Happiness Your Way

Let The Pinky Delight of Happiness Spread  and Take Root in Our Minds....image by RejiK from flickr

One of the most sought after goals in life is to be happy.   Happiness means different things to different people.  In a recent study “The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness” published in Economic Policy (orange link is to a summary of the study), it was discovered that “although lives have improved for women in the last 35 years, women’s happiness has declined both absolutely and relative to men.”  The authors note that this shift in happiness is present in much of the industrialized world. So, I guess the question becomes why is it that we as women are less happy when on the surface, it appears that we have gained so much on so many levels in the last number of years?

Have you ever met a woman who was happy with her current state of affairs?  Many women live very hectic lives trying to juggle career and family.  Many of these women would say that they would love the option to stay home and spend more time with their family, put healthier meals on the table and take better care of themselves.  Conversely, many of us who had the opportunity to spend some time at home are looking for career or intellectual stimulation.

I think it comes down to truly defining what happiness means to you.  I recently came across a book by Sarah Brokaw.  Sarah is the daughter of NBC newscaster Tom Brokaw and is the author of the book Fortytude.  Although I haven’t read the book or many reviews of it, I did see a list of Sarah’s five values in a recent issue of Chatelaine magazine (click on the orange link to go to the article).   Sarah suggests that you use these values to explore who you are and what you could become.   They are as follows:



Being generous and forgiving (toward yourself and others), equanimity


Building a support network of friends, family, mentors


Knowing and appreciating what you’re capable of


Taking on new challenges outside your comfort zone


Crafting your approach to any belief system to help  you to find a sense of purpose and inner peace

Personally, I think happiness is about defining what core values are important to you and how you live your life in accordance with these values.

So, I leave you with two questions.  What would you consider your core values?  Do you think your happiness is related to how well you live your life according to these values?

Would love to hear from you…..



2 thoughts on “Happiness Your Way

  1. OK, I’ll take a crack at this. These core values seem to be general enough to work for many people. I would tweak them a bit for my own use: change the names of Grace to Kindness, and Adventure to Learning.
    I would like to find a more personal word for the value of Spirituality, but I’m stuck on that one. Perhaps that will come to me as I progress through my fiftytude.


  2. I like Sarah’s five core values and probably could be happy if I lived by them. Happiness is something I strive for but to tell you the truth I am more aware of the times when I feel unhappy then when I feel happy. Time to look at the glass half full!
    p.s. Gretchin Rubin’s Happiness Project is worth the read! She claims that the more happiness we create the more we have to share with others and ourselves. Thus we become more happy! And if you create more happiness you will have it available for those rainy days when you really need it. (my words not hers!)

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