Once upon a time, a real group called the Secret Society of Happy People decided to dedicate a day to the pursuit of happiness. Members of the society wanted to let happy feelings linger inside them every day. In 2000, the Secret Society of Happy People expanded the celebration to Happiness Happens Month in August.
Happiness is a choice. Remembering happiness does not mean you are problem free. That kind of life doesn’t exist. As the Stoics of Ancient Greece observed, happiness is all about the quality of your thoughts. Happiness is not a destination, but rather a life-long pursuit. Joy can be anywhere at any time. Don’t limit yourself to searching for pleasure. Enjoy everything and anything that makes you happy. Oprah Winfrey said it wasn’t until she learned to be happy that good things started happening to her.
“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”
― Abraham Lincoln
If you struggle with finding happiness, you can learn to be happy. There is plenty of helpful advice available to guide you in the right direction. Reading self-help material is an excellent place to start. Here are a few published works you might want to read to help you in your pursuit of happiness:
- The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale
- Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
- Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
Most of the best “how to be happy” books and videos boil down to variations of the Ancient Greek philosophy of stoicism (not to be confused with the modern use of the word). The essence of stoicism is this: no matter what is wrong with the world in general, and your life in particular, you can choose to be happy if you learn how.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any set of circumstances, to choose one’s way.”
HOW TO OBSERVE
Notice more happy moments and share them with others. Use #HappinessHappensMonth on social media.
The Secret Society of Happy People started celebrating happiness with “Admit You’re Happy Day,” on August 8, 1999.