Aidan Talcott

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What is something you do that makes you genuinely happy?

I want to know what makes you happy. An activity or something of that sort. Something you always look forward to and that you could see yourself doing all the time. If this thing is NOT your job, then I am curious to find out your reasoning of why it is not. I'll read and respond to all answers. I'm a 18 year old kid about to go into college and responding would really help me out. Thanks.

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    May 4 2013: Helping people makes me happy. It isn't my job because that career field doesn't exist.
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      May 4 2013: Hi Henry,

      It does exist, I think, it's interdisciplinary. I don't know if there is a name for it though. Well said.
    • May 5 2013: I think the same way of you Henry, i love help people, but from education... this is my pasion and, fortunately, my job. I'm really enjoy to give my students a diferent perspective, i love when the people open their mind and can imagine a different world... a better, and they can to propose something to change it. When i can do that in my students, thats really makes me happy...
  • May 3 2013: Talking to people who I casually meet and make them laugh at something. Reflecting on the positive side of life, not paying much attention to the negative. Always seeing the humorous side of events. Observing nature in a beautiful park. A smile of child. Have the feeling that I learned something new.
    Usually, when I can contribute to make someone happy, it also makes me genuinely happy.
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    May 6 2013: Unselfish Help to others makes me real happy and be with family and friends .....
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    May 5 2013: I'm undergraduate in chemical engineering at one of the best programs in the country. After spending two years of watching friends struggle to pursue an engineering career they loved while others who easily succeeded discovered they were stuck in an engineering career they didn't want, I realized my calling was to change engineering education. Everyday since then, I've been happy when I'm pursuing this goal.

    I'm not simply happy because I know what I'm supposed to do with my life. I'm happy because I know I will help other people and make their lives better. I'm happy because I am constantly able to interact with new people and hear their stories while sharing passions. I'm happy when I'm helping to improve other people's lives and I think that's what you should strive for in your career, relationships and life.
  • May 4 2013: I am blissfully happy when someone reads my blog about my volunteer work with orphanages in Mexico and they volunteer to help the children when they vacation in those areas. The joy I see from the children's faces and the volunteers who connect with the children ripple out contagiously to their friends and relatives and who are also making trips to help the children. There is nothing that makes me happier than to know that these little kids who have no families now have food to eat and toys to play with. But most importantly, every person who goes to volunteer shares the most important gift of hugging the children and giving them attention that they so much need.
  • May 3 2013: Play on field , not just sitting before your computer, and when your team wins and when your opponent gives a handshake to you saying " You played well " , it really makes you genuinely happy
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    Apr 10 2013: Hi Aidan. I know I couldn't live without hiking the hills and mountains at least once a week. I treat this as a kind of meditative thing, as an antidote to the noisy distractions of everyday life at work and at home. It has to be either with 1-2 like-minded people or on my own. However, it's much better on my own - more restorative, and I can spend time taking photos and sketching. I come home tired, but reinvigorated to face another week!

    You ask why this is not my job - well, I have thought about photojournalism for outdoor magazines and newspapers, but there is massive competition, even as a freelancer. However, I do make a reasonable income from selling paintings and prints from my own artwork on the fine art market here in UK, and photography of the British mountain landscapes. But income is not why I do it - happiness has more value than money.

    It sounds like tennis takes up a lot of your time, and it's a fantastic achievement to get where you have on the pro circuit. How many 'boxes' does that tick for you? Would you be able to carry on pursuing the tennis training schedule separate to the demands of college? What about your filming interests? Does that tick different boxes? What subjects have you chosen to study academically?

    I think the secret to happiness is how one treats the times that aren't so good, and the resilience we develop against disappointment. The good times will then remain spontaneous (rather than 'designed') - and all the more profound for that.
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      Apr 11 2013: Allan thanks for your amazing response. I love the outdoors so your hobbies that are your outlets from everyday life are very similar to my interests. Tennis pretty much takes up all my time. When I am not training, I am doing schoolwork. I am still a senior in high school currently. In college I will have to find the balance between academics and tennis training because I'm forced to do both since it's a D1 tennis program and they have a very intensive training schedule. I train much more now than I will there, but I don't have nearly the amount of schoolwork I will have when I go to college.

      As for what I will study. I'm leaning more and more towards the film and entertainment industry. It's tough because I know I'm decent at it and that if I put in the time and effort I could be really good, however its a really tough industry to make it in and sometimes that overwhelms me. For instance, I wanted to get into studying business or becoming a doctor because I thought I'd have a better chance of making good money doing that, but recently I've tried to get myself away from the money and more towards what I really would enjoy doing everyday. I have a ton of scripts written out for short films (around 5 minutes) that I would normally do but tennis just takes up a bit too much time.

      Thanks a lot for your response though. I'd love to see some of your artwork.
  • Apr 6 2013: I genuinely like helping other people.

    I genuinely like going to garage sales with my wife.

    I genuinely like designing gizmos and gadgets.
    • Apr 7 2013: im like Robert im the type of guy that can fix almost anything and when i have free time or if someone has an emergency i will help them. i dont take money. im kind of a conversationanist and i truly enjoy talking about things i have read learned or seen to others and hearing there take on it or stories about things from there life. but my accual hobby is hand crafting i carve on of a kind hand carved pens. its a wonderful feeling when each one is done and im left with a piece of are that has a use
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        Apr 7 2013: I would really like to see some of those pens. It sounds really interesting. I like helping people and being generous but I feel as though I do it in a selfish manner. That feeling you get when you successfully help someone out through an act of genuine kindness is indescribable. I do it for that feeling. I'm not sure if that takes away from the good deed, however it still gets done and more people are happy because of it.
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      Apr 7 2013: Those are some really cool outlets. I've come to realize very quickly that everyone has there own unique hobby no matter what it entails. I also find it interesting that you've found that special someone (your wife) and how she is part of one of these activities that make you genuinely happy. I think that takes a really special relationship and, me being 18, I'm not there yet but I hope to have that sort of one someday. Thanks for your post!
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    May 5 2013: Smiles are incredibly infectious.
  • May 5 2013: I'm 21 years old, college student.

    I've never thought whether I'm happy or not in my life.
    But one thing I'm pretty sure is I have an ambition and I know it's not impossible to achieve it if I try hard. Nothing is too late.
    When I think about this, I feel sort of happiness.
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    May 5 2013: Fix something that didn't work.

    I'm an electronics technician and that's my job.

    When I do it well, I'm happy. When I do it poorly, I'm sad.

    Happiness is not some condition that just sits there continuously.

    You have to constantly re-create it, over and over.

    If you are sad (or happy) without doing anything obvious to create that, then you are nevertheless doing something to create that. Not all the things we do are we fully aware of. I learned that from LRH.

    Another thing that makes me happy is to study the work of someone who obviously wanted to help others through his writings (or lectures). In a sense that is also fixing something (my ignorance) that was causing malfunctions.

    I recommend the writings and lectures of Hubbard. Maybe studying them would make you happier, too.
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    May 4 2013: Traveling. The rush I get from exploring and discovering new things never gets old. I don't travel professionally, but I have chosen to work for myself doing something that requires only a computer and Internet connection for the specific purpose of the freedom to spend my time how and where I please. Best of luck to you in discovering and expanding upon your passions as well. If you are still figuring out how you want to spend your life (or even if you have a plan already), I encourage you to be as open to new experiences and possibilities as you can be. You are entering a very critical (but exciting) time of your life, and how you choose to develop yourself now will have a lasting impact on your future.
  • May 4 2013: Great query Aidan.

    Today is Kentucky Derby Saturday.
    I am happy to be able to Handicap
    this Horse Race and find the winner, before it is run.
    As of this moment, I do not even know who is in the race.
    It is about 11am here on the central coast of California.
    I will soon have the winner selected.
    That will make me genuinely happy.

    For the last 12 years I have gotten it right 9 times.
    It is NOT my job. I am retired.
    I started 21 businesses and Cancer retired me.

    I handicap by phone,
    against another guy, everyday for the last 10 years.
    From about 3pm until around 8pm.
    We compete.
    We never wager.

    I used to think happiness was attached to money.
    I find that not correct.

    Do only that which makes you happy. Only that.
    But rise at 4:30am and start to find your happiness.
    Long before the sleepyheads awaken.
    It is the only way to fly.

    Successful people do those things unsuccessful people won't.
  • May 4 2013: There are so many things that make me happy that I could spend hours answering your question. The fact there are so many things is one of them in it's own right. I suffered from clinical depression for years, on and off, and to now be at a place in my life where I am happier than I've ever been it' s a great source of happiness to me.

    An activity that makes me really happy is rummaging around charity shops and boot fairs looking for things I can use to make art or do crafty things with. This is a relatively new love and something I've only been doing for a year or so there's not been much time to make it a "job". I am, however, toying with the idea of putting some packs together for fellow creatives to use and seeing if I can sell them.

    I love this new found "hobby" since I know nothing about art which leaves me free to play without having a whole load of judgmental dialogue going on in my head! Being naturally analytical this is a huge change for me.
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    May 4 2013: I am genuinely happy when I teach somebody something.....anything.....and I see their eyes light up with the new found knowledge.

    I am a teacher.....guess I chose the right profession for me. :)

    The latest TED talk by Rita Pierson is a good reflection of how I feel about my chosen career.
    • May 4 2013: How inspiring, Mary. I haven't been teaching all that long, but I know that moment you described. It is truly thrilling! I also loved Rita's talk.
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        May 4 2013: Lizanne, I think one of the greatest joys in life is learning something new.

        One of the very first quotes I ever recorded in my collection, and probably the one that got me thinking that you can say something powerful with very few words:

        "The mind, once expanded to the dimensions of larger ideas, never returns to it's original size"
        Oliver Wendell Holmes, American writer

        Now, imagine being on the giving part of the idea/'s enough to make a teacher want to scream......YES!!!! I got this kid to learn!!!!

        I think TED is so unique, because we come here not only to receive, but also to give. Some give generously, I am very thankful for all that I have learned, but I am genuinely happy when I can take what I learn and share it with others.

        I think a good many teachers feel this way. And I also think mothers are the best teachers of all, don't you think so Lizanne? Are you teaching music?
        • May 5 2013: I so agree, Mary!

          I give music/voice workshops, I direct a children's choir and give voice lessons. I am self-taught, and have developed a technique based on the fact that I know my body was genetically designed to sing, and pass that technique on to my students.
          The main objective, whether it's the workshop, the choir or the lesson, is that the children have a successful experience in expressing themselves through music!
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        May 6 2013: That sounds fantastic Lizanne.......using your gift, to help others develop theirs.....through music.
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      May 4 2013: Thank you, Mary. I work as a teacher too and also feel that is positive to see how giving and sharing changes others' lives for the better.
      • May 5 2013: I agree, making other people happy is the source of our happiness.
  • May 4 2013: With the flexibility granted to me by my healthcare employer, I leave my job at midday on Friday to volunteer at Southeastern Guide Dog (Palmetto, FL) in their puppy socialization program. It's a structured program of "exposures" for puppies 6-9 weeks of age bred to train as guide dogs for visually impaired people. We have to document their reactions to different surfaces, sounds, housebreaking, etc.; but the paperwork is very minor and before and after our "work" is done, I get to play, hug, "kiss" and watch little pupppies interact with their littermates. As a major dog lover, there is absolutely nothing better in this world than a constant supply of little puppies.

    Nothing in my life has ever captured my interest and curiosity like healthcare, but it can be absurdly stressful. No matter how bad my week at work may have been, 60 seconds inside the puppy kennel and it's all forgotten. My volunteer work is far and away the best stress buster I have ever found, it gives me something to look forward to at the end of the week and I miss it terribly if, for some reason, I can't go. All of this and the fact that this organization's mission is special...over the top.

    Getting a guide dog brings to visually impaired people a degree of independence otherwise unachievable. And dogs who don't get an "A" in training get "career-changed" into law enforcement or search and rescue, support dogs for veterans with PTSD, therapy dogs for VA medical facilities and companion dogs for visually impaired teenagers. I gave up some salary to get the flexibility to do this and I'd pay Southeastern to let me continue! It just doesn't get any better than this.
  • May 3 2013: Teaching. Admittedly not every day, but most days.

    Specifically when students are wrestling with a topic and that light bulb turns on and I can see it happen. Or when there is excitement in their eyes when they are successful or have accomplished something that they did not think that they could. Those genuine learning moments when a student is successful and accomplishes something. It is incredibly fun to watch.
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    May 3 2013: As an artist, I feel genuinely happy when I'm creating. Whether it be composing just a few notes of music, taking a photograph, or writing some words, I feel the best when I satisfy my non-stop craving to create.
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      May 4 2013: Good one Ricardo !

      I believe we are all creators, what better thing to create than our own lives !
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        May 4 2013: > what better thing to create than our own lives !
        Humbly suggest, that there is one better thing: Create a world where everyone has the means to create their own lives to the fullest.
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    May 3 2013: Reaching out to one who thinks I can be of any assistance, brings me happiness. If appreciated in the bargain is an additional bonus.
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    May 2 2013: I enjoy those moments of serenity after a meditation. It is at those moments that i question the phrase, "home is where the heart is". For my heart belongs to that moment and every other moment like it.
  • May 2 2013: Appreciate why I am here and what I can do to make it better is a wonderful thing. OK, I had to admit that I did't answer your question directly.
  • Apr 29 2013: tackling poverty. helping those who are less fortunate merely because they were born into that situation, and I into a developed country. I wish it were my career, hopeing to make it one day... the reason I haven't yet is because of the disagreement of my conservative family with my liberal views, and being an only child. So, working on that one, and that's leading the way to being truly comfortable with who I am and not leading my life to please others, which I think is the biggest battle in my life so far.
  • Apr 20 2013: I eat walnuts but I think this is probably just a chemical reaction in my brain
    they are a very good brain food -Walnuts develop 3 dozen neuro-tr
    ansmitters for your brain, so I was told
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    Apr 20 2013: Aidan,
    I look forward to each and every day with curiosity and live the life adventure to the fullest, being present in each and every moment. Nothing "makes" me happy. I carry happiness/contentment/joy in my heart, and that is a choice for each and every one of us. I Especially enjoy "play days" (skiing, biking, hiking, kayaking, etc.) with my "play group", since we are all a retired bunch of kids:>)

    "Don't let ANYTHING ever be ordinary"
    (Mary Engelbreit)
  • Apr 9 2013: I am currently in the process of finding out more about what makes me as an individual happy. I'm halfway through a book that I have found fascinating called 'The Happiness Project' by Gretchen Rubin which is about seeing whether you can increase your own base level of happiness. I agree that if you are constantly striving for happiness then you can find yourself feeling discontent with your current life as you think things aren't as good as they can be, but striving for improvement and discovering who YOU are can bring joy and happiness and rekindle old passions. My own list seems to be growing as the more I find out about what I enjoy, the more it opens me up to enjoying new experiences.

    I love volunteering (particularly with children as they have an amazing take on life), I love learning Mathematics so I'm currently doing a degree in it, I love cooking for people, I love sitting with a cup of tea on the sofa with the front door open and a breeze coming in, I LOVE reading, I love seeing my family and particularly my grandparents as often as I can, I love boardgames, I love sitting on a swing, I love documentaries and gaining new knowledge from them, I love walking aimlessly while listening to my music, I love dancing (in private), I love singing, I love riding my bike, I love discussing new topics, I love meeting new people...and I'm still learning to love even more things and take happiness from them. Sorry it is a long list!
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      Apr 11 2013: As I've watched more and more videos on TED, I've come to realize that these tiny interests are always worth pursuing. I've been starting to pursue any little thing that I once had interest in as of 2 weeks ago and it's been amazing. I feel like I'm not leaving any stones unturned and that I'm trying everything that comes my way. Definitely a better way of going at things. I think I'm like you in the way where the more things I try, the longer my list will get. I also couldn't agree with you more on the child's perspective of life. I'm a tennis player and I'll help out the club I go to by teaching some younger kids and their view of the world is so simple and almost unaffected by some of the poisons we acquire with age. Thanks a lot for your response and keep trying new things!
  • Apr 8 2013: something makes me happy like: play gameswhit child , music , help poor peole, to bestow gifts, thanks giving of god and etc...
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      Apr 11 2013: Those are great and simple activities. It's great to have some things that make you get that feeling inside. Thanks for your response.
  • Apr 8 2013: You know, I've found the the individual things you do don't so much bring happiness. They can be fun, rewarding, important, and meaningful for sure, but happiness comes from something else. Happiness comes from who you are. It comes from loving people and doing the right thing and knowing that you're doing it.
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      Apr 11 2013: I've thought about looking at it that way. It's different from what most people are saying but it is true. It's sort of like karma but a more accurate and consistent thing. If you are caring to everyone around you, then you will receive a lot of love and kindness in return. This in itself brings humans general happiness. I think that as humans, we all have a connection with each-other and that it is in our DNA to naturally care for one another. Some of us execute that gene better than others but I think for the most part people do want to improve the world around them on an emotional scale. Thanks a lot for your response.
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      Apr 11 2013: I've recently discovered the same thing! It's almost as if I open up my computer and I think, "I have no idea what video I'm going to click on or what article I will read, but it's going to be new and I'm going to be more knowledgeable at the end of today than I was at the beginning". It's a really exciting process and there's endless amounts of this stuff on the web. Keep letting that inner geek shine! Thanks for your response.
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      Apr 7 2013: It took me awhile to learn that these "challenges" are just learning experiences that make us more experienced and more knowledgeable. A lot of people get consumed and overwhelmed and forget that these moments are opportunities rather than setbacks. I'm glad to see you've recognized that and I wish you the best of luck as you continue to live in the moment! Thanks a lot for your post.
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          Apr 7 2013: Thanks a lot for your support! One of the best feelings is to know that I'm not alone when it comes to tackling these life obstacles. Thanks again! :)
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    May 6 2013: Homegrown tomatoes.
  • May 6 2013: i am therapist . every time a client told me that he/she had a good time meaning the therapy works i feel happy . it is like i see me into him/her . i feel like i drive some unused energy into vital energy .
    i also am happy when i feel the universe into me .
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    May 6 2013: I love working as a community developer and volunteer during my space time. I am currently a 500 Level student of mechanical Engineering at the Federal University of Technology, Akure. I started work as a community worker when I was 14 and have since grown so passionate about rural and grass root development.
    I hope and definitely will go back to full time community development.
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    May 5 2013: singing and playing guitar in front of an audience. choice!
  • May 5 2013: I can help people.
  • May 5 2013: Training and working with my dogs is the activity in which I find delight. While dog training is not my full time profession, my profession & training are allied - I am a University Professor with research being my primary activity. In both activities I teach, delight in learning and problem solving, enjoy observing and then incorporating what I have learned to take the next step. Part of the happiness derives from working with the dogs as partners and communicating with another being.
    There is a new "sport" - nosework (NW) which is only new to humans who live with dogs primarily as companions. The canine olfactory system is far superior to ours and playing in NW allows us access to the way the dog really "sees" its world. They delight in working in their strength and I enjoy finding out not only how they perceive their world but also how there is more than one way to live in our environment (e.g. more than one solution to a problem). In the process of observing the dogs what I have learned and derived joy, is that scents are means by which the dogs identify us and their surroundings, that they are innate problem solvers, profoundly talented in applied calculus and possess a strong work ethic whether a lap or working dog. The life lesson is that it is equally valid for humans of different backgrounds and races to achieve an end by differing paths.
    Solving puzzles appears to be as thrilling for them as for me. Finally scent is dynamic - it is modified by the environment thereby making the dogs much more aware of their environment than we are. In the partnership we end up learning the lessons about air movement, temperature, moisture, surfaces, and time all in the context of life. In the spirit of the dog I also derive happiness of living in the here-and-now not dwelling in the past or worrying about the future.
  • May 5 2013: There are two sources of joy (of happiness, satisfaction, peace): doing good and sustaining good deeds.
    The man is happy if and only if he have received something what he regards good, or have done something what he regards as good.
    Good action is the largest source of happiness than sustaining good deeds: "more happiness is in giving than in taking" (Acts 20,35).
    Therefore the happiness of the man depends less on what is meeting him, but more from, how he will react to what is meeting him.
  • May 5 2013: when I am being together with children, we feel happy to each other,and they always keep me be aware of how much I am learning from them and how much happiness they give me.
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    Gord G

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    May 5 2013: I've never been able to make myself happy. My intellect has always required emotional complicity.
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      May 6 2013: I enjoyed this comment!

      Hope that made you happy :)
  • May 5 2013: Thank you Aidan for your question. I really enjoyed reading the answers here.

    I would say that doing things by following my inner rhythm, makes me always happy. This about honoring your passions, and participating in life at your own pace, with authenticity.
    This is true regarding the big things and the small everyday things. For example, although I have tons of things to do now, I took a few mins to read the answers and post here. I felt the attraction, and I responded.

    What attracts you? Go there. The rest you will figure out. Best of luck (and happiness) to you!
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    May 4 2013: Finding out new things, learning even more and how to use all of it to benefit from it and moving on to learning even new things and so on and so forth... In a helix, preferably a double one, not in circles. Pain can either lead to even more pain or gain, or both. And don't believe anything they tell you. Good luck, Aidan and best wishes! :)
  • May 4 2013: I do voluntary work in a museum where computers are available to help visitors determine the meaning of their family names. A few days ago I was given the following name: PACHO .

    After a search that initially failed I was able to come up with the source: Its a Hebrew abrievation for "petuach hatimot" or in English, a developer of seals (and signet rings).

    The visitor was pleased because he had not previously found out what his name means. It is this kind of help that gives me real happyness.
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    May 4 2013: Adian, I meet new people and friends. It make me happy. Meeting new people means developing relationship, connection and network to be alive with them. This feeling of being alive with many people makes me happy.

    Be my connection and I will be happy... same will be with you... you will be happy too..
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    May 4 2013: They Might Be Giants Band band T-Shirt says:
    Music self-played is happiness self-made.
    Yes making music makes me genuinely happy.
    Bonus: Now if you can do it with friends.
    Bonus: Do it with friends to the enjoyment of others.
    Bonus: If they start to sing with you and your friends.
    Bonus: If they start to dance.
    Bonus: If strangers come up and join you.
    Smiling faces all around :-)
    Here is an example where we did it at a conference:
    You can do it too. It isn't that hard.
    • May 4 2013: Absolutely, completely and totally wonderful. Just reading about this makes me happy!
      And you're so right, it really isn't that hard. Music comes naturally!
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      May 4 2013: Music to my ears :) Making one, not copying and pretending, thank you Mark!
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    R H

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    May 3 2013: For me, happiness is knowing who I am and being that.
    • May 5 2013: I fully agree. It is excellent answer. But who I really am?
    • May 5 2013: The man is happy, when is acting according to whom he is. Therefore getting to know oneself is a condition of happiness.
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        • May 5 2013: All right. But these are two different issues: who am I and how to become oneself. Your reply regards rather the second issue.
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        R H

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        May 6 2013: Oh, right. Ok. Well then, I deleted my answer. Sorry for the confusion.
  • May 3 2013: Rocking like a hurricane and listening to Guns and Roses
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    May 3 2013: breathing, being alive, looking with my own eyes! I'm happy :-) and thank you

    I'm an engineer, what that helps me is finding answers, something else I'm quite passionate about by the way! all the best!
  • May 3 2013: Aidan, what a fabulous topic!

    Singing makes me truly happy.
    I feel we're all genetically designed to sing and make music, and although I now earn a living with my voice, I am self-taught, finding a technique that suits me and knowing my body was designed to sing.
    Right now, I have a bad cold. My speaking voice resembles that of an old toad, but thankfully, I can still sing!
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    May 3 2013: Learning. It borders on an obsession. I'm constantly reading, researching and experimenting. I'll take reading a chemistry text book over playing PS3 any day. As much as I love it, learning does wear me down. When I get tired of that, my second love is music. Both listening to it or playing it. It's really the only time my brain isn't going at a thousand miles an hour. It's a way or reorienting myself. Aside from that, I love adventuring. Whether it's walking through the jungle or a big city, I love wondering about and seeing everything that I can.
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    Apr 20 2013: I'm always happy when I play the violin, or when I talk with my coach. She gives me lot of advices and she always makes me laugh. I'm happy when I have time to do the simple things that I want to do: watch TV, play compiter games, stuff like that.
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    Apr 15 2013: I try to always see the glass half full not half empty, be a builder not a destroyer of things or ideas .I have tried to live by theses ideas , just a thought ;have a happy life .
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    Apr 8 2013: I'm a filmmaker; I love film sets. In fact, I love the beginning of the storytelling process when we talk about the characters and their life and circumstances and conflict and how such should be brought from script to screen.
    When I'm with filmmakers I feel like I'm home.
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      Apr 8 2013: I too love making films! Mainly short, low budget ones that I make out of home. I am thinking about studying something involving the film industry in college. I think it's such a fun atmosphere and the boundaries are limitless with the characters, setting, plot, etc. I thinks it's really cool you're a filmmaker and that the thing you genuinely love doing is actually your job. Thanks a lot for your post and maybe I'll be in similar shoes one day!
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      Apr 8 2013: My oldest sister dances for a living in the Royal Danish Ballet and she seems to find a similar bodily and spiritual connection that you have found. I find dancing to be such a unique form of art because its more than being just physically smooth. You have to emotionally and spiritually connect with the dance and not only hear the rhythm but feel it as well. I'm really happy for you that you have this passionate connection with such a fun activity. As they say in the dance world (i learned from my sis) break a leg! Thanks for your reply!
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    Apr 7 2013: Aidan, for about five years I've been following a unique diet, which is I live on milk. Every day I drink about two gallons of milk, and don't eat or drink anything else. For me it has been good, I've lost about seventy pounds and maintained the loss, and other aspects of my health are better. Telling people about this diet, that they could do it if they wanted, makes me happy.
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      Apr 8 2013: That is incredible! I can't imagine drinking that much milk and not having anything else. I do drink a lot of milk, but not nearly enough to suffice for a well balanced diet. I'm glad it's working for your and you've certainly got me intrigued as I have never heard of anything close to a diet that only contains milk. Best of luck in continuing the diet that brings you happiness. Thanks for your reply.
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        Apr 8 2013: Well, to some degree I have to do it, I am 53 and have some health problems the doctors can't solve and I feel worse if I eat solid food, I think milk is very easy on the body because it is food in fluid form and easily digested and doesn't interfere with other body processes as much as solid food. Also, milk is good for weight loss because it's mostly water, which is zero calories; it fills you up with the water, but it tastes good because of the milk solids.

        You're young and as they say the young can get away with eating anything, and most people keep good enough health for many years that they don't have to go to the all-milk diet. But if you have to, like me, it's really pretty good because milk tastes really good, after five years and thousands of gallons I still love the taste!

        I got this idea from the Masai tribe of Kenya, who live purely on products of the cow, milk and beef. If you've never read about them, they're pretty interesting!
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          Apr 8 2013: Yea I've seen a few documentaries on them. Very interesting people. I have a diet that I'm currently on but it's mainly focused on eating well balanced meals and making sure I get a sufficient amount of vitamins and nutrients. Good for you that you searched and found something that doesn't upset your body. Keep it up!
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        Apr 9 2013: Well, I'm glad your diet works for you. If you ever want to try something different, you might even feel that much better on all-skim-milk because, as I say, it is liquid food and doesn't clog you.

        By the way, why did you ask this question, what will you do with the answers?
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        Apr 9 2013: Actually, Aidan, I have the impression that the all-skim-milk diet might be good for any disease, be it cancer, AIDS, depression, overweight, and so on. The two advantages I perceive are that all-skim milk helps one lose weight, and weight loss is good for any disease; and skim milk is less clogging of the human system than solid food, so that all the other functions of the body work better since they are less clogged. I currently have the director of a human nutrition research center that is part of the U. S. Department of Agriculture checking for me to see if all-skim milk has ever been tried as a therapy for cancer. If it turns out noone has tried it yet, I'm hoping perhaps this center will try it. Wouldn't that be something if the all-skim-milk diet helped cancer?!
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          Apr 11 2013: That would be unbelievable if something that was right under all our noses this whole entire time could help fight such a popular medical predicament. As for what I will do with the answers, I think I will save them onto my computer. I've learned a little bit from each response and even the things that make a responder happy are totally the opposite of what I'm interested in, it's still fun to see what makes everyone out there happy and the uniqueness of the human race.
  • Apr 7 2013: Flying kites can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be. My Delta costs about $30 while I have 2 other kites that were less then $8. All are fun and yes folks do stop by to say hello, while a few others think I'm nuts. Rather be happy & nuts then a few other things I can envision.
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      Apr 7 2013: I tell my friends all the time that it's better to be different and happy than to "fit it" and be miserable. I find that the happiest and most successful people on Earth all dare to be different which is why they excel in their unique fields. I've never tried flying kites but maybe I will now. It seems like a fun way to unwind a stressed mind. Thanks for your post!
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    W. Ying

    • +1
    Apr 7 2013: .My answer:
    Do something that gives me
    "the short-time feeling of things being a-step-better for keeping our DNA alive".

    (For details, see the 1st article, point 2(2), at
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      Apr 7 2013: Great article. I find that really interesting and although I'm not sure that I understood all of it to the fullest extent, I definitely think you have a very technical way of looking at happiness. It's very rare to find someone who looks at happiness from a scientific point of view. Thanks for your response.
  • Apr 6 2013: Watching my grandson growing up and writing a piece that tugs at your heart strings
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      Apr 7 2013: I hope to have that same joy when I grow up! It must be incredible to watch him develop and transform as time goes on. Sounds like an amazing experience. Thanks for your response!
  • Apr 6 2013: There are 2 things that really make me happy on any given day.
    1. Either sitting on my swing on my front porch & enjoying the day or lying out side watching clouds go by.
    2. Watching my critters having fun with each other (2 cats- 1 dog).

    On other days: Flying my kite. I am almost 68 yrs. old & own a 5' wide Delta kite that loves the wind.
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      Apr 6 2013: I find that awesome that you are 68 years YOUNG and two of your favorite things to do are things that you would think someone would only enjoy doing in their early youth. It's a unique contrast and I appreciate your post!
  • Apr 6 2013: I thought about this, and finally realized that nothing makes me happy on a reliable basis.

    Happiness occurs in my life when it occurs. I do not seek it and do not need it. Maybe that is just part of my uniqueness.
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      Apr 7 2013: That's pretty interesting. In my own personal opinion I feel that we as humans do our best work when we are happy. Your answer leads me to a lot of questions actually! My main one being, if you've experienced happiness, then wouldn't feeling that joy and positive energy inside of you make you strive to constantly be in that positive state? I do think that being in a negative or neutral state has benefits, but to someone like me positivity is the goal. Thanks for your response!
      • Apr 7 2013: I am now 63 years old. At one time I think I was motivated to pursue happiness, but eventually became convinced that pursuing happiness rarely leads to happiness. To the contrary, pursuing happiness usually leads to disappointment and regret. From an evolutionary perspective, this makes sense to me. Happiness is the reward for correct action, for accomplishing that which assures our survival and the survival of our offspring. If you want to be happy, just do the right thing.
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          Apr 7 2013: That's an incredible way of looking at it. I never thought of it that way. I guess we as people cannot manufacture happiness, and that is what makes it so enjoyable. Anytime we feel genuinely happy it is not because we have searched for it, but rather it has searched and found us. Also, what you say towards the end leads me to think that a lot of your theory revolves around the idea of karma. Good actions = good life. There's certainly no downside to doing the right think. Thanks a lot for these posts.
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    May 6 2013: This is a great conversation. I just read through a lot of the comments and they were very beautiful and inspiring. I'm glad I was able to contribute.
  • May 6 2013: I feel happiness in my activity that i do with selfless motive and which spark a light in my thoughts and a bliss rouses within myself giving me the sense of satisfaction of my activity.

    This is happening very rare as in this world to sustain with bundle of responsibility is very hard So the selfless objective is disappearing from matter to matter...

    I feel happy reading / watching / listening Spiritual Discourses from various religions and I feel the message convey in two direction "WithIn" and "UP in The SKY", SO i am really interested in knowing the UNIVERSE up in the Sky - " SPACE " and thru the spiritual reading. [none of this i am getting close - sad]

    Lastly I am agreeing on with Mother Teresa Says....

    “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

    Hope this may be a answer which show a path that you intend to walk on.

    B Patel.
  • May 6 2013: I feel happy when I see that all the young people with special educational needs and their families have fun, learn and thrive as well as they can in our special school. Having a major part in co-creating this environment as the Principal gives me a great feeling of happiness and knowledge that these are worthwhile activities. With my friends/colleagues positively impacting and spreading ideas and innovation freely for others to benefit and share valuable ideas improves provision constantly and over time. Be open to changes and you will learn and value more in the process. We learn more, when we are outside our comfort zone! Don't forget to enjoy the journey and always keep looking for new destinations :-)
  • May 5 2013: My career was in negotiation and purchasing, and was highly rewarding. Researching new and competitive products to create a level and fair playing field gave me the knowledge to negotiate pricing and terms for products and services needed Most of my career was in the health care arena, acquiring items directly for patients to use in the home My last job was in the corporate procurement dept of a large retail chain, and my focus was mainly on technology--computers, servers, cash registers, etc. Always something new to learn!
  • May 4 2013: Playing board games and card games. I enjoy the strategy and planning. It's also a social outlet for me.
  • May 4 2013: I am sorry, I talk in italian language because I speak English a little. I think that la felicità non consiste in ciò che si ha nè in ciò che si è, ma in ciò che si persegue. Un detto italiano dice: chi dice ma, cuore contento non ha. Ma chi ma non dice non è felice. Tutto ciò significa che c'è tensione per raggiiungere il traguardo che, tuttavia, una volta coquistato si vive un momento di felicità. Da ultimo un problema: se la felicità è di un momento, allora è impossibile una vita felice? Aristotele risponderebbe dicendo che la vita è felice se noi sapremo ritmarla sulla base di rinnovati traguardi posti alla nostra portata. Grazie della Vostra attenzione.
  • May 4 2013: I write fiction for a living, but I'm 45 and had to do all that annoying personal growth stuff first.

    Most rewarding thing in my life? My children, wife, hearth and home. But that's something you'll come to or not.

    My advice - do a major that interests you and be busy with extramural activities. That combination will give you a career.
  • May 4 2013: I'm impressed at the way you posed the question - It says a bit more about you than know.

    There is a distinction to be made though between doing something you enjoy and being happy.

    In my personal parlance, being happy is a state of mind independent of the activity you're engaged in.

    Enjoying something you're engaged in though is a temporary thing and it can come from different aspects of the job.

    Lets say somebody has some woodworking talent.
    One guy finds pleasure in the precision aspects of it but could care less about what he actually made.
    One guy might be happy because he makes canes that make people see as less of a mobility than a expression of taste.
    One guy just might like the business aspect of production.
    One guy might like the feel of wood.
    One guy might like being an artisan.
    One guy might just enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done a customer that smiles.

    Enjoying something is easy if you put your mind to it.

    If you want advice - I'd tell you you to find something you have a talent for or an interest in or want to explore or even talk about and pursue it to the best of your ability, always trying to be the best you can. From there you will eventually find a niche or aspect of it that you will enjoy and be able to make a living at.

    You may have to balance expectations and reality though. Everything has a max market value.

    Happiness? - Ok that comes from somewhere else. I think for most, though not everybody, it revolves around love, family, friends, a sense of value to people around you. And it's one of those thing you may not ever come to figure out until later in life = after you've learned a bit about yourself and accept what you learned.
  • May 3 2013: There are many answers to this, depending on a person's character.

    Most people would say doing their interests and hobbies and spending time with loved ones make them happy.

    For me, I am an avid volunteer and through helping others do i find true joy as i have made a difference in someone else's life.

    The more truthful answer is whether you seek shallow means to give you a short lasting happiness, or more purposeful means to make you happy, the latter being more fulfilling to me.

    I have a friend who made this quote:
    "It's great seeing you smile, but it's even better knowing that I'm the reason behind it." -Jacelyn
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    May 3 2013: Think.
    (it's not illegal yet)
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    May 3 2013: I like to be still in the forest until the animals forget that I'm there.

    Closer to home though, my own yard is shared by a family of groundhogs, a grey hare, at least twelve chipmunks, and countless squirrels and song birds. The are also a few raptors, fox, coyote and feral cats in the area; and in the winter I have deer. When I enter the yard they do not scatter, rarely do they even flinch. They have learned that I am only tending to the health of the plants that provide them with food and shelter. Chipmunks literally step right over my feet as they go about their daily business, raptors will swoop down within arms reach from time to time, a few days ago the local alpha feline left a present for me on my front steps. As a horticulturalist leaning full on into ornamental silviculture, this daily calm and connectedness is my job.

    Twelve hundred miles and thirty years removed, as a kid I used to truly love standing on the shore of Lake Ontario as the November Witch rolled in.
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    May 3 2013: Aidan, if you are still undecided by the time you start in the fall don't worry. Some people live their whole life not knowing what they want to do. At least you know you love tennis and you've already started on that journey. Bon chance!
  • May 3 2013: sex
  • May 2 2013: Oh yeah maybe body building. And you could watch Van Wilder
  • May 2 2013: Well i was 18 once, and remembering all the stupid stuff i did then, not caring for consequences, living in the moment, free from responsibility. Thinking of that time still makes me smile (EVIL smile) hehe

    But you could learn the art of drifting, go karting, learning to shoot, trekking, rock climbing, flying, hounding your neighbours from time to time(not a good thing to do btw) and having friends that will be there for you (eventually) hehe
    Slapping strangers( don't do it, people just don't get it)