As I’ve mentioned in my previous posts, I’m a big fan of inspirational quotes. I’m your average Pinterest-crawling, Facebook-stalking, Internet-searching soul, looking for inspiration through happy, go-get-em’ quotes and sayings. If I find something that really strikes a chord with me, I save it to my desktop or phone to look at later or pass along.
For some reason this week, the term “Happy is as Happy Does” kept coming to my mind. Of course, it had to fight it’s way through, past all the other mumbo-jumbo, and I don’t know why it came to me, (no, I hadn’t just watched Forrest Gump) but regardless it sent me crawling through the social networks looking for happy quotes, and made me start thinking about what makes people happy, and how those people that you see with a smile on their face all the time maintain that state of mind. Happy is as Happy does…but is that really the case? And if it is, how do you “do” happy? Well, let’s look at some quotes:
1. “People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.” This is attributed to Abraham Lincoln. Frankly, I have to disagree with Abe on this one. I’m all about positive thinking and I do believe in the willful mind, but I don’t believe you can will yourself to be happy. But, no need to stop there…let’s go on.
2. “Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” Well, this seems pretty sound to me, and who am I to disagree with Dalai Lama? But, seriously…I do firmly believe that your own actions dictate a great deal towards how your life is treating you. And, I’m not talking about Karma here (that’s just too deep to tackle). I’m strictly referring to day-to-day actions, as in the decisions we make regarding how we choose to treat others.
3. “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.” Ernest Hemingway said this. OK, we all know he was obviously very intelligent, but also obviously not very happy. Still doesn’t make me want to lose any brain cells, although…I’ve always heard “ignorance is bliss.” Hmmm…food for thought.
4. “Don’t worry…be happy.” Okay, so a lot of people attribute this saying to Bob Marley, and understandably so (’nuff said..), but it actually came from Meher Baba, an Indian mystic and a very spiritual being who coincidentally (I think not) maintained silence, communicating only through gestures, for over 40 years. Perhaps this goes along with the saying, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” and takes us back again to how our actions affect others, but, who knows what the ancient mystic said with hand gestures…
5. “Happiness is a warm puppy.” Well, this came from the lips of Charles Schulz, who created the Peanuts comic strip. I love a puppy as much as the next gal, but…can you say marketing?
6. “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” Marcel Proust. Well, this is just really nice. I am grateful to the people who make me happy and as a plus, I love flowers…
7. “Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.” Mark Twain said this, and I can totally identify. So, does this lead to being “insanely happy?”
8. “Happiness depends upon ourselves.” Aristotle said this, and I think it’s a grand statement. It’s wonderful to strive to make others happy, but in the end, our own happiness is ultimately our own responsibility.
9. “One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory.” Rita Mae Brown. I’m relating to this more and more all the time.
10. “Maybe the truth is, there’s a little bit of loser in all of us. Being happy isn’t having everything in your life be perfect. Maybe it’s about stringing together all the little things.” Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. And, I have to say, I love this quote. Who among us doesn’t have some extra string laying around?
There are literally thousands of quotes, just like these, scattered in books and across the web. In all, they are remarkable and spark our eagerness for morsels of enlightenment. But, we own our happiness. It’s how we use it that matters. Still, here’s one more for good measure.
“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” ~ Denis Waitley