1) Happiness in
Family and Friends
The very first place where
happiness dwells is right in our own homes. We find happiness just
by being with our family – our parents, spouse, children and
grandchildren. In fact, they're our source of
strength and inspiration. Having a harmonious home life gives us
happiness – one that we truly cherish and
True friends are also a source of
happiness. The support we get from them goes a long way in helping
us to get by in times of troubles. Somehow, friends make our life
Happiness in Wealth
A lot of people associate
wealth with happiness. Almost everywhere in the world, people are
preoccupied in the acquisition of wealth. They look upon wealth as
the main source of happiness. To
some, wealth and happiness are synonymous.
Not that we should
despise the rich and the famous or discourage others from aspiring
to be so. There is nothing wrong with dreaming of becoming rich just
as long as we acknowledge that
wealth has limitations. Furthermore, our priorities must be clear
from the very start. Clearly, we must know what should rank first in
order of priorities lest we spend our days in this world
meaninglessly and without hope. The
pursuit of material riches should not be on top of our priority
How many times have we heard of people with millions
of dollars but are willing to give it away just to have peace
of mind? They live in a state of fear, that is, fear of losing their
wealth through robbery or theft.
They also fear for their life and the lives of those they love.
These fears may even lead to sleepless nights, stress, tension,
mental anguish, heart attack and death.
accepting that happiness has nothing to do with the accumulation of
wealth is perhaps the most liberating realization we can ever come
3) Happiness in
Rank and Position
Can real happiness be
achieved through the attainment of high rank or position in
To many, the answer is "yes." For most people,
having a high-ranking position is synonymous to power. Such persons
would have the power to rule and lead. If they become "good
leaders," they would be able to lead
based on sound moral values and good work ethics. In return, they
would earn their people's trust, obedience, support, loyalty and
cooperation. Eventually, they would
find happiness and satisfaction doing their job.
person who is entrusted with authority and abuses it would
definitely be responsible for misuse of power. His position would
only be a source of misery, as he will be confronted with issues such as corruption and problems like
loss of public trust, public revolt, coups d'etat,
History can speak for itself. How many unwanted rulers,
kings, emperors, and presidents have been overthrown? A good example
is former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, who ruled
the country for 20 long years, but
his reign came to an unfortunate end. He was "thrown" out of his own
country by his own people and spent years thereafter in
Can earning the highest level of education such as
doctorate degrees give happiness? For people who derive happiness
from learning, knowledge is power. Some successful people have
attained high levels of
However, we hear about professional people who are
successful in their own fields and yet feel miserable and depressed
because they feel that something is missing in their life. We hear
of doctors being sued for
malpractice and negligence, of judges committing suicide, and of
many other sad stories that are hard to believe but are actually
happening to professional people. Does education really guarantee happiness?
5) Happiness in
Fame is also associated with happiness. In
sports and various careers, it is translated to victory, winning,
and attaining the status of a celebrity. Are famous men
and women happy?
Let's take the case of
sportsmen. They practically devote their whole lifetime practicing
to be the best at their chosen sport. However, sports can sometimes
be so stressful, especially when they are carried to the extreme. Imagine the kind of pressure
sportsmen have to go through to win over a game. To cope with high
expectations, they take prohibited drugs to have the stamina and
endurance required in their chosen
Consider the despair, embarrassment, shame, and
ridicule that they have to endure whenever they lose a game! So, let
us ask ourselves – can a life exposed to such pressures and
humiliation be a truly happy
The story of the famous football player, Diego
Maradona, is a very good example. For a time, his name was
everywhere — in media and on almost all advertisements.
Football earned him "wealth" and
"fame." But what caused his downfall? He used cocaine during an
Italian league match! Consequently, he was arrested.
focus our attention in the field of entertainment, specifically film
and stage actors, singers, dancers, etc. Is the world of
entertainment a source of true happiness?
It is surprising
how many people still equate happiness with fun. The truth is that
fun and happiness have little or nothing in common. Fun is
short-lived while happiness is a more lasting and meaningful emotion.
Going to a ball game, watching a movie
or television are fun activities that may help us relax. We "escape"
and temporarily forget our problems. After the movie or any fun
activities, reality sets in and we
confront the same problems. There are things that do not and could
not bring any real happiness to the person because their positive
effects last only as long as the fun lasts.
Let's analyze fun
and entertainment around us. It's a well-known fact that these
so-called celebrities have practically everything that "seems to
spell happiness" — wealth, glamour, fancy cars, expensive homes, etc. However, it's
also true that beneath all their fame are stories about
depression, alcoholism, drug addiction, children out of wedlock,
broken marriages, extra marital
affairs, etc. Elvis Presley, the undisputed King of Rock 'n
Roll, died of a drug overdose.
For many, the future is
bleak. The continuing escalation of prices, natural and man-made
calamities, terrorism, local and global strife, family problems,
poverty, criminality, famines and other crises do bring desperation and
What they believe as solutions to their
problems turned out to be abysmal frustrations. Sad to say, many
have become withdrawn and apathetic to their problems. Some have
become indifferent and unconcerned
about what could happen next because they have done everything in
their power to succeed, but to no avail.
Can we still find
happiness in such a depressing situation? Yes, it is still possible
to find happiness in such dire predicaments! What happens around us
is largely beyond our control, but the way we choose to react is within our control. In short, even
in the midst of difficulties in life, we can still make happiness
happen; that is, if we want and choose to make it happen. True
enough, life is what we make
it! Isn't this a wonderful discovery?
Second key to happiness:
Happiness is found within us. It depends on the choices that we