Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Happiness Project - What Makes You Happy?

My wise old pops used to say that a happy life was a successful life - the underlying moral being that a larger house, new car, big job etc doesn't in fact equate to success because having them doesn't really make you any happier in the long run. And happiness is really our ultimate goal in the acquiring of these things in the first place.  

I've been reading quite a lot about 'Happiness' in recent months and everything I read bears out this simple truth.

Studies done on Lottery winners shows that their 'happiness level' on learning of their win does a sharp incline, which then falls gradually back down to the level it was at 'pre-win'.  On a smaller level we've all been guilty of pitching our happiness at losing that extra stone, buying that expensive dress or going on that once in a life time holiday - but rarely achieving those things brings any lasting happiness.

So the question is What does make us happy?

And the answer is....well I don't actually know.

And that's the problem. As adults our view of happiness is so clouded from years of being told that 'things' make us happy that it's hard to see past that. Of course as parents if any of us are asked the question 'what makes you happy?' our first answer is 'our children' - but are we just giving the answer we're supposed to give by saying that? What about the people who have children but aren't happy?

So, my response to this conundrum is to bring it back to the kids. Yesterday I asked each of mine individually, without prompting, the question 'What makes you happy?'

Here are their responses:

So to sum up, their responses included nature, family and food, which to me sounds like a pretty perfect summation.

What I'd love you all to do now is do the same with your children. Go on, ask them right now what makes them happy and jot down the answers.

I've decided to run this as a Blog Hop so we can save all their wise words together. If you want to join in you can add your link with a thumbnail picture to the Blog Hop linky below.

And I defy any of you not to feel just a little bit happier looking at all the lovely answers :)

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