on her head. 'Oh well,' she thought. 'I can braid them.'

And so she did. It was good, and she enjoyed a very happy day.

The next day, she only had two hairs left on her head. 'Oh, well,' she thought. 'I can part my hair down the middle.'

And so she did. It was good, and she enjoyed a very happy day.

The next day, there was one lonely hair left on her head. 'Oh well,' she thought. 'I can wear a pony tail.'

And so she did. It was good, and she enjoyed a very happy day.

The next day, she had no hair left at all. She smiled at her reflection, and thought, ' YAY! I don't have to fix my hair today!'

And she enjoyed a very happy day.
*****************

It's all about attitude. Being happy doesn't mean your life is perfect; it means you've learned how  to appreciate all the wonderful things you do have, and how to look beyond the imperfections.

*** Mysteries for Myeloma--- Here's a heads-up on a way you can do some good simply by buying a book. (Or as many books as you'd like!) On March 22, all proceeds from the sales of author Nancy Lynn Jarvis's books will be going directly to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. You can find out more about her books via her Amazon author's page... here. And you can find more background info about this worthwhile fund-raising effort on the lovely Yolanda Renee's blog.

                                                      Happy Happiness Day, y'all!

                                  Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.
[courtesy of the blog  of the lovely Pixel Peeper] 

86 comments:

  1. Virtually everyone living in the free world today has a higher standard of living than 99.9% of every human who has ever lived, including Royalty, business Titans and owners of massive amounts of land, and yet many of us are still miserable.

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    1. True, but I think that's because too many people think happiness comes from something outside of themselves, so their happiness bucket has a hole in it. No matter how many "somethings" they put into it, their bucket never gets filled.

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  2. I love this post and the header picture.
    I'm a happy person too. Happy is my default setting. Everything else is a bonus.

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    1. And I love your comment! Calling happiness a default setting is absolutely perfect.

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  3. "Happiness" and "love" are two words that have been grossly overused and often erroneously defined. There is no true definition for happiness because it means different things to different people. It definitely generates from within and is perpetuated by a personal sense of well-being.

    You summed it up perfectly when you said it's all about attitude - appreciating the good things and looking beyond the imperfections.

    Unfortunately, it isn't in my nature to be optimistic - and I regard perpetual happiness as either a delusion or an affliction. I'm sure that my darkly brooding Hungarian nature has a lot to do with it. Blame it on my heritage.....

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    1. I agree; both words are grossly overused, which could dilute their intended meanings. But I also think optimistic people have a tendency to express their feelings in superlatives, which would include tossing around words like "love" and "happiness."

      You may not think of yourself as optimistic, but I don't think you're a pessimist, either. Maybe a realist with low expectations?

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    2. Susan you are EXTREMELY perceptive. I am definitely a "realist with low expectations."
      Maybe I should hire you to be my therapist??

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    3. HA! I may not be a professional, but at least my services are free!

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  4. Uplifting post, Susan. Happy Happiness Day!

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  5. John Stewart Mill evolved a philosophy around the concept of happiness - so it's a concept we've been grappling with for centuries.

    But today I shall forget philosophy and buy daffodils - it works for me!

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    1. Yes! Daffodils (and other flowers) definitely have a talent for making us feel good. Especially today, when they seem to yell, "Happy spring!"

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  6. Love all the smiley faces and happy happiness day to you.
    My happiness these days, in my old age, is my husband, my cat and my family although not always in that order.
    Nearly all my friends are gone or live so far away I don't get to see them so therefore I often need to make my own happiness. Sometimes it is a simple thing like looking at a beautiful flower. or at the blue sky or the trees. A willy wagtail flies into our garden...that is happiness in itself. Cheerful little fellow. They always seem so happy and bring it with them
    Yes, I am sure happiness is more a state of mind than anything else and quite often we just have to make our own happiness,
    Always remember it is easier to smile than to frown....take fewer facial muscles so much less effort and looks far nicer too.

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    1. I think happiness is a natural by-product of a genuine appreciation for the simple wonders of life, don't you?

      Yep! The most attractive accessory to whatever we wear is a smile.

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    2. "You're never fully dressed without a smile."
      from the movie "Annie"

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  7. It's also the first day of Spring, woot! Two great reasons to celebrate. I don't need things to make me happy...though travel does enhance the happiness I already have (a lot). :) :)

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    1. All right! The first day of spring kinda snuck up on me. Thanks for the reminder. :)

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    1. Yep. So if you feel the urge to fuss at your husband today, you've gotta do it with a smile on your face. :)

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  9. I liked the story you told, yes.. happiness comes from the inside, beautifully written post Susan , feeling happy after reading it :)

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  10. happy-ness is a state of mind indeed. I don't need things to be happy. But those who say money can't buy happiness are usually those who already have money. I'm not talking riches, I'm talking able to live comfortably with no worries about bills, etc.

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    1. Good point. It's a lot more difficult being happy with an empty stomach or debilitating pain.

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  11. You share your happiness every time you post on this blog! When ever I think about what makes me happy, it is always the folks who surround me.

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    1. What a nice thing to say, Liza! Thank you.

      We're really lucky to be surrounded so many terrific people, aren't we? :)

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  12. happy day to you. Indeed, it is often the smallest, simplest thing that brings happiness. Your blog on a friday is a happy thing. Have a great weekend

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  13. You are truly an example to us all. I wish I had your happiness gene. I will try very hard to be as happy as you are :-)

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    1. You may be right about some aspects of happiness being gene-related. There were things in my childhood that should've made me one miserable kid, but for the most part, I wasn't. Just lucky, I guess.

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  14. "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands ..." Well, I'm applauding this post. :)

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    1. HA! Thanks. So ya figured out where the title came from, eh?

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  15. Happiness comes in all forms as many have already said. But only you can be happy in your self, I can make it better but only you can be happy.
    The x was like that he thought if he had what others had he would be happy but he only found himself wanting more like a black hole in space.
    I am basically a happy person which my surrounds only make better. I can say every morning I wake up happy. Of course it helps that I get to see my Two Square Dogs with "waggie" tails.
    Plus I don't wake up with a knot in my stomach now because I never knew what was coming from the x. Every morning now is a joy.
    Great post today.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. I'm glad your beautiful surroundings and adorable pooches elevate your happiness. I'm glad that knot (caused by a knothead?) is gone, too. Joy in the morning... my favorite way to start the day.

      Cheers back atcha.

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  16. Susan, I loved this, it is so true, I don't always remember this but I try... this is a wonderful reminder. I totally agree that love is not found in objects or money, it is nice to have them but they are not the important. Relationships are important and the only thing, loving ourselves is important... and truly being happy no matter what... I hope to learn this so that I am as wise as you someday xox

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    1. Thanks, Launna. I'm glad you liked it, but don't aim so low. I hope you become a lot wiser than I am. :)

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  17. A brilliant post - and a wonderful reminder.
    The other one we often forget is World Kindness Day - November 13th. A day which feeds happiness, for the recipient and for the giver.

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    1. Thanks, Sue. I'm glad you liked it. You're right; kindness and happiness go hand-in-hand.

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  18. Right, I'm cracking up. I finished writing my post for tomorrow and it's about... International Day of Happiness. We're in synch! :-) Loved, loved, loved your post as usual. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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    1. Super! I'm looking forward to reading your take on it. What can I say? Great minds think alike.

      Greetings back atcha.

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  19. I think happiness is a decision, so I'm always happy! Glad to know there's a day for it though. Thanks for the blitz day visit!

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    1. Me,too! You're welcome; I hope the blitz surprise made you... happy.:)

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  20. Happy Happy Day, Susan - and have a great weekend, too.

    I'm with Abe Lincoln. ;-)

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    1. Same to you!

      Yeah, but you look a whole lot better than ol' Abe.:)

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  21. I'd never heard of the International Day of Happiness until I saw it on Google sometime late this morning. You and Google...spreading important knowledge!

    I read through your post, nodding as I read along. Life is just better when you face it with a smile instead of a frown!

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    1. Absolutely. A smile is the best beauty treatment, too. (And cheap!)

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  22. No matter what my mood, I always genuinely come away after reading your posts, feeling light and content. :)

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  23. Hi Susan - so much happiness comes form our own mind, and then interacting happily with others - bringing them joy and going out of our way to help others, thinking in advance of the small things to help - a smile, opening a door for someone etc etc ... life is for being enjoyed to the full - cheers Hilary

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    1. Absolutely. We decide to be happy and to try to make others happy; therefore, we are, and we do.

      Cheers back atcha!.

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  24. I almost missed this post. I would have missed half of my life if I did :)

    It's a very beautiful DAY to celebrate but I guess people haven't heard much of it. I guess I 've heard it somebody told me about this last year but I didn't think it was official.

    Very often we discuss thought about happiness. I also think that it is more than just a state of mind. I believe that happiness relies much on one's attitude towards things in life. One could wake up to a rainy day as a bad or good weather.

    I know that some people are attending seminars on how to be happy and paying lots if money but still are unhappy after many years of constant session.

    I live that short story in the end. Thanks for sharing this very insightful post. :) I hope it's not too late to say Happy Happiness Day!!! :)

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    1. Yes, attitude makes a big difference, and how we choose to respond to the things happening around us. I think we can make a conscious decision to face each day with a smile, or a snarl.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the post. And it's NEVER too late to wish someone happiness. I wish the same to you.

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  25. Such a joyful post. I love the smiley faces. I want to be happy in the moment, rather than thinking of a future event. Simple things make me happy, as well as being around awesome people.

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    1. I think being happy in the moment is a wise way to live.

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  26. This is a wonderful blog post -- and just what I needed today. Thank you, Susan! :D

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    1. Thanks, Dianne. I'm glad it filled the bill for you.

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  27. A post worthy of a thousand smiles! I missed International Day of Happiness on Friday, so I've decided to celebrate it beginning today and going through next year. I guess that proves we're each in charge of our own happiness. An onerous responsibility to be sure, but one worth embracing.

    VR Barkowski

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    1. Abso-doggone-lutely! We should practice happiness every day.

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  28. Well, I'm not surprised. Everyone knows that Bhutan is where all the trend-setters can be found.

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    1. Come to think of it, you never hear anything bad about Bhutan in the news.
      Maybe they ARE on to something.

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    2. I think so. It's the only country in the world which is more interested in measuring Gross National Happiness in lieu of GNP.

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  29. I love all the random holidays. I wouldn't say I was Happy on any given day but I'm not unhappy either. I'm content and that works for me. :) It's a good spot for me to be in I think :)

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    1. To me, contentment and happiness go hand-in-hand. Might even be the same thing. Being content with one's place in life, and not being consumed with a lust for more stuff, or wit envy for those who do have more, is what happiness is all about.

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  30. I love that 3 hair story. Clever, funny, and very true. My brother-in-law is a self made millionaire and the most miserable person I know. His friends aren't really his friends, women only want his money, and as he even told me before, all he does is just work to keep making more money. It's an addiction. One he's really come to hate.

    I wouldn't turn down making more money than I do now, but poor and happy? Check! That works just fine for me.

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    1. I feel sorry for your brother-in-law. I hope some of your wisdom gets through to him. Being that miserable must be pretty... miserable. (duh)

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  31. Love the happy header! Great post!

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  32. Most people seek happiness, others have empty hearts. Connections to others (man or beast) can ease our worst times and there is such joy in sharing our days with those who enrich our lives. I love your quote from the Dalai Lama. No matter all his troubles, he really is the happiest of men and an inspiration to all.

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    1. Yes, Dalai Lama truly is an inspiration. I am truly in awe of people who are so strong in spirit, they can remain serene and at peace in the face of unspeakable persecution and hardships.

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  33. What an inspiring post! Life is too short to not try to see the positive side of things. So many great quotes. Thanks for putting it all together.

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  34. "Am I?" is one of my favorite poems that you wrote for Old Broads! And the answer is "You are not." Your happiness is always contagious, Susan! The story about the woman with three hairs is truly inspirational.

    Julie

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    1. Thanks. I'm really glad you liked that poem.

      Isn't that story super? I'd never heard it before until I read it on L.D.'s blog.

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  35. I not only didn't know about this day, I missed it! Next year...
    I used to be one of those people who hung happiness on a future event. Finally learning to look at things differently and am definitely much happier.

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    1. I'm glad to hear you aren't hanging your happiness on stuff that may or may not happen in the future. Living and enjoying the present feels a lot better, doesn't it? :)

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  36. Thank you so much for your support! I'm late getting around, as always, but your efforts are very much appreciated. I hope Nancy and her efforts were successful in more ways than one. She's a special lady. Thanks again!
    As for happiness - it is all in the attitude isn't it. But I do have to admit the sun makes a happy day so much more! Going on Spring break - happiness is here!

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    1. My pleasure. I hope Nancy sold a LOT of books.

      Yes, for sure, a sunny day makes a sunny disposition seem all that much brighter. Enjoy your spring break!

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  37. >>... people who hang their personal happiness on some future event... like when I get married... when the kids go to school... when I graduate... get that promotion... publish that book... retire... and on and on.

    I'll be happy when I finally get out of Phoenix, Airheadzona, and move to Reno.

    Oh, wait! I did that. I'm here.

    Then I guess I'm happy.

    ...Ahh, so THIS is what happiness feels like.
    Not bad.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. HA! I'm glad you found your happiness in Reno. Gee, that sounds like a country song...

      I found happiness in Reno;
      That's where I dumped my wife.
      Divorced that little lady,
      Now, I'm in love with life...

      Okay, so you didn't get a divorce. But I'm really glad you're where you wanted to be now.

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  38. Not sure I've heard of this one, but love the idea. As for me, it doesn't take much to make me happy.

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    1. It doesn't take much to make me happy, either. I used to say I was "easy," but Smarticus said that might give people the wrong idea...

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  39. I enjoyed all the quotes. I'm happy most of the time. I feel very lucky to be able to live the life I have.

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    1. I think that's the secret. Being appreciative naturally spawns happiness.

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