Friday, December 2, 2011

The Happy List

I recently came across this list. Apparently it is a list of qualities found in 'happy' people.
In no apparent order, happy people;

•Are in good health.
•Smile and laugh often and look others in the eyes when talking to them.
•Are assertive, not aggressive.
•Do not envy or criticize others, they have a positive attitude.
•Make other people happy and are loved.
•Have no addiction, they just do not need any.
•Like what they do (personally as well as professionally) and they like who they are.
•Are themselves and accept others the way they are.
•Are not selfish or self-centered.
•Problems do not seem to stick to them; they just deal with them.

I agree with MOST of these. This list has merit. The qualities I take issue with are;

•Are in good health


•Make other people happy

There are aspects of our health we have little control over. If our happiness is dependent upon our health, it's inevitable we are going to be unhappy, as it is inevitable we will experience sickness and injury throughout our life. It would also mean those with chronic illness will be chronically unhappy. I do accept that we have some control over our own health, and there is joy in knowing we are taking care or our body,and I certainly understand it's hard to find joy when in pain, but there are those who are happy in spite of their poor health. I am in no way saying this is a simple feat, just that happiness need not be dependent upon good health.

Secondly, I don't think making others happy should be a prerequisite for our own happiness. We have no control over the happiness of others. We could jump through all sorts of hoops in hopes of pleasing another, but ultimately they may choose to still be miserable. Perhaps it's the wording that needs changing. Rather than "makes others happy", it would be better to say "serves others", as regardless of the reaction, there is always joy in service.

All the other qualities on this list are qualities we choose to have or develop. We have complete control over whether we are assertive or
aggressive. We can decide to be critical or positive. If we don't like our job or what we do in life, we can change it. I guess after evaluating
this list, it would be safe to say that a great deal of our personal happiness is dependent upon ourselves.

After reading this,I couldn't help but think in terms of this list, where do I stand?

1 comment:

  1. I love your thinking Joanne, and agree with you-happiness is not dependent on good health nor is making others happy a pre-requisite but it is in serving others. Where do you stand?... right at the top of the totem pole:) Love Mum xxx