Quotable Notables on Happiness, Part II

6 More Quotes from Notable Bloggers on Happiness

This is the second of three posts on happiness in this series of Quotable Notables. To see the first, just follow the link on over (Quotable Notables … Happiness) before continuing here.

Quotable Notables relies on blogger quotes (as opposed to authors, actors, politicians and other universally-quoted word-smiths) to introduce the subtopics within each post.

Inevitably though, there will be worthy bloggers whose blogs I never discover. Your recommendations (of your own or others’ quotables) will therefore be invaluable to me as I only have so much time to follow only so many links to only so many sites.

The blogosphere is crammed full of very wise thinkers with profound insight into, and helpful advice for, our shared pursuit of happiness. And as I’ve said elsewhere, since us bloggers like to use quotes from pithy thinkers, why not use quotes from those speaking to relevant topics in the most cutting-edge and accessible way – bloggers in the frontline trenches of current thought.

I invite you to read, ponder, digest and apply what you find here. It will make a difference to your happiness. And in that process, follow the links to some amazing sites whose authors and creators are engaged in producing some amazing work!

Quotable Notables

1. Lori Gosselin at Life, For Instance

“I want to be happy. It all boils down to that for me.”

Happiness is the great universal motivator.

  • We work hard to save money to have nice things, to provide for our family to be happy.
  • We learn to play guitar or write poetry to express ourselves creatively to be happy.
  • We travel and go to movies and hang out with friends to have fun and enjoy life to be happy.
  • We work out and eat healthy to live long and look and feel good to be happy.
  • We challenge ourselves to learn and grow and improve and develop to be happy.
  • We get into relationships to love and be loved, to feel the close bond of human interaction and intimacy to be happy.

As a matter of fact, consciously or subconsciously, productively or counterproductively, most of the things we do are to get at more happiness, sometimes by simply trying to dull or avoid pain or in an attempt to fill a void. The motive behind the behavior is nonetheless animated by the drive to be happy.

Perhaps then, the most fundamental key to happiness is to discover the principles upon which that goal is predicated. And then to consistently apply those principles until they become part of the DNA of our souls. That is the driving purpose of this series anyway … and of M2bH, for that matter.

2-3. Two from Henrik Edberg at The Positivity Blog

“You only have now. And now. And now. Yesterday is a memory and you cannot change it. Tomorrow is just a fantasy in your mind right now. So live more in the now, focus on the present moment and today. Think and worry less about yesterday and tomorrow. Otherwise you might miss a great deal of happiness that is available to you right now.”

If your happiness is forever tied to some future condition or event, to the ever-receding “then,” you will never ever arrive at it. You will never be happy because “then” will be eternally at least a step away from “now.”

“Now” is very literally the only way happiness can be experienced. And the more invested you are in that moment, in each and every “now,” and the more you fill those moments with joy and appreciation and wonder, the happier and more content you will be.

Certainly, the past is useful as a tool to learn from. And the future is important to plan for, which requires creatively jumping into an imagined “then” for that purpose.

But beware of overstaying your welcome there. Too many people spend way too much of their precious time daydreaming about a better future somewhere in the distant “then” that they never quite get around to spending enough time in the “now” to actually create the “then” they hoped to one day enjoy.

“One of the best ways to not find happiness is just to hold yourself back and do nothing. Seldom show up. Paralyze yourself through over analysis. It’s not always easy to take action, it can be scary and hard and difficult. But if you don’t take action you’ll be missing out on a lot. Including many moments, people and experiences that can bring you a lot of happiness.”

You’ve likely heard the saying, “If you continue doing what you’ve always done, you’ll continue getting what you’ve always got.” Einstein’s well-worn phrase is similar: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

To do nothing is to go nowhere. It is to vainly hope for outside circumstances to change while the internal thermostat reads: “Doing Nothing Different!”

Learning about happiness will do nothing to improve happiness if what is learned is never put into action. Principles of any sort must be applied to have effect. It’s no different for happiness.

4-5. Two from Marc at Marc and Angel Hack Life

“For the average person happiness is a choice, yet numerous people are unhappy.  There are many reasons, but it all boils down to one simple principle:  They choose something else over happiness.  Because it often takes less effort to be unhappy.”

Doing nothing, after all, is easier than doing something. Delay is easier than taking action. But happiness requires doing and acting. Happiness is therefore, in fact, more difficult than unhappiness.

But this should come as no surprise. Poverty is easier than wealth. Ill health is easier than good health. Immorality is easier than morality.  Intellectual laziness is easier than intellectual rigor.

And so it goes, the path of least resistance, while trodden hard by frequent use, is no enviable path. It is a path of self-defeat and self-destruction, of emotional stagnation and spiritual plateaus. And it is a path that is sadly and utterly predictable in the relative unhappiness it produces.

“There are plenty of ways to sabotage your personal happiness, dreams and desires.  Procrastination, however, is the number one killer.  Procrastinators self-destruct.  They hinder their own potential by placing colossal road-blocks along the path to happiness and success.  In other words, they subconsciously choose to fail.”

“Why do today what I can put off ‘til tomorrow?” is the motto of the procrastinator. But the tragedy is that one of those things procrastinated to some future day is happiness itself.

Procrastination is the act of delaying life, and therefore putting off joy and passion and meaning and purpose to another day, to a fuzzy “someday” floating out there in the near, but likely distant, future.

Delaying life is the act of postponing happiness and increasing stress and anxiety (2 happiness killers themselves), as assignments and responsibilities predictably bottleneck down the road. In this sense, unhappiness is truly an act of choice.

6. Gretchen Rubin at The Happiness Project

“One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy; One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.”

Are you a mom or a dad? Are you a husband or wife? Are you a friend or a neighbor?

If you answered yes to any one of those questions, I have a couple more for you. Do you then have a responsibility to reasonably do what you can do to promote the happiness of others? In other words, do you as a mother or father, for instance, have a moral duty to create an atmosphere at home that is most conducive to happiness for your kids?

I trust you would answer that yes, you do. Assuming that’s your answer, and assuming Gretchin is right (and I believe she is), then you, my friend, have a moral obligation to work on your own happiness.

Happy people make better parents. Happy people make better children. Happy people make better friends and neighbors. Our own experiences with happy and grumpy people testify to that fact.

And so I invite you to return here often to grow and develop and otherwise continue to work on your own happiness. Your children, spouse and neighbors will one day thank me for it! 😉

Afterthoughts

To more fully develop your understanding of happiness and how to get more of it, visit each of the posts in this series (when all is said and done, there will be three. See links below) for a more complete understanding of happiness as introduced by some amazing bloggers with some serious minds who spend hours and hours reading and thinking and writing for our benefit.

And once more I invite you to visit each featured blogger’s site as part of our shared passion to learn to better walk the path of happiness.

An Invitation to Bloggers and Readers

The next series of Quotable Notables will cover the topic, Overcoming Obstacles (setbacks, heartbreak, habits, trials, loss, etc.).

If you are a blogger who has written on such topics, and would like a quote or two considered, please send it/them my way, either quoting the relevant portion in full or sending a link to the specific post in the comments or by email (ken.m.wert@gmail.com). Please include a link to the post the quote comes from. And please be sure the quote is yours. Quotes can be anywhere between a few words and several sentences. I will edit for spelling and also, if necessary, for length by use of ellipses (…). No grammar or wording changes will be made.

Self-Promotion Welcome!

By the way, there is no shame in self-promotion here. We are, after all, in the business of promoting ideas that matter. So assuming you’re at least as passionate about the ideas you espouse as I am about mine, again, no reason to be shy about promoting them.

Besides, if you were hosting this feature on your sight, I would absolutely send over a quote or two (or more!) per series! Still, no promises as to if or when quotes will be used and published.

If you are a reader (with or without a blog of your own) and have a favorite quote or two from other bloggers relevant to the topic, please send me notice as well. I can’t be in all places at all times, so your help in shaping each series will be invaluable!

Now go and be happy!

But return real soon! I’ll be waiting. 🙂