TED Conversations

Lauren Prince

NBC News


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What is happiness?

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


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    Mar 2 2012: For me,it's a sign that i'm following the path i'm supposed to in life.Everytime i lose happiness (i mean as a general state of grace,we all have our ups and downs) it means that i do something wrong and i should change it.
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      Mar 4 2012: This is interesting. So it seems that you are attempting to navigate some type of highway of destiny , but, you have to make the right moves for this destiny to prevail. Hmmmmm so if there is a path you are supposed to follow .... like the real way to go... but you can get it wrong..... doesnt this set you up for a life of worry? One would expect so. But.... and this is where it gets freaky... I have experienced strange things in my life. I believe I developed the power of positivity to a real high in my thirties where I could believe something would happen and it just did! I took it that these coincidences where simply signs that I was on the right path in my life. Im still hoping at the age of 47 that natures idea and my idea of my destination are in sync. Happiness for me is related to the future self I have prescribed for myself, the futurre self I sooooo want to be my destiny. Im probably setting myself up for a suicide! lolzzz! Im already on anti depressants!
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        Mar 4 2012: Everytime i do little steps towards the goal i think i am supposed to achieve and yes,if i get it wrong my life will be miserable, i'll lost hope and i'll die spiritualy dead.Generally i don't believe in coincidences and luck at all,i believe that everything happens for a bigger reason.As for your experience,i think you attracted those 'coincidences' with your positivity-your energy in simple words!As for Happiness i do not endorse the future self idea in the way that i believe the destiny is already there,we just have to find the means to get there (that's Free Will in my opinion).So, a scenario trying hard to reach my future self (a self that i would think would be me,i wouldn't know for sure anyway) would possibly stop me from living every day and every moment of my life at full.
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        Mar 4 2012: Dear Basil,
        I sincerely hope you are not setting yourself up for an adverse action/reaction in the future!

        I agree with Manos, that living every day...every moment is where I experience happiness/contentment.

        I do not agree that "if I get it wrong my life will be miserable". I think that's where we set ourselves up for disappointment/discontent/unhappiness. We may have a wonderful plan for the future, and if it doesn't go as planned, what do we have left?

        Happiness/contentment is an underlying feeling we can have in our heart and mind always...regardles of the twists and turns of the life experience. I believe that life is about learning, growing and evolving as a human being, so whatever is happening in my life (cancer, near fatal head/brain injury, etc.) I am happily, contentedly willing to open my heart and mind to whatever I am learning in the moment:>)
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      Mar 5 2012: Dear Manos,

      what a wonderful idea to use happiness (as it truly is) as a measure of moving in the right direction. if you are doing what you love, you are happy, if you are not happy then you are doing what you don't like to do inside. there is no such thing as destiny. future is not written. we are the ones building it every passing second.

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