Sunday, December 18, 2011

Three Levels of Happiness

“Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”     ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

The summer season seems to be the right time to pursue the meaning of HAPPINESS, what is happiness? Is it a SILLY question? Actually “silly” comes from the old English word "seilig" and its literal definition is "to be blessed, happy, healthy and prosperous." 

Does that mean SILLY = HAPPY? Or WISDOM = HAPPINESS? Is happiness light as a smile or heavy like a mountain? Is happiness tiny as a raindrop or deep as the sea?

From Wikipedia, “Happiness is a mental state of well-being characterized by positive emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy, there’re so many elegant quotes and variety of approaches striving to define happiness biologically, psychologically, philosophically, religiously.” Here we’d like to classify it into three levels of happiness.

1. Level One: The Moment of Happiness-Smell the Flower 

“Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.“                  -Ralph Waldo Emerson

  •  Smell the Flower: Each one of us experiences the happy moment: the avid readers digest a masterpiece of book, the party animals plunge themselves into the holiday gathering; the kids enjoy their favorite toys; the elders recall their wonderful life; It’s also the moment we smell the flower, or the time you cheer up others.
 “Joy is a flower that blooms when you do.”  ~Author Unknown
    Smile Face:  Life is like tea, sometimes a bit bitter, but it’s such a joyful moment to taste a cup of ice tea at burning Summer day, the moment of happiness touches our feeling, soothe our skin, to form a smiling face as by-product.

    The happy moments make us appreciate the life biologically and psychologically though sometimes we wish it lasts longer.

    2.  Level Two: The Journey of Happiness-Plant the Garden

    "Happiness is not always measured in smiles." Anonymous 

    The higher level of happiness is deeper than a skin level smile if life is a journey, then, the pursuit of happiness is like to:

    • Plant a Garden: 
     “A happy thought is like a seed that sows positivity for all to reap”    Miriam Muhammad

    No matter this secret garden is our childhood wondering, career path or spiritual journey, It takes energy, focus, resource and dedication to growing, not only need follow the heart, but also should touch the mind.

    “Happiness springs immediately from the mind."  Benjamin Franklin 

    • Draw a Circle and Color it:
    Life is also like to draw a circle and choose your favorite colors to fill it ,  you can choose the size and colors, happiness is about the choices, the passion, the adjustment, and the dynamic.
    • The Height of Happiness

    "Happiness makes Up in Height for What It Lacks in Length.” Robert Lee Fros

    Maslow's hierarchy of needs is often portrayed in the shape of a pyramid, with the largest and most fundamental levels of needs at the bottom, and the need for self-actualization at the top.

    The happiness journey will also shape up the higher level of self-actualization psychologically and philosophically,  like a river, keep flowing, it’s the direction, not the destination; it’s the experience, not a goal; it’s a progress, not hedonism; it focuses on the future, not just stick to the present.

    "Happiness is a matter of one's most ordinary and everyday mode of consciousness being busy and lively and unconcerned with self."  ~Iris Murdoch

    3. Level Three: The Harmony of Happiness—Inspire the World

    “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”  ~Mahatma Gandhi

    • Maximize Universal Happiness:
    At this level of happiness, we may not just plant our own garden, we sow the imagination seeds to the bigger land, to inspire the universal human happiness:  the happiness is purpose, courage, inspiration; the happiness is freedom, justice, and equality,  the happiness is deep as the sea, high as a mountain, when Martin Luther King delivered the “I have a dream” speech, or John F Kennedy declared the “Go to Moon” mission, they were inspiring the great level of human happiness philosophically and spiritually, they change the world.  

    • Delight the Soul: Every now and then, when the world sits just right, a gentle breath of heaven, fills my soul with delight...~Hazelmarie ‘Mattie’ Elliott, A Breath of Heaven


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