In the pursuit of happiness…

Mar 4, 2008 by

My previous article –All you need to know to create your own happiness– has driven much traffic and readers. I’ve got a number of comments and thoughts that helps me reflect more on happiness. The list is truly far from complete… Here are some updated lessons on happiness that I have been collected from the comments, and some article that I found on the internet.

Alex Kay gives me a profound thought about not putting 10, but 7 or 9 as his scale of happiness. It is based on the explanation that he expected to learn more about happiness, a room for growth, to experience more happiness. I agreed with him that we all need to keep on learning to be happy, as all of us are actually in the pursuit of happiness.

Happiness and struggle

Another comment is coming, I have to censor it but basically the person is saying that all the enjoyment of having fun, drinking and having promiscuous sex are the ones that make him happy. Should we say that it is the kind of happiness that you need to pursue?

Michelle gives me some awakening thoughts, “learning to follow our heart doesn’t always bring happiness per say, but it will bring an authentic life, which is so valuable to our wellbeing and soul.”

Sol added in that it is the difference between joy and happiness. He said that, “Joy and pain can coexist. Joy is about being fully alive, fully present, and fully engaged. Joy is about doing what your soul calls you to do regardless of discomfort or fear.”

Here is another quote from an article on purpose … written by Albert at

What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task.

Victor Frankl

Happiness does not always come without struggle; happiness comes when you are striving for a worthwhile goal, despite of the discomforts. Drinking and sex without love is just giving you temporary solution, not the real solution to your problem. A book titled The Naked Soul by Tim Alan Gardner even illustrated that as a person who is dying of thirst but craving some salt. Instead of fulfilling your need of happiness, it will actually makes you thirstier and leaves you addicted to that.

Nickolove also shared her article in the comments on the dream journey of Shirley Cheng, a young woman who at the age of 25 (just about the same age as me), has authored/co-authored 28 books, yet she is blind and disabled.

Cheng could easily have become sad and bad, but good and happy is her path. These life ways were her ticket to the high road.
Kirkus Discoveries

Happiness is a choice, you can be happy with your life by making a choice to be happy. Similar to others, Shirley also struggles with her handicap and limitation, but she chooses to focus on her strength instead, following her call in her life to write and shares her story to touch many lives.

Life for her is like her best friend or family member, she hold on to the happy moment and does not let it pass by. For her life is a gift from God to her, something that she has been trusted with it, she choose to be happy despite of all her trial and tribulation, and now, look at how great the achievement she has made. Check the article here and listen the inspiring conversation between Nickolove and her.

Happiness and relationship

Another comment that makes me thinking, it is the question Jean Browman asked on my struggle on opening up to my friends. The question goes like this… “When does being open and honest with your roommates help and when does it make things worse?”

I was inspired by Johari Window to open up my need and my wants on the night I posted the article, with the hope that the time I’m opening up my need, the other person will open up their feeling as well. It is the hope that eventually we will have better understanding of each other, as the “I know, you know” window is enlarged.

It was a direct move I took earlier on, and it turned out to be conflict and confrontation, full of emotional outburst. Fortunately, we called on different gathering that night to discuss with cool head and emotion.

It turned out to be a great conversation that night; where we disclose much of hidden hurts, where the most are mine =) And this is what I learn on the process, it is not so much about having our needs met, it is more about communicating our need and understanding each other better.

Jean added on with some insights she has got from a book titled Difficult Conversations by Stone, Patton and Heen. It was called as “learning conversation”. Another book she mentioned is Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication. The great idea Jean shared from the book is the distinction between a request and a demand. She said, “It is not about how you say it as much as your reaction if the other person says no. If you get upset then it was really a demand.”

Similarly, what Jack M. Zufelt taught us on his book -The DNA of Success- is opening up our request, not our demand. From the process we will need to learn to have a balance, to give and take in relationship, and not being upset when our request is not met.

Happiness and balance

When being asked on the essence of life, Robin Sharma shared in his podcast titled Ambidextrous Leadership that it is BALANCE. Similar to relationship, we need balance in our life. One of the areas of balance we need to have is the balance between reaching the mountain top and enjoying the journey. Similar as him, I read many books and listen to many messages, some is saying we need to go for our dream, some is saying we need to enjoy the journey and the now.

Happiness is the art of how we can balance both of them, the struggle on pursuing our dream and goal, and the enjoyment of giving today as our best self, making it the happiest day in our life. Happiness without dream is a mere fun; happiness without enjoyment is a fake.

I have shared an article “Dream as if you will live forever!” Please check that article, I do think that it also described the balanced life, having a dream as if you will live forever and live your life as if you will die tomorrow. It is about having a dream without burden and deadline so that you can enjoy your life, but also living your life at your best daily, while not forgetting your dream, your family and friends.

Live life with courage and serenity, consider each day on the quality you spend the day, not on the number of activities you do. Below is a quote that has been shared by Leo on his article “Write Just One Thing Today, and Write It Well”…

The happiness of too many days is often destroyed by trying to accomplish too much in one day. We would do well to follow a common rule for our daily lives – Do Less and Do It Better.

Dale E. Turner

What you can do now is enjoying where you’re at in the process of where you’re going to be. Enjoy the day, enjoy the moment while you are pursuing your goal to be successful.

For your success,

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  1. Nice Article. Thanks for mentioning me as well!

    Michelle Vandepas’s last blog post..By: Michelle Vandepas

  2. Robert A.

    Hi Michelle, thanks a lot for your contribution in my last post as well. =)

  3. That’s great, I like how you compiled all of the comments from your awesome readers! Great post! =)

    Alex Shalman’s last blog post..Life Design Experiment

  4. Robert A.

    Hi Alex, thanks for your comment… =)

  5. Hi Robert,

    You might add another category – “Happiness and Expectations”. Carl Sandburg puts this thought elegantly in his poem “Happiness”. .“Happiness”

  6. Hmm. It looks as if my comment didn’t go through. So again, thanks for the link and the great post. I stumbled it.

    Jean Browman–Cheerful Monk’s last blog post..Never Underestimate the Power of Caring

  7. Robert A.

    Hi Bruce, thanks for the idea =)

    Jean, I got 100 over comments and trackbacks recently, it might be deleted with that, thanks for reposting your comment, I’m still wondering, why sometimes your nickname is seen only Cheerf instead of Cheerful Monk. @_@, the old problem happens again.

  8. “… a person who is dying of thirst but craving some salt.”

    I love that phrase. It clicks with me. I learn something from you, Robert.

    Thank you. 🙂

    Raymond Chua’s last blog post..Total Success is Determined by Your Thoughts, Beliefs and Actions by Dr. Joe Capista

  9. Robert A.

    Thanks Raymond, your comment really encourages me to write more. =)


  1. 4×4 lists of my writing inspiration : Reason-4-Smile Weblog - [...] Comments. I learned a lot from my readers as well, and some articles I wrote to share their opinions…

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