To Feel Happiness, Set Your Heart on Doing Good #1000Speak

Today is International Day of Happiness (Happy International Happiness Day everyone!)

It’s also #1000Speak Day for March.  The theme this month is happiness.

I have a much better understanding of “happiness” now than I ever have.  In part, I think, because I’ve experienced unhappiness in my life.  And it’s easier to understand what something is when you’ve felt its absence.  Or its opposite.

I don’t believe that happiness, my happiness, is “caused” by anyone else.  I am at the point where I have taken responsibility for my own happiness.  I have come to some acceptance of myself and my situation – and I have decided that I want to be happy.  That I will be happy.  That whatever life throws at me – happiness is a state of mind – it is mine if I choose it.

It’s easier to show compassion when you are happy.  When you’re feeling content, you’re more open to humanity.  But, conversely, when you are unhappy is when you really need to have compassion for others.   If you are unhappy and you want to achieve happiness, you need to have compassion, not only for yourself, but for others.  And perhaps that a starting point.  Perhaps if you are unhappy, you cannot feel intrinsically good about yourself, and cannot treat yourself with compassion.  But perhaps the first step is to feel compassion and show compassion for others – and in doing so, open yourself up to feeling compassion for yourself.  Buddha says “Set your heart on doing good.  Do it over and over again and you will feel joy.”

[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@livebysurprise”]”Set your heart on doing good.  Do it over and over again and you will feel joy.” Buddha [/tweetthis]

I think about people in my own life who I believe are unhappy.  Because of that unhappiness, they feel the need to make others unhappy.  They believe that making others feel unhappy will make them feel good.  I feel compassion for people who go through life with this mindset.  Even the Goblin King.  (Not enough compassion to stop calling him the Goblin King…but I digress).  I wonder if he were able to feel and understand compassion if he would be able to feel some for himself.  I wonder if he were able to show compassion for others if it would plant a seed in his own heart.  

He is the father of my children.  Despite the unhappiness he tries to project on me – I wish him nothing but happiness.  I wish he were able to get past our divorce.  I wish he were able to have a constructive relationship both with his children and with me.  And I believe that his own compassion is the key to that happiness.

Sadly, I think he lacks the insight into his own character and the understanding of the intrinsic value of happiness to come to this conclusion – which likely means he will continue to be unhappy.  That’s unfortunate, but there is nothing I can do to change it. He has to make that choice for himself.

I do hope that the next time you’re feeling unhappy, you think of me.  That you choose to be happy.  And in choosing to do so, you start to try to help others to be happy. That compassion can raise your own spirit and will be for the collective benefit of humanity.  Because that’s what the #1000Speak movement is all about.

And, because it’s still one of my favorites, I’m going to leave you with “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.  I hope that you’re celebrating this day of happy with someone that you love.

(If the video isn’t opening, link here.)

To read more about #1000Speak:

Image credit: / arztsamui

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  1. What a great post! I think back to my teen years and the times when I allowed other people and their opinions to define, and on an emotional level, destroy me. Happiness is absolutely an individual responsibility. And that means we have to cultivate our own and stop taking credit or blame for other people’s happiness, or unhappiness, too. There’s so much freedom in that!

  2. Yes, people do so often think that they will feel less unhappy if they make others unhappy too. But I agree with you – that’s not how it works, spreading happiness and compassion is much more effective.

  3. We are the ones who can make the choice Liv, you’re right. Happiness is up to us. We can share it, even when we don’t feel like it.
    It’s strange cause my ex husband is like yours. I wish him to find his peace and happiness. But he’s definitely not willing to take the chance. His choice, not mine.

  4. I so enjoyed watching the video – I LOVE that song! Yes, happiness is up to us- no one else. We are the masters of our emotions and that’s very powerful which is important as it’s just about the only thing we have control over.

  5. I love that song, it’s got a good feel to it.

    But *is* happiness a mindset? I’m not sure. Then again I could still be falling into the mindset of equating happiness with feeling good, when the two are quite different.

    I know when I’m UNhappy it often inspires me to be more compassionate or to reach out or to try to improve someone else’s day than when I’m happy (feeling good) and content and complacent.

    Glad you’ve got to a place where you wish your ex all the best. I know it’s different circs but I’m there too, and it’s rather a relief.

    1. Author

      I think that if you keep deciding to be happy, you can’t help but be happy – and make choices that will bring you there. No matter what the circumstances.

      And yes. It is a relief.

      1. Maybe. I think that choices are sometimes a luxury of the rich and people who are networked enough.

  6. YES. We are truly responsible for our own happiness. We can’t let other’s unhappiness keep us from finding our own peace and joy- as hard as this is sometimes. I love your story and your message, my friend. WELL SAID!

  7. I choose to be happy, every day. It’s cliché, but I wake up grateful and happy to be alive, to have another chance to get things right.

    1. Author

      They do – and resentment breeds contempt. I wish there were a way to change it. Thanks Lisa.

  8. What a great song. I definitely celebrated today with people I love – including Lindsay and Parker. That was a big deal!

  9. It’s such a shame when unhappy people try to ‘spread’ their feelings to others, in the hope that they too are unhappy. Such a shame that they’re in too deep with their wallowing to realise that they’re not helping themselves! #SundayBlogShare

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