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Old 01-07-2017, 06:42 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewbieHere View Post
I think you are born with a general happiness level regardless. I think it's even inherit trait. My mom was a handicap and sick a lot but generally a happy person and like to crack jones, tell funny stories. I'm the same, though not as sick. My youngest child inherits this happy gene.
That's pretty much it. Happiness is inherited. It has nothing to do with wealth.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6Sxv-sUYtM
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Old 01-07-2017, 07:04 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemencia53 View Post
The unhappy people I know should be happy, but they have some mental or chemical imbalance that doesn't make it possible.


Exactly! There are plenty of people who we would imagine should be happy; Robin Williams comes to mind but when you suffer with depression or any other mental health issue happiness can be fleeting.
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Old 01-07-2017, 07:17 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,978,143 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb2008 View Post
jghorton



I wonder about that contentment. If you son has lost his job, or broken up with his girlfriend and depressed, or your friend is dying, in those circumstances where does one "draw" that contentment out of? One can say, I suppose, well at least he is not dead, at least I can bring my friend food, and in that way settle for what you CAN get. Is that contentment?.

I also find memories of past suffering at a younger age, in an abusive situation or a loveless relationship, or getting fired unfairly, refused service, they can be painful to endure even by only remembering them. One can always think, so I am retired and happy now so who cares about the horrible boss, and feel happy for NOW. But those feelings never go away. I think of those who were sexually abused as children, that trauma lasts for ever. How do you find contentment even if you have everything you would want to day, money, house, kids, happy marriage.

Perhaps the secret to happiness is not contentment but not desiring in the first place so there is no disappointment?
I believe what jghorton means by contentment is centeredness, being inwardly whole, so that what we are experiencing, whether misfortune of our own or of those we love, does not knock us off our spiritual base. Religions, including Buddhism (be One with Christ, be One with the Buddha) teach this. Desire is an illusion but what makes us human. It's attachment to desire that can make us unhappy.
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Old 01-07-2017, 07:27 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,978,143 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by animalcrazy View Post
One can't be happy all the time can they? Sometimes life throws you curve balls that derail any happy moments. Like when John got his promotion one week and the next a friend blows his brains out. What are you supposed to do with that? Or how about a milestone birthday on the horizon and your best friend thinks a work Christmas party is more important? Oh yeah and a road trip to Florida so that she won't even be around on the actual day. Never mind that you made every single birthday for her special, got uninvited to go on a fishing trip by her husband that you looked forward to for months, yet still stayed behind to do a week long rehab for free on their living room at their new house. Oh yeah what about those two early morning visits to the hospital, oh wait, three. What about the limo and hundreds of dollars spent on making their tenth anniversary special. You ask for one day and the answer is no? Really? I'm desperately unhappy about kicking her friendship to the curb right now. This is what life is. Will I be happy again? Of course, but for now I'm terribly unhappy and very hurt. This is just a temporary glitch in the system. This too shall pass, just like those extreme moments of joy. Is happiness a choice? I say no. It's a fleeting gift sometimes.
Detach.

That does not have to mean not caring about others' misfortunes.
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Old 01-07-2017, 07:32 AM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
6,616 posts, read 10,677,850 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb2008 View Post
I don't know if this should be in the Psych forum but I would like to post this here because I think age gives us a certain perspective that is more interesting to me. We have more to look back on as well as years yet to live which is informed by our experience in the past.

I think we can all agree happiness is fleeting.

But do we make a conscious choice to be happy, think happy thoughts?

What do you think?
Yes, I think we agree that happiness is a fleeting, random emotion like many others, that advertisers can buy and sell, for example.

I would say we can make a conscious choice to manage happiness and other random emotions, just like we manage our finances or food choices.

Certainly more difficult is a conscious choice to actually be happy because, based on the above, that would be a contradiction in terms, or actually no meaningful term at all, so I would call it something else.

In my view, human success can be measured by what we actually do and build together, like grow, harvest and distribute food, build shelter, transportation and other amenities, give birth to and nurture children, develop and deliver other concrete services.

But the moment we achieve those things and start talking randomly about such trivialities as, say, this fleeting happiness, is when a whole host of trouble begins, like exposure of psychological defects and stupid bickering, whining and complaining, which all humans are wont to do.

In contrast, there is long-term joy and satisfaction in achieving long-term results, working hard and quietly.

Good Luck!
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Old 01-07-2017, 07:43 AM
 
Location: The Carolinas
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Choose your attitude, baby!
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:15 AM
 
3,126 posts, read 1,724,698 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GiGi603 View Post
Yes, I think it is a choice. I think people have a choice how they look at the world. I have a co worker that is in the habit of saying, "I hate people". My response to her always is, "There are more good people in the world than bad people. Change your focus".

I know a couple of people at work that are "Eeyore" people. I think people get into a habit of seeing the ugly parts of life instead of focusing on the good things that are happening.
You are right that attitude is a major part of how we see the world. And anger only clouds the picture, preventing us from seeing clearly our own contribution to the mix.
And yes, there are people who cannot admit to the good things happening to them, as though to do so would jinx them! The also make other people miserable.
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:21 AM
 
Location: SoCal
13,229 posts, read 6,331,374 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb2008 View Post
You are right that attitude is a major part of how we see the world. And anger only clouds the picture, preventing us from seeing clearly our own contribution to the mix.
And yes, there are people who cannot admit to the good things happening to them, as though to do so would jinx them! The also make other people miserable.
Maybe you should read your own posts. There was a happy thread started by TurboP and you managed to torpedo with political comments. Maybe what you've preached is not what you practiced.
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:34 AM
 
3,126 posts, read 1,724,698 times
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So many great responses. After posting here I realized there are several threads on happiness, and some great thoughts. I am glad I posted here because I believe there is some wisdom in aging. I hope!

Quote:
Choose your attitude, baby!
Absolutely. I think if we go to religion/philosophy for answers many of them say the same thing, in almost the same way.

Quote:
I believe what jghorton means by contentment is centeredness, being inwardly whole, so that what we are experiencing, whether misfortune of our own or of those we love, does not knock us off our spiritual base. Religions, including Buddhism (be One with Christ, be One with the Buddha) teach this. Desire is an illusion but what makes us human. It's attachment to desire that can make us unhappy.
Advaita, the Indian philosophical thought, says much the same. But it also says bliss, joy, ananda is our natural state of being. I think of it as very much what you call centerdness, of being whole. Things are neither bad or good, but the attitude we bring to it that makes it so. It also says desire and anger rob us of joy, and as you say desire is what makes us act.

The attachment to desire is the tricky part. We seek happiness, we desire it. But really it is not happiness we seek but freedom from sorrow.

Quote:
In my view, human success can be measured by what we actually do and build together, like grow, harvest and distribute food, build shelter, transportation and other amenities, give birth to and nurture children, develop and deliver other concrete services.
True. Actions, particularly selfless or detached from the results, that spreads goodness is what ultimately lasts.
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:42 AM
 
6,316 posts, read 5,055,910 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewbieHere View Post
Maybe you should read your own posts. There was a happy thread started by TurboP and you managed to torpedo with political comments. Maybe what you've preached is not what you practiced.
Maybe she is trying to decide whether it is worth the effort to try to attempt to be happy?

Someone mentioned that it is in the genes. My mom was a happy person most of the time. She led a hard early life - Depression Era - but she always made it sound adventurous and fun. They lived all over traveling to work the fields. Then I hear stories from her cousins and its a different picture. My mom just had a better outlook on life and I hope I have inherited that. Now my female siblings - dang - give them a bagful of gold and they will complain about the weight. They suffer from anxiety issues, so I know they just can't turn it off at will.
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