Monday, February 28, 2011

How to Measure Happiness

What exactly is happiness?  As a young mother, my happiness was based on the happiness of my children.   I remember asking them when they returned home from school if they had had a good day and then try to gauge by their responses, their level of happiness????  Sometimes I would even point blank ask them, "Are you happy??"

As I grow older, I realize that happiness has many meanings and their are many, many different aspects of happiness as well as many levels of happiness.  I have met individuals who think that money can bring you happiness, some say it is a career, while others are dead set on the fact that true happiness can be found with a big house over looking the 19th hole of a premier golf course. 

Currently, one of the things that makes me the most happy are my grandchildren.  Those six little people can bring me the utmost of happiness with a smile, a telephone call, a picture they have drawn, and leading the board is a hug with I love you whispered in my ear.  Watching them in a sporting event, getting out of the car and running to you,  or just swinging them in the back yard is heaven to me.  Happiness doesn't have to come in the way of a "big event", those little moments can truly be the best!

I was reading an article in the February 2011 Readers Digest, that gave me another way to measure happiness.   The writer said that when thinking about happiness don't set your bar too high, don't worry about the level of individual prominence you have achieved; worry about the individuals you have helped become better people.  And finally, think about the metric by which your life will be judged, and make a resolution to live every day so that in the end, your life will be judged a success.  If we consider this approach, in the end I think we will all find happiness.