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Leanna Walters

Student in Biological Sciences,

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What attributes lead to universal happiness?

We all have different values and priorities, but what are the parts of life that are essential to pure happiness? What are the most basic aspects of life that are necessary to be happy? What are universal characteristics that are important ensure a happy life, whether you're in a big city or remote tribe?

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  • Dec 10 2012: Yes, that's the comment I was referring to, and that's also the case with me...I do what I love and love what I do :) My predisposition to happiness remains constant regardless of my income fluctuations :D
  • Dec 8 2012: Simple: health, freedom and an adequate system of values. You want to go more basic, then I would say: form the outside you need: access to food, drinking water, shelter, medicine, education and justice, from the inside you need self discipline, responsibility and honesty... any person who has all this should be healthy and free, and the only additional thing they need to be happy is the realization that happiness comes from themselves. If you are healthy and free and you are not happy it is because you are basing you happiness one something external (a car, a home, a bank account, a lover, etc.). If you realize the source of you own happiness is within your self, you may not have a car, a home, a bank account nor a lover and still be happy. A highly disciplined mind can reach happiness even in conditions of extreme deprivation.
  • Dec 7 2012: I think two things are key to universal happiness. 1) Individuals knowing themselves and their core beliefs and accepting themselves with all their attributes and flaws and so having achieved inner peace and 2) validating and acknowledging each other simply for existing. In the last few weeks in my work it has occurred to me how critical it is for people to feel important and heard and acknowledged and to know that they mean something in this random noisy universe, that they have meaning. It made me recall how when my adopted son finally, on his own and without prompting, asked about his biological mother his question was not, "Why did she give me up" but rather " Do you think she remembers me?" How primal but how real. (Ps I found her in the prison system for him and she did)
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    Dec 7 2012: There is a wonderful order in universe, beyond our comprehension. Accepting that you are a piece of this magnificence and your existence is more important than just living a common day may change the way of perception. And bring peace in minds. And all you have to do is start thinking about who you are, why you are living and what is happening around you…
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      Dec 7 2012: This is beautiful! I wholeheartedly agree that once you realize that you are a part of something bigger, it brings about a peaceful mind. I also think that there are many misguided people who, when asking themselves these questions such as Who am I? and Why am I here?, find it difficult to come up with an answer. All too often people fly through life with their heads down, not really asking these questions. I guess that just goes to show the power of questioning everything... the answers you find could truly be life-changing!
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        Dec 9 2012: That is the whole concept of religion, isn't it? –– I mean finding "true peace" by being a part of something bigger (personally, I'm not religious, but seen from outside, it seems like that is the exact true motivator for religious people).

        I believe you shouldn't have to be a part of a religion, or feel a part of a bigger picture in order to feel truly happy. I agree inner peace can be found through accepting oneself, and accepting others no matter how different they are, as Debbie Burchett so greatly put it – but I don't think finding inner peace is the answer to happiness. I'm still searching, and I think the all these parametres and values that are different to people are hard to balance out, because they're all inverse proportional – and the balance between them is different and thereby not universal.

        In the end, chasing your dreams and achieving them will bring happiness, but keep dreaming.
        Perhaps happiness is figuring out what you should do in order to sit at your last moments of life and not regret a single second.
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          Dec 10 2012: Hi Albert,
          I believe that "finding true peace" may have been (and perhaps still is for some people) the foundation of some religions. However, when we look at the wars, death and destruction under the guise of religions, throughout history, can we still say that "true peace" is the "whole concept of religion"?

          You say..."inner peace can be found through accepting oneself, and accepting others..."
          You also say..."...but I don't think finding inner peace is the answer to happiness".
          Do you think it may be part of the "balance" you speak of?

          I totally agree that part of happiness is not having regret at the end of the life journey:>)
          I also am continually curious, searching and seeking, and I will be doing that when I take my last breath. Any journey (including the human life experience) begins with a single step, and can lead down many wonderful pathways throughout the adventure:>)
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    Dec 6 2012: Happiness in contrast to pleasure comes from within. Only a creative process can bring it. Materializing one's ideas, thoughts or feelings should make one happy.
    • Dec 7 2012: Good points, "Creative process bring happiness "!

      And I think to be creative is to be self -driven and active

      how would you describe being creative?
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    Dec 5 2012: Accept people how they are!!
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      Dec 5 2012: Universal happiness comes through accepting people like Adolph Hitler; Idi Amin; Pol Pot; Joseph Stalin; and Mao tse Tung?
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        Dec 5 2012: Edward,
        The people you mention had followers....people who supported them in the way THEY chose to control. What might happen, when we have more people in our world who are not willing to be controlled? What might happen in our world when the majority of people realize they can think and feel for themselves and make good decisions based on what they know in their hearts and minds to be the right thing to do? What might happen when people realize our interconnectedness as human beings? What might happen when more people walk their talk of oneness, unity and wholeness?
        I believe we are on a path of change:>)
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          Dec 6 2012: Colleen,
          I do agree with you 'We are on a path of change'.
          We need a right guidance to follow the right path in order to bring out the right change in us.
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        Dec 6 2012: Edward,
        I dint hear about Idi Amin,Pol Pot,Josepth Stalin,Mao Tse Tung but i did hear about Adolf Hitler.Everyone might be good at their respective fields.
        Since, i dont know much about them this is the picture that i will have about them.
        Before developing an exact image of a particular person in you,its good to know in and out about the person.Later, it completely depends on us what we want to do.
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      Dec 5 2012: I agree Chetan, that accepting people is an important ingredient to create universal happiness. We can accept people, and reject certain behaviors.

      It is important to recognize the skills, talents and behaviors that are beneficial, while rejecting and discouraging behaviors that are abusive and violate the human rights of others.
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        Dec 5 2012: Accepting people as they are absolutely can boost the happiness and moral of the people around you, but I think accepting yourself for all your quirks and quips will increase your own happiness dramatically. I think it's hard to accept other people for who they are if you cannot accept who you are as a person. Looking inward and getting in touch with yourself takes away much of the pressures that are placed on ourselves from society and life in general and helps you stay true to the things that lead you to your own form of happiness.
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          Dec 5 2012: AWWW yes Leanna....another important part of the puzzle of life...accepting and knowing ourselves:>)

          We cannot really give to others, something we do not have in ourselves, so our "self" is where anything must genuinely start.....wholeheartedly agree with you on that!
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        Dec 6 2012: Colleen,
        very true.
        We need to accept the skills,behaviours,talents of the people and indeed need to motivate them to do more good in their field of interest.
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          Dec 6 2012: Chetan,
          I suggest that we can motivate others by first "BEING" what we want to see:>) You insightfully touched on this idea in another comment, and I know you know this:>)
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    Dec 11 2012: Happiness I believe is a process which comes from the 4 things listed below:

    Respect and Admiration - By earning it
    Socioeconomic Security - By working towards it
    Purposeful Living - By making your life valuable
    Clear Conscience - By being self analytical and critical in an effort to constantly improve

    From my blog about Happiness: http://despicablewonderfulyou.wordpress.com/2012/10/16/the-pursuit-of-happiness-makes-you-do-amazing-things/
  • Dec 11 2012: The best attributes to have universal happiness start from within us. People with Big heart, people which are Not selfish, Not self centered, humble. I wish that every individual, either poor, less fortunate people and wealthy people knows HOW TO SHARE their blessings to OTHERS in any form of simple things like comforting each other, giving, sharing experienced, sharinghappiness, that's the true feeling of HAPPINESS that we felt inside our heart if we done anything good to our fellow.
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    Dec 10 2012: I think we want to feel capable. We feel good when we get things done. We also feel good when great things happen to us. So I think happiness is the consequence of many different variables. So it's hard to point out one single thing that makes happiness happen.

    It's different for everybody. However, happiness is a state you can be in whenever you want. It's all a matter of perception and how you choose to analyze the information around you. If you can take charge of your situation and begin moving forward....happiness will follow.
    • Dec 10 2012: I doubt that we can be happy anytime we want, more as many times as we want. It is a choice in many situations, but perhaps not in all situations. The culture we grow up in has alot to do with what makes us happy. As you mentioned it's different for everybody. I lived in another culture for years and found that when I returned to the culture of my birth, I was feeling very different about what makes me happy.
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        Dec 11 2012: Don,
        As Henry says...happiness can be the consequence of many different variables, and different for everyone. It is a state of being influenced by how we use information.

        I believe it is a choice in ALL situations. We often do not have any control of the external situation, and we ALWAYS have control of our thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions.

        I agree that the culture we grow up in influences our choices. As thinking, feeling, intelligent, evolving human beings, we have choices regarding HOW we use the information. For example, I was born into a certain religion. With years of observation and evaluation, I realized that I did not accept certain dogma of that religion, so I changed directions, and abandoned the religion. Some people choose to continue with a practice whether they are happy/content with it or not.

        It is not surprising that you may feel different in one culture or another. We may experience more comfort/contentment/happiness while in a culture that supports our beliefs? I feel different sometimes when traveling to remote areas in our world. I live a very simple lifestyle, which is not so common in western society, where I live most of the time. I connect more with a simple lifestyle, so when I am in less developed areas, I feel more "at home". I am still comfortable/content/happy where I am at any given time, because I embrace my own choice of lifestyle wherever I am. However, being around lots of people who have the same lifestyle and perceptions of life, feels MORE comfortable/happy/content for me.....make any sense?

        Happiness can be a fleeting feeling of pleasure and joy, AND/OR, it can be part of the foundation of our life experience....that is what it is for me. When I was unconscious, on life support systems after a near fatal injury and emergency craniotomy, I'm told I was smiling and giving visitors a thumbs up. That is how deep a foundation happiness/contentment is for me...and yes....it's a choice in ANY situation:>)
  • Dec 8 2012: Finding areas of mutual passion and unifying together focusing the energy to accomplish the vision
  • Dec 8 2012: Above all things, satisfying is one of the essential parts for pure happiness. Satisfying, so to speak, with myself, what I have, people around me, and situation is the crucial aspect for happy life in my opinion. It doesn't mean we can settle for the present and don't need to progress at all. I'm just saying that we cannot reach true happiness if we attempt too much beyond our capabilities.

    I am happy when I do what I want to do. I guess everyone thinks like that, but we know that we must do many things we do not desire to do in life. Someone once told me that we should do nine things that we have to do for one thing that we want to do. Therefore, striking a balance between what we must do and what we want to do is also important for true happiness.

    I cannot define the word like "LOVE" and "PEACE,' which is abstract and invisible, but I am sure that such concepts are vital. It's hard to talk about it to me...

    Thank you for giving me the chance to think about this question:)
    Is there any motive or reason that makes you think about this question, if you don't mind me asking?
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      Dec 8 2012: Hello Bin Park:>)
      I agree with much of what you say. It sounds like you are also including gratitude?

      You write..."Someone once told me that we should do nine things that we have to do for one thing that we want to do".

      What happens when the things that we "have to do" are the same things that we "want to do"? Personally, I do what I love and/or love what I'm doing, so I have embraced this concept in my life experience. I totally agree that balance is ALWAYS helpful in the life adventure:>)
  • Dec 6 2012: The part of this question that I find interesting is "universal."

    A universal answer requires we consider every circumstance.

    For some people, happiness is completely conditional on circumstances. I think these people are going down the wrong path. I think there were a lot of happy cave people. Many people in terrible health describe themselves as basically happy, when the pain is under control. I have seen photographs of people who make a living digging through piles of garbage for items that they can sell, and these people were smiling.

    On the other hand, happiness is not completely an internal choice. People, particularly children, who are stuck in bad relationships are not happy. People who have made commitments that turn out badly, sometimes personal, sometimes financial, sometimes to a job or task, are not going to be happy until the end of the commitment.

    I think Colleen has made a good case for the attitudes necessary for happiness, and I think Pat's notion of goals and barriers is a very important addition. (I might be retiring in the next few years, and the thought of life without goals is scary).

    It seems that what is left is the external requirements for happiness. I suspect a certain level of freedom is necessary, although there have been stories of slaves who appeared to live happily. Strangely, health does not seem to be necessary, as there have been many cases of people in terrible health who said that they were basically happy. Absence of physical pain might be a necessity. Having sufficient food and water, clothing and shelter would each seem to be a requirement. Some level of hygiene might be a requirement. Similarly, physical security, at a basic level. I think good relationships are a necessity.

    If the behavioral sciences could come up with a realistic check list of the requirements, it would be a very good tool. If you have all the external requirements, then all you need to be happy is a change in attitude.
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      Dec 7 2012: Barry,
      Why do you think retirement means the end of goals? Some of my most memorable accomplishments were AFTER retirement from the workforce. I had more time to do more volunteer work:>)
      • Dec 7 2012: Hi Colleen,

        Its just that I have not yet formed any specific goals. With me, family always comes first, and It might be difficult to form realistic goals that fit alongside family activities. My abilities seem to be fading, and quickly.
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          Dec 11 2012: Dear Barry,

          I've read many of your comments and it appears that you are a very insightful, introspective person, so I have no doubt that you will discover or create a beneficial path, with family first, which is a great goal. My thoughts and love are with you my friend.
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    Dec 6 2012: Love is the path to happiness; if we are grateful for all we've got, and for the grandeur of nature, and if we focus on giving much more than on taking, we will be truly happy easily.
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      Dec 6 2012: I agree Feyisayo....it is a wonderful cycle that we can contribute to in each and every moment....gratitude...happiness...love...giving....receiving....more gratitude...happiness...love......this cycle is unlimited:>)
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    Dec 6 2012: Sadness - without it, there is no gauging happiness.
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      Dec 6 2012: And without happiness, there is no gauging sadness. The happiest person in the world must allow themselves to feel negative emotions. I guess what I'm asking is what are characteristics/habits/mindsets that a purely happy person possesses that are essential for a universal happiness in all humans?
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        Dec 6 2012: I don't think there is such a thing as universal happiness in all humans.

        Anybody who is capable of thought will feel sadness.

        Depth of thought seems to be related to sadness. The deeper we think about things, the more likely we are to encounter it.

        Those people who skim the surface of life appear to be the happiest.

        Not sure what you mean by "Our emotions are static"...?
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          Dec 6 2012: I do not agree Allan, that "those people who skim the surface of life appear to be the happiest". Personally, I experience happiness/contentment BECAUSE of my willingness to go to the depth of ALL emotions. It is from totally exploring sadness, frustration, anger, discontent, etc., AND joy, humor, compassion, empathy, respect,etc., that I discover MORE joy and contentment:>)

          I believe struggling with, or trying to resist those emotions we may label as "negative" is the cause of most unhappiness, discontent, confusion, etc.
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          Dec 6 2012: I agree 100% with everything that Colleen says! Its a very Buddhist concept.. to allow yourself to feel the full range of emotions so that you can experience the positive ones (happiness, joy, excitement, etc.) A genuinely happy person will experience sadness, frustration, anger, etc. throughout their lives. You need to allow yourself to feel these emotions instead of suppressing them. The people who skim the surface are the ones who refuse to let themselves feel anything. I don't believe they are the happiest, they are the numbest. I truly believe that there are certain constants that you will find when comparing the happiness of humans throughout the world. I'm curious as to what it is ... relationships, family, sense of community, purpose?
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          Dec 6 2012: Leanna,
          WOW!!! You agree 100% with everything I say.....cool! I agree 100% with your comment above as well.....imagine that! Well almost! I don't agree with labeling emotions negative or positive.

          I think that everything you mention contributes to happiness....don't you? I think there have been studies done which indicate that good relationships, family support, sense of community and purpose are very related to happiness. I also suggest health, and basic needs being met.....food, shelter, safety....etc.
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          Dec 7 2012: Allan,
          This note is to let you know that I watched the video and responded. Because of the sequence, Leanna is going to get the notification.
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        Dec 6 2012: Leanna,
        Which emotions are "negative emotions"?

        In my perception and experience, emotions are simply emotions, and I do not label them negative or positive. We can genuinely feel all emotions with intent to learn, so how can any emotion be thought of as negative? It is in allowing ALL emotions to fllow through me, and genuinely acknowledging ALL of them that contributes to my happiness/contentment with the life adventure:>)
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        Dec 6 2012: Leanna,
        What you insightfully write in another comment seems to be connected here....at least for me:>)

        You say..."accepting yourself for all your quirks and quips will increase your own happiness dramatically". If we are labeling emotions "negative" and "positive", is that totally accepting ourselves with all our "quirks and quips". I totally agree that it is good to accept all our quirks and quips, AND all our emotions without labeling:>)
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          Dec 6 2012: I guess what I mean by negative emotions is the emotions that people often try to repress/numb/hide: sadness, anger, frustration, jealousy, etc. etc... the emotions that many people don't want to feel and often times don't let themselves feel. Once you acknowledge these negative emotions, it is much easier to let them go and move on to happiness.
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        Dec 6 2012: Leanna,
        It is very common to label those emotions that we prefer as "positive", and those we may not like so much as "negative". The thing is...ALL emotions provide the opportunity to take us to a new understanding in ourselves, which facilitates a new understanding of others as well....compassion and empathy. When we truly have compassion and empathy for ourselves, we allow the emotions to flow without struggle, and I totally agree with you that it is much easier to let them flow and move on.

        For me, the first part of that process, is recognizing the value of ALL emotions and welcoming them. I have learned to be comfortable with discomfort, and with that thought and feeling, I do not need to label emotions.....they are all good and valuable....make any sense?

        Another idea....happiness/contentment can be the underlying foundation for ALL emotions, so we don't need to "move on to happiness", it can be a part of the process. As multi dimensional, multi sensory beings, we can feel several different emotions at the same time:>)

        This may sound confusing, and it's really more simple....in my humble perception:>) You know how sometimes we may think something like.....I really feel sad and I want to be happy....how do I find happiness.....something like that? That adds confusion to our thoughts and feelings. How about if we say/think/feel....I'm happy that I'm feeling sad because this is an opportunity to learn, grow and evolve? That is neither negative or positive...only an opportunity:>)
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          Dec 6 2012: Wise words, Colleen. :) That is truly enlightening. I have noticed, in my own life, that it is the times where I have hit rock bottom where I have had the most positive life changes. By allowing myself to experience these emotions, it allowed me to be more true to myself, gain a better understanding of myself and make the changes that I need to be happy! There is certainly value in that.
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          Dec 6 2012: Colleen and Leanna, am I (partially) allowed to agree with your disagreement?

          It is crucial to experience the whole gamut of emotions in order to feel real happiness with life as a whole - completely with you on that one!

          My point about 'skimming the surface of life' is to do with certain personality types who, when confronted by a conversation requiring depth of thought, would rather change the subject or dismiss it as being too much hard work. That's not a criticism - more an observation of their outward style of dealing with life (rather than having an accurate knowledge of their inward style).

          Take a look at this talk by Richard Schoch:

          http://iai.tv/video/the-myth-of-being-happy

          ...and in a moment of unaccustomed self-promotion - that's me asking the question at 31:20!
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        Dec 6 2012: Yes Allan, you are allowed to agree with our disagreement.....LOL:>)

        It's funny, because when I was writing "I do not agree Allan", I was thinking....this is the first time ever, I have not agreed with Allan....there must be something that I am not hearing/seeing/perceiving?

        I agree with you that there are some folks who like to skim over "deep stuff", and they believe they are happier by doing so.....ignorance is bliss? Some people think/feel it is "hard work" to delve into our "self", and I think it is joyous......eventually!

        I started to look at that link, and realized it is long, so will check it out again later. The sun is out, and I MUST go for a walk right now....otherwise, I will be unhappy for the rest of the day!.....LOL.....
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        Dec 7 2012: Hi Allan,
        I had time this morning to watch the Richard Schoch video....thanks for providing that link.

        There were a couple references to "riding the train" of happiness and/or getting to the "station".
        I agree with Roy M. Goodman, who said..."Remember that happiness is a way of travel, not a destination".

        Richard reminds us to look at the "direction of our lives"...."the bigger concept"..."your life as a whole", to experience happiness, which I agree with. However, it seems to contradict his statement that there are times when one "ought not" to feel happy. He gives an example of apologizing to someone for our behavior. I would feel good about that situation because there is opportunity to learn.

        I agree that some folks may reduce happiness to a narrow outlook...more pleasure - no pain....external gratification. I agree that happiness can be cultivated and nurtured, and it is more about "being" than "having".....it is a way of travel, in my perception:>)

        I agee with Richard that "happiness" is a rather "fuzzy" term, and I like to use "contentment", or even "well-being". Richard says that happiness is not a feeling, but rather an "activity". I believe happiness/contentment is a way of "being" and I feel that describing happiness as an activity is rather "fuzzy" as well!

        I do not agree that we cannot be happy by ourselves. I think there are many people who choose to be isolated, and can be content with their life choice.

        I agree with Richard regarding your question Allan...it is "HUGELY IMPORTANT"! For me, happiness/contentment embraces all feelings, emotions, experiences, etc. Everything we experience, is all a part of the life adventure. One can indeed be content even in the most seemingly hopeless situations. We can be the virtuoso, as Richard says, and orchestrate our lives.
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    Dec 6 2012: Externally you need freedom (from judgement, prosecution, ect.) and safety and oppurtunity.

    Internally you will need to now yourself.
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    Gail . 50+

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    Dec 5 2012: Self awareness. It's not a "value". It's a state of being.
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    Dec 11 2012: happiness seems to be dependent on a relationship between the enviornment and our own expectations,with the flow,or dialogue being back and forth. In general people in the country have the outdoors as a metaphour of self as natural,dependent,and everything is observably necessary . In the city,man must use many coping strategies when nature is removed to augment the rythms that the nature surrounded individual has at the front door. Meditation,yoga,exercise,drugs,extensive social networking,t.v.,computer stuff....alll this seems to be able for some to replace the hum of nature that grounds us,roots us. The tricky task of getting the required balance may led to happiness...Perhaps in our hurry to bag happiness in our patterning brains,once we manufactor a happiness source,we become glib,and forget to remember the original source or reason that generated our quest,so in that respect an attribute that could lead to universal happiness would be to include the roots to our branches...
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    Dec 10 2012: ha ha ha ,
    Dear collen steen ,
    i m not expecting Christians to live true. Because they are just religious Christians, But some people follow Christ they r true Christians they live with love, I think u r mother also like that. u r so lucky to heaved true love person. Love CHRIST but not CHRISTIANS.
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      Dec 10 2012: Sridhar,
      If we decide NOT to love a certain group of people, is that unconditional love? Or is that love WITH conditions? Do you think/feel that rejecting a certain group of people will lead to universal happiness? Or will this continue to seperate and divide people in our world?
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    Dec 9 2012: LOVE others, its may not acceptable thing but its true, Please try to know about what is love? and then try it, to know about love read this verses 1 Corinthians 13:4 in bible.I m not try to spreading Christianity but i m try to explain about LOVE. The UNCONDITIONAL LOVE give as universal happiness.
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      Dec 10 2012: Hello Sridhar,
      You say that loving others may not be acceptable? Why?
      I agree that unconditional love is connected with universal happiness:>)
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        Dec 10 2012: Hai Colleen Steen,
        Thanks for accepting unconditional love with love ;-). We people actually forgot about LOVE(there is no true love or false love. but there is only LOVE). And we give our own structurer to LOVE. Maybe my thought r also wrong thats y i search my self what is love? at last i came to know about love in BIBLE verses 1Corinthians 13:4, its was UNCONDITIONAL LOVE(as per our conversation i mention Unconditional love but there is one and only word LOVE). Love doesn't have Structurer like mother love,friend love,Girl friend or Boy friend love,son love,daughter love,father love etc,. its only the word LOVE but its mean lot, Please read the Bible verses that i mention above. it will explain about LOVE.

        LOVE is every thing, If we have a love in our heart its reflect to other, we never expect love from other because we have a unconditional love in our heart . if we didnt expect any thing from other its lead to peace and universal happiness.
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          Dec 10 2012: Dear Sridhar,
          Thanks for your reply, and thank you also for being unconditionally loving. I personally have not forgotten about love, and it is MY PLEASURE to share it:>)

          I was born into a catholic family and studied the bible for many years in school, so I am familier with what the bible says.

          I learned about unconditional love from my mother who lived lovingly. She did not simply preach or lecture about love, she "lived love" in every moment of her life.

          Love does not only come from the bible, and unfortunately many people who say they follow the teachings of the bible DO NOT live what they speak about...they often DO NOT walk their talk, or live what they preach about.

          I agree that unconditional love has no expectations,
  • Dec 9 2012: Happiness means different things to different people. As such, there is no universally valid recipe for happiness. Or at least I seriously doubt that.
    While health, prosperity, well-being etc are important, they may not be sufficient to promt happiness. People also need meaning that is the feeling they contribute to a larger purpose. That their uniqueness makes a difference. That life is worthwhile.
    And still, we all know healthy, wealthy, inspiring people who are not precisely happy. So maybe, it all comes down to being a happy person and not necessarily to living a happy life..these are two different things. You may have them all - love, money, social recognition- and still get the feeling something is missing...Or you may be someone, like me, struggling to make ends meet, but still be happy, embrace life and cherish everything that comes your way.
    So, as I see it, there is no universally valid answer to your question simply because there is no such thing as universal happiness. Happiness comes in so many different shapes! It is never universal, but rather tailor-made :)
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      Dec 10 2012: Simona,
      I agree that happiness means different things to different people. Do you think/feel that accepting our differences may be on the road to experiencing universal happiness?
      • Dec 10 2012: Colleen,
        I think accepting our differences can indeed make us happier as individuals and add more meaning to life as well as a sense of personal worth and value. Perhaps if we all did so, we would be closer to universal happiness..

        In one of your comments, you wrote “I am happy when I do what I want to do”. This is a good point. People are happy when they do what they want to do...But what do they want to do? This is where their inner structure comes in...and this is why i said happiness was rather tailor-made. We don't all want to do the same things...yet by doing the different things we enjoy, we could experience the same result and that is be happy...
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          Dec 10 2012: I agree Simona, that accepting each other and our differences helps create more happiness/contentment in our lives.....it has always worked that way for me anyway:>)

          I am also low income, as you said you are in your first comment, and no matter how much money I have, or DO NOT have, as the case may be at the moment, my foundation of happiness/contentment does not change.

          I think what I said is that I do what I love, or love what I do? There was a question of do what we love OR what we HAVE to do, and I said they are one and the same for me? I cannot find the comment you refer to.

          I agree....we do not all want the same things, and it seems realistic that we will all experience happiness/contentment from many different life experiences:>)
  • Dec 9 2012: Dissociation with mind

    as outlined here ....its free just sign in with a web address

    http://www.eckharttolletv.com/free-meditation-november-2012-replay/
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    Dec 6 2012: First you have to define happiness, happiness requires goals and barriers. Notice it is the same definition as a game?
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      Dec 6 2012: How would you define it? Do you think you really need to define happiness in order to experience it?
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        Dec 6 2012: I just did and no
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          Dec 6 2012: No you didn't. You described what it requires. Goals and barriers = happiness?
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        Dec 6 2012: Happiness is having goals and barriers.
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          Dec 6 2012: Would you say that having goals and barriers is part of "Knowing thyself"?
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        Dec 6 2012: No, I think you define yourself by your goals and experiences
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          Dec 6 2012: I don't understand your point. Goals and barriers are part of our experiences....are they not? How or why do you seperate them?
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        Dec 6 2012: Ok I changed my mind it is part of knowing yourself.

        If a guy goes to war the experiences will leave a mark and it is part of him but he does have to separate himself from the experiences or else he is going to dive under a table every time there is a loud noise.
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          Dec 6 2012: You changed your mind? Did Leanna and I win the game by double teaming you??? LOL
          Remember, you brought in the idea of a "game":>)

          I'm not sure if one can truly seperate him/herself totally from the experience. Your example reminds me of when my husband came home from Vietnam. We lived close to the airport, and when planes passed over our house in the night, he would hit the floor and roll under the bed....still asleep. On some levels, we may be able to seperate ourselves from our experiences, and perhaps on some levels not?
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        Dec 6 2012: Yes you won the debate...

        Was it you who had the out of body experiences?, so have I which, (I know completely insane) imo is where you really start looking what is me and what isn't.
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          Dec 7 2012: Yes, I did. I don't think it is at all "insane"....it felt very natural to me. Facing death sometimes causes a new look at life?
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        Dec 7 2012: To most it sounds insane. At the least it makes you look at what is you and what isn't? I found it to be quite therapeutic.
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          Dec 7 2012: Yes...to many it sounds odd...guess it depends on one's beliefs? Although, the experience did not fit into my belief system at the time....had to open the heart and mind to something different than what I thought I already knew!

          I agree...therapeutic...causes us to explore our "self" and discover...or not... what is important and what is not important.
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        Dec 7 2012: I like to think of it as a way of sounding the rabbet hole, take the red pill, step out of the matrix.
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          Dec 8 2012: Could be a step out of the matrix..."a mold from which a relief surface (as stereotype) is made..."

          Could be a step into another matrix? "something within which something else originates or develops".

          One thing I know, is that it was an opportunity to experience "universal happiness":>)
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      Dec 6 2012: I describe happiness as seeing the profile photo you now have Pat:>)
  • Dec 6 2012: Lots of finances and a strong health.
    Freedom to choose how to spend your life.
    Passion about what you do in present time.
    Strong motivation to live interesting and exciting life:)
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    Dec 6 2012: My answers:

    (1) Feeling of a-step-better for keeping one’s own DNA alive leads to universal happiness.
    No matter where we are or what value and priority we have.

    (2) VALID happiness is essential to pure happiness.



    (For VALID happiness, see the 1st article, points 1.1-3, at https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=D24D89AE8B1E2E0D&id=D24D89AE8B1E2E0D%21283&sc=documents.)
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      Dec 6 2012: This is a very interesting article. So, you believe that happiness relies fully on our evolutionary need to pass on our DNA? What about gay couples? Or people who simply don't want children? Even if a gay couple adopts they are not passing on their own DNA. Would you consider that a false sense of happiness?
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        Dec 8 2012: Thank you for your interesting in my reply!
        You are right.
        I “believe that happiness relies fully on our evolutionary need to pass on our DNA” with some errors or changes made during DNA-copying, mutation, environment adaptation, etc.
        These errors and changes cause the gay couples, couples wanting no children, INVALID happiness, etc.

        (For INVALID happiness, please see the reference in my comment above.)
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          Dec 8 2012: W. Ying,
          You believe that "some errors or changes made during DNA-copying, mutation, environment adaptations, etc....cause the gay couples, couples wanting no children, INVALID happiness". As I've said, I've read your references, with which you try to support your idea of "valid" or "invalid" happiness.

          Again, I will say that I do not think you have a right to decide for others what THEIR valid/invalid happiness is. Perhaps you are uncomfortable with the idea of gay relationships, or the idea that a couple may choose not to have children, so you say their happiness is "invalid". Do you not see that your idea is simply prejudice?
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      Dec 6 2012: W. Ying,
      Keeping our own DNA alive no matter what our priority is, you believe to be happiness? That seems rather selfish and very limited!
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        Dec 8 2012: Thank you for your kind replying!

        You are right.
        In order to keep any one’s own DNA alive, he or she has to SYMBIODSIZE in a society, that means love all the members of the society.

        (For details, please see ponts 4-8 of the reference in my comment above.)
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          Dec 8 2012: W. Ying,
          I have read your articles, and they do not seem clear to me. I have also addressed your perception of "valid" and "invalid" happiness before, and your criteria for valid/invalid happiness. I do not believe we have the ability or right to tell others what is "valid" or "invalid" happiness for THEM.

          What about Leanna's question regarding gay couples or people who simply don't want children? Would you consider that a false sense of happiness, or "invalid" happiness?
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        Dec 9 2012: ---- Reply to your reply (without "reply" button) to mine just above ----

        Thank you very much for your replying again!

        (1) I appreciate and respect your viewpoint about the validity of happiness.

        (2) As to the gay couples and people who simply don’t want children, I think, if they contribute their lives to society that is very great! And they will be happy due to their helping the propagation of human DNA, containing a big part identical to their own.

        Am I to the point?
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          Dec 9 2012: W. Ying,
          You ask..."am I to the point?"

          It depends on what point you are trying to make.

          (1) The only viewpoint I have regardintg "the validity of happiness" is that I cannot, and will not attempt to decide what is "valid happiness" or "invalid happiness" for another person.

          (2) I have no desire to judge other people based on my beliefs, and if you do, I guess you are making YOUR point. I do not feel it is my duty or right to tell others what THEY must do, how THEY must think and feel to experience happiness.

          First you write..."I believe that happiness relies fully on our evolutionary need to pass on our DNA” with some errors or changes made during DNA-copying, mutation, environment adaptation, etc. These errors and changes cause the gay couples, couples wanting no children, INVALID happiness, etc."

          You seem to be saying that gay couples and couples wanting no children are experiencing "invalid happiness", IN YOUR PERCEPTION and JUDGEMENT.

          In your last comment, you write..."...if they contribute their lives to society...they will be happy due to their helping the propagation of human DNA...a big part identical to their own".

          (A). DNA is a molecule that contains a genetic code of organisms, which is why children share traits with parents. http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA

          It does not seem that you are using the term DNA to effectively demonstrate your idea.

          (B). By trying to determine what other people do, or do not do, and labeling those activities, "valid" or "invalid" you are simply judgeing.

          Am I making my point?
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        Dec 11 2012: Reply to your last reply (without "reply" button)
        I thank you very, very much for your long kind reply and I will take my time to reanalyze my thoughts thoroughly-carefully again.
        Good luck!
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    Dec 5 2012: The most important thing is be honest at everything. dont lie because lie will lead you to fear. Love all person. Always control your mind.
    If i told you my experience i am so happy just because i have everything ,the last thing was i wanted is love. And i get it.
    love towards someone will give you pure and clean happiness....
    care for someone more than ourselves. make time for all the persons whom you love.
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    Dec 5 2012: I find Martin Seligman's talk on positive psychology to be highly informative in terms of what research says on this point. He provides a model of the fundamentals. The most important component, according to research, is being satisfied with ones relationships.

    Another interesting talk by another researcher in the psychology of happiness (this time from U of Chicago rather than Penn) is Mihalyi Czikzentmihalyi's on "flow." He argues that opportunities to work in a "flow" state are central to happiness, where the idea of flow is something like the popular notion of being "in the zone." A flow state requires that a person have a clear goal or direction for the task at hand, faces a challenge in it that is within but stretches his abilities, and can detect through his own efforts how well he is doing.