It can seem like such an elusive concept.

It flits through your life like a drunken butterfly, that try as you might.... you just cannot capture.

Take a deep breath.... because you are about to receive the key to the kingdom of happiness. And once you have it, you'll realize you don't have to clench it tightly in your hand to keep it, or camper after the butterfly anymore.

Happiness will seek you out, land gently on your shoulder, and stay there for the rest of your atural born days.

And here's the really wondrous thing about the transforming power of lasting happiness....

* It's not about living cautiously.... it's about living passionately.

* It's not about getting.... it's about giving.

* It's not about you.... it's about them.

* It's not about having financial backing.... but you must make an investment.

* It's not about being rich.... but it can make you wealthy beyond measure.

So tell me now... What is your key to happiness?

Views: 42

Comment by AtypicalAtheist on March 12, 2009 at 11:21pm
Living passionately? What does passionately mean? Does it mean doing what you want and disregarding fear? Sure. But of course fear isn't good but caution is. Rational cautiousness will prevent disasters.

If happiness isn't about getting but about giving, then happiness would have to be some inherent thing in us all that comes out when we give to others. Unfortunately it's not that easy, as a lot of people aren't prone to being happy when they give but only when they get since they are attached to getting things and material things. Perhaps changing themselves to be more prone to be happy when giving is more suitable, and it is more desirable for the world in general but doesn't it add on another step to happiness? If it's just about happiness then some people will be happy slaughtering and torturing people, few, but some. Not all of us are, as things are, happy with simply giving. I think I can be happy giving though.

It's not about you, but about them? Who are you and who are they? Perhaps this idea of happiness being more about focusing on others opposed to oneself and doing for others opposed to oneself works for some, but not all. I also want to point out that focusing always on others can be such a chore that you are so busy working that you simply don't have time to be sad, and thus feel little anyway. This isn't really true happiness, simply distraction. I believe that it is pointless to make distinctions between you and I and the world, since we're all the same in general. We're just matter. We think differently but our thoughts are created by the same things and made up of the same things. It's all one. So in an essence, focusing on this reality can induce happiness, or at least prevent sadness as well.

It's not about having financial backing but about making an investment. I am not sure what this means. I'm guessing that it goes back to the idea of putting into things opposed to taking out of them. JFK's "Ask not...." You know. Does it work for happiness? Sometimes, I suppose. But if the mind is thought of as some growing thing as well as the body then I would imagine that adding to it also helps. So taking from the world around and adding it to the body or consciousness is also necessary for happiness in some ways. No man is an island, and we all require things from outside of us. Food, light, input, etc.

My key to happiness? I don't know and if I do know, I can't figure it out now. Happiness for me comes and it goes.
Comment by MightyMateo on March 13, 2009 at 3:09am
For me happiness comes with satisfaction. No one can be happy all of the time, if someone tells you they are ask them what they are smoking or what they are selling (Religion?) Let me explain, I think that once you reach a certain point in your development, both personally and socially, you are able to take a step back and look at yourself and your life and be deeply satisfied either with where you are or where you are going. Once you reach this point you will be happy more often, little things will cease to upset you like they may have before. I have reached this point in my life and I did it by constantly critiquing myself. Every emotion I had that I didnt understand I wanted to know why I was feeling it, so I set out to get that information. I went about understanding better how the mind works and why certain emotions surface in different situations. I guess it boils down to deep introspective thought, it has always been a goal of mine to be what I believed was a good man. Like they say, practice makes perfect, I intentionally put myself in new and awkward situations, alien territory, I cultured and tempered myself through experience. Social interactions with other people is the best way to learn about yourself. I took all of the information I gathered through the years and began to put it together in a meaningful manner, an outline of who I was and how I wanted to be. I am still tweaking things, self improvement is a never ending process and I believe it is important for cultural development to strive to improve yourself and the environment you exist in. I can honestly look at the man I am today and where I am at this point in my life and feel deeply satisfied, that makes me happy and I feel at peace. Life is a bumpy ride but it is well worth it, try to learn as much as possible and apply your knowledge, share it with others, make things better. The purpose of life, for me, is to do what I can while I am here to try to make this world a better place for future generation, everyone should do their part. Sometimes we slip out of that spot where we find satisfaction, we hit a bump, the trick is to try to stay in that satisfaction zone. Easier said than done sometimes but if you are able, through self improvement, to strip away the things (habbits, influences, certain people...etc) that knock you out of that zone it becomes a hell of a lot easier. Its all a balancing act but it sure is fun ;)
Comment by Rev. Tom Hicks, D.D. on March 13, 2009 at 3:46am
My children. Everythin' you mentioned involves 'em. My happiness revolves 'round 'em because I wasn't happy until they came into my life. And they are quite the investment.
Comment by MightyMateo on March 13, 2009 at 4:08am
Awesome Pops :)
Comment by Pam on March 13, 2009 at 7:36am
The key to happiness is asking questions. Questions like, how does a butterfly become drunk?
Comment by Rev. Tom Hicks, D.D. on March 13, 2009 at 7:56am
Questionin' everythin' is a good concept, but to use questions as answers is not very productive in all scenarios. I run into this problem a lot here on Think Atheist. Someone ask a simple question only to be questioned back. Has anyone ever thought, "Maybe I'll answer the question as to how I see it", instead of, "How does a butterfly become drunk?". Well, the butterfly would have to consume alcohol. How it did so is rather irrelevant to the discussion.

If all we do here is question questions then no real answer will be the result. How 'bout just answerin' to the best of our abilities? Or maybe that is the problem, the Christians use the same tactic to avoid answerin' questions & we are of the same wave length. I love questions but not the continuous rape of 'em.
Comment by Pam on March 13, 2009 at 9:23am
I was just joking around about that, but props for thinking so seriously about my comment.
Comment by CJoe on March 13, 2009 at 11:02am
I like your answer, MightyMateo! I don't know why people are so ultra-focused on "happiness" anyway. I mean, from what I understand, people think of happiness as a general state of glee or joy. Yeah, I like feeling that way, but... I'm more concerned with calm satisfaction. There's no simple formula for it, either. It's taken me 26 years to finally be at ease with who I am, although I'm always trying to improve. "Learning" is my key to calm satisfaction :)... fortunately for me, I'll never know everything so I'm generally happy all the time because I'm always finding out new stuff.
Comment by Rev. Tom Hicks, D.D. on March 13, 2009 at 11:12am
Honestly, I'd like to be in a coma or dead. Then I'll be truly happy... at least after the kids are grown & managin' life on their own.
Comment by MightyMateo on March 13, 2009 at 11:32am
Yeah Cara its the same for me, I love finding new information. There is sooo much knowledge out there at our fingertips at this day in age, theres really no excuse, in this country anyways, for being completely ignorant of the big issues. I also find that the people I come across who seem to be the most miserable or confused, or both, are usually in that state simply because they dont know. They dont know why they feel a certain way, they dont know why they continue to do the things they do, they dont know why others feel the way they do about them....etc. The information is out there to help people understand these things and I'm not talking about self help books either. Yeah its hard and sometimes its boring but it is well worth it to seek information in able to better understand yourself and the world around you ;)


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