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Jonathan Ross

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What are you happy for this past year?

Hello everyone,

I spent some time this Christmas in Seattle with my Iphone interviewing the people that live on the streets of Seattle and to ask them what they are happy for. The video is entitled 100 reasons to be happy and it is a testimonial from the people that have had it the toughest The responses were very moving and it had a great effect on me. I would love to know from others what are you truly thankful for in 2011. Much love was shared on that day and I would love to share their message with the world.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VpouZ7ZwKI

So what were you happy for in 2011?

Thank you,
Jonathan Ross

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    Jan 30 2012: I am Happy after whenever i found sadness.
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    Jan 11 2012: I believe that all of the humans are seeking for happiness -
    so if you know your purpose and you have the tool , reaching not to the purpose is stupidness !
    I believe that happiness is even better than being logical !
    Once Oristotle said : I love you Plato - but I love the reality more .
    But if I don't enjoy the reality - I prefer loving the Plato !
    I mean who cares that conditions are good or not ?
    Who cares what's the reality ?
    See what you want to exist and enjoy !
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      Jan 12 2012: Thank you for such enlightening words. I agree completely with your Plato analogy, happiness is an emotion that can be taught to be embraced by most people. The need for happiness and interaction with other people might be the one true need that man has. We often speak of the need to protect and cover your back because no one else will do it.
      If you put a person in isolation long enough it is the worst experience so much so some would choose death over isolation or the feeling of not belonging to something of a greater perpose than just yourself. Especially the people that have hard times the need for community just grows stronger. Love is an amazing drug.
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          Feb 2 2012: Yes Amir be happy and through that happiness it will grow and pass to others there is no way for it not to. Your happiness will bring about change.
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        . . 100+

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        Feb 2 2012: - Fair Trade - is right Pierre!!
  • Jan 29 2012: The happiest time is when I spend with my students
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    Jan 26 2012: Dear Jonathan,

    I had a great year. I am happy for the insight that we all get presented challenges throughout our lives. Not to set you back, but to make you stronger. Small ones, big ones. They are all necessary parts of life. And that the quality of your life depends on how you deal with them. You have the choice to let them knock you down, or you can look at them and deal with them as best as possible.

    In looking back at 2011 I can say that I have had my challenges. Yes, relatively minor ones (e.g. frustration over finding crucial parts for my beloved vintage car :) and relatively major ones (e.g. job issues, illness and then death of my mother and then my father, and then dreadful family issues surrounding those events). Soooo, why do I say I had a great year? Because I have dealt with my challenges to the best of my ability and I have personally grown from that. Someone else may have a different opinion about it but that doesn’t concern me. It means that I have experienced the pain, anger, desperation etc (all ‘negative’ feelings) that the events brought with them….and am proud of the fact that I dealt with them as best as I could. It is liberating to know that I can look at any given event in my life as a challenge to look at, to trust that the lesson is there (and even if I don’t see it yet to be comfortable in just ‘Being’), and deal with it to the best of my ability at that time, enjoy the heck out of it and move on.
    And also…I feel exhilarated and grateful for the many, many positive things that happened last year too. They outweigh the ‘bad’ things by far :)

    Thank you for your question.
    Kind regards,
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      Jan 26 2012: Astra,

      This is so true and so beautifully written. I could not agree more, adversity leads us to become who we are meant to be and it is how you receive these messages that makes all the difference. You have the magic gift, to realize all things be them good or bad lead us on our path in life. Thank you so much for sharing such a detailed response.

      All my best,
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    Jan 19 2012: In 2011 we spent ten days in the mountains, on holiday.
    No Internet, no cellphones, no shopping - just the family reunited.

    In 2011 I met some of my fellow TED translators at TEDGlobal in Edinburgh, what a team!

    And I kept my workplace - it looks silly to be happy for this?

    I reckon it was a good year.
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      Jan 19 2012: What a wonderful holiday, nothing better than friends and family to spend one on one time with. Good for you.
  • Jan 16 2012: first: I'm alive - I was gifted to live that year while many people I knew passed away.
    second: I had more time than in the years before to spend with friends and family.
    third: I learned more about myself and managed to change to a better me although in tiny tiny steps
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    Jan 13 2012: Happiness is no more than good health and a bad memory.

    I am happy for being young, fit, and alive. I am happy to let go of negative memories and old grudges.
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      Jan 13 2012: i would add limited ability to foresee, and we agree :)

      however, i concluded that i don't need happiness in that case.
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      Jan 13 2012: i like your comment, just need to add young fit alive and really beautifull !!!
      have a great weekend
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        Jan 13 2012: Thanks ilan, thats really kind!
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          Jan 13 2012: hope i manage to make you smile
          always better to leave good memory, since you letting go of the bad ones
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    Jan 12 2012: Dispite the difficulties that we are going through here in Greece .....the meaning in happiness is so different...have your people close to you...talk to them...love and be loved...be healthy and strong and then you can manage everything...dont think only about yourself....help everyone that is needed...think positive...and laugh with your soul...because life is short...but most of all is funny...laugh about her (punishing you)...instead of she laughing about you....From my point of view happiness is an emotion that lasts only for a minute ,disappears and shows up again....As less you ask as more such minutes you are going to have! :-)
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      Jan 12 2012: Hi Elpida,

      I love the fact that you realize that happiness is fleeting it isn't a constant state of mind but the more effort we make to try to go to our happy place the more we get there. Our constitution here in America speaks about the right to pursue happiness. I think that is all anyone can ever do pursue happiness and enjoy it when it is within you. Spread all your love as for everyone here that has posted. I would love to sit at dinner with everyone here can you imagine the joy that would exude. Peace to you all and success in the continued pursuit of happiness.
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        Jan 12 2012: I believe that happiness/contentment CAN be a constant state of mind/heart/body, which can be part of the underlying foundation for everything else. I agree Jonathan, that it is "within" us. That being said, it is not dependant on external forces or influences. It is a choice to recognize it within ourselves...or not:>)
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    Jan 7 2012: Honestly ,2011 was probably the worst year of my life but at the same time the best year of my life because eventough I had to go through many hard times, Ive learned many valuable lessons which I am very glad to have learned at an early period of my life.Now I know how importart time ,patience,love and determination is...I also became aware of how we tend to not appreciate little sources of happiness and what we have,instead we waste our time worrying about little things rather than trying to solve the problem and we envy what we dont have...
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    hou gc

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    Feb 2 2012: Just i need ,I want ,I do.
  • Feb 1 2012: The most amazing girl showed up. Nothing intimate, just a friend. But she asked a simple question to me: "So you basically feel the same all the time?" I thought about it and realized I didn't. I felt very passionately about many things, but I ignored that, as though I had drawn a veil between me and my emotions. I realized it was there and tore it down. I was happy, and more relieved than I had been in years.
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    Jan 29 2012: I'm happy and grateful about having discovered a poem by Christian Larson "Promise yourself to be strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind."

    Words, art, music truly reach us when we are open and ready to think, see, feel, and listen. The poem has found me at the right time and has touched me deeply. While my reality and the world have not changed, I feel that I found an important piece of truth and I'm much happier for it.

    Peace & Happiness to you
  • Jan 29 2012: ...In 2011 I realized once again that when you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself!

    As Mother Teresa said: "If you judge people, you have no time to love them". Let's try to judge less and to love each other more in 2012.
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    Jan 27 2012: I read some books ! I thought clealy what I really want in my life ! I became cofident !
  • Jan 26 2012: On an individual basis, I am in favor of any philosophy which leads to a more fulfilled life. I think we differ only a semantic level; you see some actions as altruistic, I see them as self-interested. The action is the same, the result is the same. We both celebrate the act and result. Semantics only come into play when attempting to communicate with someone from a seemingly opposed end of the spectrum. I'm searching for a language which meets the needs of all parties and facilitates co-operation towards a shared goal. The languages of the right and the left seem to have taken on lives of their own which are separate from any intended meaning. I think we spend too much time trying to convince others who already agree with us and not enough time trying to build bridges to those who only seem to be in opposition.
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      Jan 27 2012: Hi David,

      Well said I can't add anything to that. Thank you for your thoughts and time.

  • Jan 26 2012: I don't think I could be more blessed... I would not have been what I am today if it was not for my mom. She is the closest to God that I have ever believed in. Just wish she was here with me in London. She is back home in Mumbai and i am really missing her.
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    Jan 26 2012: I am happy that I was able to take some difficult but necessary decisions at professional level! Also, that I started enjoying the slow pace of life for a change!
  • Jan 24 2012: Happiness is a peace of your mind^^
    In 2011, I got married and my wife was with pregnancy.
    There were lots of affairs and events... for my loving people.
    It is likely to be happy.
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    Jan 20 2012: Going to the land of happiness, Bhutan, made me happy to know such a place exists!
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    Jan 19 2012: with my hard work ,i got a real work which i love.
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    Jan 18 2012: It made me happy that I learned how to follow my heart because it was the only real map leading to the treasure of happiness. It made me happy I turned down the voices of whiny people so they wouldn't be able to suck my energy out. It made me happy that I found the happiness in little things like being in the sunlight, having a cup of tea, reading my favorite novels written by the most amazing authors, riding a bike and just doing what I like to do. It made me happy that I was surrounded with people I loved the most, who respected my thoughts and made me feel the most amazing things.
    Everything turns out great when you give your heart & mind what they deserve. Just stop doing what you don't like, so there can fall a point where you finally find happiness.
  • Jan 18 2012: I'm happy that I decided to work on my physical health and take up running. I feel a lot better than I used to, and I feel like I'm actually doing something useful with my free time. I'm also happy that my family and friends are in good health.
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    Jan 18 2012: Great job Jonathan!

    We all need each other my brother. There is nothing to be more thankful for than to be living and to connect with others. Possessions are nice, but the greatest gifts are life and love and those are two things we can possess simultaneously each and every waking moment.

    I am happy and grateful for all the blessings bestowed upon me which keep me and my family healthy and secure, the new friends I have made and all the experiences I have shared with loved ones.

    I am happy that the global consciousness is moving out of the shadows and awakening to the light. I am happy to have helped others and serve society.
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      Jan 19 2012: Wonderful words Lance,
      I am glad you have found the key to happiness. Some days it is harder to find but if you dig deep enough there is usually good that comes from everything that happens to you. I have realized over time that some of my worst tragedies in life have offered the best road map to life. Look for the silver lining, it is always there.

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    Jan 18 2012: I'm looking forward to watch the video (it's banned in our university).
    But for 2011, I'm happy to meet two new people who had a lot of impact in my life. The first is a colleague who had some interesting (and opposing) views about our profession. I think I needed that jolt to help me see the other side of the story.
    The other one is a new friend who unintentionally taught me a lesson about friendships, relationships and faith. I am a work in progress, but I am learning.
  • Jan 17 2012: I am happy that each day enables me to have spent one more moment with those that i love and care about. i am happy that each challenge has opened my eyes that what i view as a challenge doesn't come close to what other battle on a daily basis.

    i am fortunate to realize that i am just happy and grateful. i strive to be the smile, the positive word in someone's struggle or grief. and when a smile or positive word won't help just listening or simply being there might be the shred of comfort they need, knowing that i care enough to do nothing but just "be" while they figure it out.
  • lin yun

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    Jan 17 2012: What a shame i can't watch the video as "youtube"is not approachable in my country.
    This past year i got an internship which helped me a lot with my course and i also made several friends.
    Another thing is i passed 2 exams which is not easy .How lucky i am!! ~~~
    • Jan 17 2012: You must be in China, I think. And actually me too.
      I also passed a few exams this year, But what make me feel happy is that i have successfully managed two activities in my school. you know, As a STUDENT in china, it's hard for you to balance both study and work, especially in high school.
  • Jan 16 2012: I am happy about what I have tried my best to improve my intellectural ability, I am satisfied that I did not waste my previous time.
  • Jan 16 2012: i'm happy about having a job i enjoy everyday and a family. i'm happy about coming home after a tough day and be able to relax with the people i love.
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    Jan 15 2012: That I was able to fulfill some dreams of mine. :)
  • Jan 12 2012: being independence in my feelings and can take more chances for choice!