Why is happiness important?

Dexter is perpetually grateful - Happiness is a human choice

“From the moment of birth every human being wants happiness and freedom and wants to avoid suffering. In this we are all the same; and the more we care for the happiness of others the greater our own sense of each other becomes.” – The Dalai Lama -Spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism

My mother the wonderful woman that she is, sent me the above quote earlier this week. And as I prepare to launch my new book – Five Thanks A Day it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. The pursuit of happiness is a human condition. If I look at Dexter…my dog - he acts perpetually happy (though he has never actually told me.)

During the research phase for the new book I read many articles about why happiness is so important I have come to the conclusion that we believe that happiness defines us. Happiness is a choice. A state of mind:

‘Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be’ Abraham Lincoln

‘If we are happy it has added knock on effects and benefits. These include us becoming more compassionate and feeling healthier both physically and emotionally. We become more creative, witty, energetic and fun to be around and it can also lead us to become more financially successful.’[1]

Over the last several millennium we have been culturally conditioned to prize these blessing and work very hard to maintain and enhance them.  The fact that as a world our happiness level is under 65 percent, however, suggests that our conventional strategies for achieving happiness are hardly effective.

‘Recent studies are revealing an important reason why happiness is so important to us all.  A growing body of research is demonstrating that as we become happier, we become better people.  As we become happier we become more compassionate, more creative, more energetic, more financially successful, more emotionally and physically healthy, etc.  Thus for those of us who are more concerned with creating a “better” world than a happier world, becoming much happier and helping others become much happier may prove a very effective means to this end.

We share our lives with loved ones like our spouse, parents, children, and friends.  Why is happiness so important?  What better gift can we give a loved one than to help them become happy, remain happy, or become happier?  What better gift than happiness could we receive from our loved ones?’[2]

Happiness goes hand in hand with well being… and one of the components of well being – is being truly present and ‘enjoying the moment’ – grateful for exactly what you do have, experience and share – rather than always looking for the next thing! In fact when we think of others, acknowledge the contribution people make to us – we feel happier. Please share a story about someone you would like to thank on my new ‘pet project web site.’ FiveThanksADay.0rg

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One Comment

  1. Ryan Hastie
    Posted August 22, 2012 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Thank you for writing this article Naomi, it’s the perfect thing to read starting the day

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