Lauren Prince

NBC News


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What is happiness?

What is happiness? We all feel it, but what IS it? Is it an experience? A manifestation of hard work? OR is it a state of being?

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    Aug 12 2012: Happiness is something that I have been trying to interpret for awhile. My Vietnamese name means happy so it holds some significance to my egotistic pride. I believe true happiness is not the outcome. I believe its self individualistic mastery to endure all the conflicts and conditions in your journey/process which leads to your outcome. Since we are all humans, I'm sure we have all felt - a situation where we had high perceived expectations over a long time period. The outcome can be good or bad, but during this lapse of time - you spend most of your energy wondering/fantasizing/hallucinating the outcome. This instance can arise many different emotions ranging from stress, depression, fear, and hatred to joy, peace, courage, and motivation. Every-time an expected outcome is scheduled into your plans, your thought process exercises the same mental sequences mimicked from previous similar cases; except emotions that arise depend on your current perception. A good example that I can relate this too is working out. When lifting weights one maintains their routine (sequence) but uses different weights (variety of emotions), when they are in particular mood (perception). In other words, I believe staying in one emotion is habitual exercise. My question for this philosophy - can we consistently exercise compassion, happiness, courage, and peace no matter what outcome? Only the endurance of self mastery can tell you.

    I am gonna finish my curry before it gets cold.
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    Aug 10 2012: The pleasant feeling that you're experiencing a pleasant feeling.
  • Aug 16 2012: Happiness is what happens every time I kiss my wife, or hug a child.
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    Aug 15 2012: Probably a biochemical reaction in which some messenger substances temporarily reach and establish certain levels to trigger this sensation. Maybe it is part of an old rewarding mechanism within us, to stimulate beneficial yet individual behaviour.

    To me it is a state of being which we experience amused. Hard work can be a trigger, but it is no requirement - thankfully... :o)
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    Aug 11 2012: Ability to smile / laugh like a baby
    • Aug 11 2012: Not to be negative

      But allow me to say:

      if we were babies then we would laugh like babies would.
      but we are not:

      and maybe that is one of the reasons we have a new ways of laughing

      it called: Hippocratic laugh
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    Aug 11 2012: The sensation you have when you (or what you consider yours) are surviving better.

    Production = survival
    Children = survival
    Pets = survival
    Education = survival
    Communication = survival

    Laziness = non survival
    No future = non survival
    Cruelty to animals (except cats and the butt ugly thing that calls itself Gerald) = non survival
    Ignorance = non survival
    No or poor communication = non survival
    Or any thing that creates less survival = non survival

    The corollary to survival and the attendant happiness is non survival and attendant depression or apathy
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        Aug 12 2012: Survival is not an absolute. As you say you survive THROUGH your group, family, children, pets, possessions, mother earth, your species, etc. There are degrees of survival on each.
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    Aug 10 2012: Real happiness comes from within. Feel happy and make others happy doubles the happiness. One research TV programm was telecast on some channel I do not remember done on Olympic Gold,Silver & Bronze medalist. As per the survey even the surveyor was amazed by findings. Contrary to belief it was found that the Bronze medalist was the most happiest. Then the Silver Medalist and in the end the Gold Medalist. The Bronze medalist was most happy because he could have missed it few inches or micro seconds. The Silver medalist was happy but not satisfied as he was thinking to improve and wants to be Gold Medalist next time. The Gold Medalist was least happy as he has now nothing to achieve. Take the example of Everest. The climbers who climbs it successfully is happiest person for certain time only. Even if he climbs it again he will not get the satisfaction of first climb. So happiness as you have mentioned is state of being.
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    Aug 10 2012: Happiness is when you are in alignment with who you really are - from the inside out. It has nothing to do with hard work. I will go a step further to say hard-work is the opposite of happiness - if you like doing it it cannot be called hard-work.
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    • Aug 11 2012: Hi Ed

      Emotion also can be defined as:

      Energy in motion

      No matter what it is, Love, Happiness, Sadness or Anger, these are all emotions.
      we created that energy in us and we make it move in our body and around us which transfers to others.
  • Aug 10 2012: hi Laura

    I have no idea what it is but it is in you and you take it with you no motter where you go

    Pursuit of Happyness - Acted by Will Smith ( yes, it was misspelled)