5th year of World Happiness Day.
They call it a movement and anyone can join and receive a Happiness Guidebook, Happiness Pack for Kids and World Happiness Report.
The Action for Happiness pledge says
“I WILL TRY TO CREATE MORE HAPPINESS IN THE WORLD AROUND ME”
The Day of Happiness website says the following –
What really makes us Happy?
Advertisers tell us that happiness comes from buying their products.
Celebrities and the media pretend it comes with beauty and fame.
Politicians claim that nothing matters more than growing the economy.
We then get a list of ten keys based on a review of the latest research from psychology and related fields. (1)
Is this the answer?
Is this book the recipe for a happy life?
Is this book going to work for all of us?
Is this book going to create more happiness in our world?
Are those who make the colourfull website very happy?
Are those who write the happy stuff happy happy?
Does science have the answers to happiness?
Do we as individuals have a happy-ometer in life?
In other words, a scale that says happy on one end and unhappy on the other.
WHY are our kids unhappy?
WHY do we have statistics confirming this?
‘The strongest factor predicting a happy adult life is not children’s qualifications but their emotional health.’
Origins of Happiness: Evidence and Policy Implications, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) (3)
WHY are so many adults unhappy?
WHY are we trying so hard to get a happy life?
WHY does it seem like we are peddling backwards?
WHY is the happy goal in life just not cutting it for us?
WHY do we have different ideas, beliefs, images and pictures about what happy is?
WHY is being happy so hard these days to achieve?
WHY is the happy status so hard to hold onto?
Is anyone really happy in every area of life?
Can we be truly happy when we know what is going on in our world?
The evidence shows that the things that matter most for our happiness and for our misery are our social relationships and our mental and physical health…
In the past, the state has successfully taken on poverty, unemployment, education and physical health. But equally important now are domestic violence, alcoholism, depression and anxiety conditions, alienated youth, exam-mania and much else. These should become centre stage. (3)
People have become no happier in the last 50 years, despite average incomes more than doubling.
Tackling depression and anxiety would be four times as effective as tackling poverty… (4)
Lord Richard Layard, Researcher on Origins of Happiness: Evidence and Policy Implications, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Can we just stop and re-read this again?
We have evidence. Most of us need evidence before we take notice.
So here we have it – social relationships are the number one thing mentioned.
What is he telling us about our youth being ‘alienated’?
How serious is this when they will be our future adult generation?
Does this mean we as humans need to be around others?
Does this mean we all need connection in some way with other people?
Does this mean that this inter-connectedness affects our mental state?
Does this mean that there is a link between our relationships with society and our health?
What on earth is going on that domestic violence, alcoholism, depression and anxiety conditions are now in the equation?
Is this statement from a Lord going to make us pay attention?
Would it make any difference if the Queen told us we are no happier today?
Is this spelling out to us that money is not going to make us happier?
Is the million dollar question here worth at least considering?
“Tackling depression and anxiety would be four times as effective as tackling poverty.”
Would it be wise to just stop and ask WHY have we got so much depression and anxiety in our world today?
Does it have something to do with the way we are choosing to Live?
Could it be possible that a person with cancer is not interested in happy days?
Could it be possible that when we have depression happy is not on the radar?
Could it be possible that our asthma pump stops us feeling the happy-ometer?
Could it be possible that eating chocolate is not really a happy moment?
Could it be possible that our champagne lifestyle is not making us happy?
Could it be possible that our lemonade money bank account is making us unhappy?
Could it be possible that blaming others changes our happy mood?
Could it be possible that lying about our happy status makes us more miserable?
Could it be possible that our common cold hanging around is affecting our happy state?
Could it be possible that when we get sick we just can’t get happy about anything?
Could it be possible that our careless way of living makes us feel unhappy?
Could it be possible that sitting on the fence doing nothing makes us unhappy inside?
Could it be possible that when our priorities in life are upside down, we are not happy?
Could it be possible that when we forget something we are not a happy bunny?
Could it be possible that when we want a perfect life we seem to get more unhappy?
Could it be possible that no diet seems to make us happy if we are being honest?
Could it be possible that when we demand more from life, we become unhappy?
Could it be possible that when we get glued to the TV things are not happy happy?
Could it be possible that our social media Internet distractions are making us unhappy?
Could it be possible that what is missing is a real Recipe for Life?
Could it be possible that we need to start to Get Real and Get Honest?
Could it be possible that we need a Passport to Get Real for starters?
Could it be possible that we all need a Foundation in Life?
Could it be possible that we all need to make life Simple?
Could it be possible we all need to start asking Questions about this happy stuff?
Could it be possible our happy days change when we read real stuff about the true state of our world today like –
What is the meaning of Happy?
Our reliable Concise Oxford English dictionary says
Feeling or showing pleasure or contentment. (5)
Google tells us – delighted, pleased or glad, as over a particular thing. (6)
Dig a bit deeper and you find that the word Happy comes from the middle English word hap, meaning “good luck.”
Many of the early European words for happy actually referred to good luck, rather than a feeling of joy. On its own happy means an enjoyable or satisfied state of being.
When hyphenated, it can refer to an overwhelming inclination to do something.
Someone who is a clothes-happy person for example, is obsessed with taking trips to the shopping mall. (7)
What if happy is just a word that means something different for everyone?
What if happy is slippery and keeps moving the goal post?
In other words, we cannot sustain a constant state of happiness?
What if we move the goal post on the happy scale?
In other words, we get to achieve something and then it’s not it.
What if we have a picture, an image of a happy life?
In other words, we go after the picture and anything else leaves us un-happy.
What if we have a habit of comparing what happy is with what other people have?
In other words, we just keep seeing others as having more than us.
What if we think happy is all about what we can have – so it is all material stuff?
What if we have got it all wrong and happiness is never going to last in the long-term?
What if there is another way?
What if the early words for Happy meaning good luck confirms it is not constant?
What if the European words for happy were right when they say it is not a feeling of Joy?
What if JOY is a constant and can be possible but it is not from doing anything?
What if JOY is about who we are and not what we can do?
What if real JOY is about living a life knowing who we truly are?
What if JOY is not any ideals and ingrained beliefs we maybe holding?
What if we are so busy trying to get something from this world and it stops the real JOY?
What if we are always trying to make life something wonderful and miss the JOY?
Have we as a society given up on the real value of life and so we seek something on the outside, that brings us a relief of momentary ‘happiness’ but it cannot be lived everyday, so it is not consistent?
Could it be possible we then go up and down on our ‘happy–ometer’ and our mood depends on where we are on that scale?
Is this a true way to live and is this what we have put up with?
Finally, what was Winston Churchill saying to us back then when he said
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
The quote is on the Action for Happiness website, so maybe there is the clue that it is time to take action by what we give and not what we can get. (8)
(2) (2017, March 16). Schools Must Do More on Mental Health, Say School Reporters. BBC News. Retrieved March 18, 2017 from
(3) (2016, December 13). Relationships and Good Health the Key to Happiness, Not Income. London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Retrieved March 18, 2017 from
(4) Inman, P. (2016, December 12). Happiness Depends on Health and Friends, Not Money, Says New Study. The Guardian. Retrieved March 18, 2017 from
(5) Concise Oxford English Dictionary – Twelfth Edition. Oxford University Press. 2011
(6) Dictionary.com. Retrieved March 18, 2017 from
(7) Vocabulary.com. Retrieved March 18, 2017 from
(8) (n.d). Why Happiness. Action for Happiness. Retrieved March 18, 2017 from