Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Are we happy yet?

I came across an article that rated Switzerland as one of the happiest places to live. Article: Countries happiness factor

Slideshow of countries

After reading the article, the question comes up 'Can the external environment have an effect on happiness?'

Give me some warm sun, snow capped mountains, a large shady tree, soft grass, white clouds, blue skies, sandy beaches, with a small breeze and that would give me a little happiness. There is no doubt in my mind that being around nature lets you know you are alive. If you enjoy the outdoors and you need a polethera of things to do outside, then Switzerland is a prime choice because it provides ample opportunities for the enthusiasts. Last nite I had dinner with some friends and some conversations that caught my attention were 'I know these three hikes around here that are truely amazing' or 'Have you tried kite skiing?'. Ok...I must confess, hearing a girl mention kite skiing is a major turn on. There is an energy here that forces you into the outdoors, whether you like it or not. It's not an option, it's a necessity. If winter brings skiing, I'm interested to see what summer will bring.

Working for a non-profit organization with a goal of changing the world for the better, adds a sense of purpose. Helping refugees is not something I am experiencing first hand in the fields of Africa, but the energy of people on these missions have a genuine kindness and consideration. It intrigues me to talk to someone who is unselfishly wants to change the world for the better, while the topic of 'how much money' never seems to arise. Being from a capitalist society, as well as myself with a business background, it is different yet refreshing to experience. I realized you get the same feeling when doing volunteer work. Although my community service I did around town was court ordered, but you get my point. Definitely compassion creates happiness.

Quote from the Dalai Lama -(Art of Hapiness)
'If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.'

    Can't only be External!

Happiness is such a broad term and everyone's interpretation varies from person to person, that the external environment is only a small piece of the equation. Happiness is determined more by the state of one’s mind than by one’s external conditions, circumstances, or events—at least once one’s basic survival needs are met. Thus, the only source of happiness – and unhappiness – comes from inside yourself.

"Happiness is not something that comes to you or you can go to. It is something you create now, today. Waiting for something to change in order to be happy is waiting to live your life. It is not what happens to you that counts. It is how you react to what happens to you. It is your attitude. When you adopt a positive attitude, life becomes a rewarding adventure instead of something to get through."

The key to happiness is in our own hands. To create a life that is rich with color, you just need to learn to convey it. Find what makes you tick and go with it, then you can convey the canvas of your life elegantly. Life, truely is a piece of artwork full of vivid colors created by a brush of experiences.

Happiness is in the interpretation...

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
– Mahatma Gandhi

See the world map of happiness

1 comment:

David Pierce said...

I must admit spring in Arizona is a rather happy time here too!