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What is the key to happiness in your experience?

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Winston
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What is the key to happiness in your experience?

Post by Winston » February 4th, 2012, 9:35 pm

Based on your life experience, what is the key to happiness? Here are some popular contenders:

- Having whatever you want
- Becoming rich and famous
- Attaining wealth and power
- Having material assets and luxuries and fancy things
- Looking good and being attractive
- Having a good image for others to see
- Having a positive attitude
- Attaining freedom from external control
- Doing what you love for a living
- Freedom to do what you love
- Freedom to do whatever you want
- Freedom to be yourself and feel accepted and validated
- Being true to yourself
- Having lots of good caring friends
- Having quality good meaningful relationships with others
- Having romantic love
- Having sex with different women
- Receiving public recognition and praise for your accomplishments
- Rising to the top of your career ladder
- Becoming successful in business or career
- Doing creative work and using your talents
- Having peace of mind and good health
- Helping others
- Seeing social justice done
- Giving love and receiving love
- Raising a happy family in a good home
- Traveling to interesting places and having adventures and new experiences
- Attaining higher spiritual consciousness and insights
- Becoming enlightened
- Attaining knowledge and wisdom about a lot of things

What do you think? What's the most important out of all those?

What has been the key to your happiness? What do you think is the ideal path to happiness?
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davewe
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Re: What is the key to happiness in life in your experience?

Post by davewe » February 4th, 2012, 9:54 pm

The answer is E. none of the above.

I've had a lot of time to think about this personally and have watched my 16 year old son drink the American coolaid and believe its all about money and power. I tell him that we all know many people who have the attributes listed above and yet are not happy. We also know happy people who have none of the above. One of the extraordinary things about traveling abroad that is rarely mentioned is that in many cultures people have nothing and yet are happier than Westerners. And often Westerners go to those cultures but bring their Western baggage and are never happy. Frankly this sounds like some members here.

Happiness or unhappiness is in fact - a choice. No I don't mean simple positive thinking, though that may be an element of it. We can choose to enjoy life or hate it till the day we die. We can go on our adventures abroad and soak up extraordinary experiences or travel and complain about what we see, and hate our lives.

I'm not suggesting blind acceptance. There's a Buddhist term I have always loved, Honin'myo, which roughly means fresh start. I am suggesting that every morning we each get up and have a decision to make - a fresh start. Make it a good one. Decide to be happy!

Billy
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Post by Billy » February 4th, 2012, 10:05 pm

Attaining freedom from external control
Peace of mind and good health

-dancing
-workout, moving
-singing
-reading
-writing

chileanueva
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Post by chileanueva » February 4th, 2012, 11:18 pm

People fear and don't acknowledge their own vulnerability. That is why they are prone to anger and revenge.

People can choose the attitude they want for the day. They can choose to be happy and at peace or they can be mean and self-destructive.

How you treat others is a reflection of your inner state. If you don't respect others, you don't respect yourself. It is the same as if you eat junk food, you become what you eat.

Happiness is like philosophy, it is difficult to grasp, but its beautiful suffering pushes us to become more aware of the world and ourselves.

fschmidt
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Post by fschmidt » February 5th, 2012, 3:24 am

My main one is: people I trust. Unfortunately there are none. Of the two I trusted most, one killed himself and the other tried to screw my wife. I dream of being Noah. Still, there are some sources of happiness: my family, church service, sex, food, hot showers, and chocolate.

zboy1
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Post by zboy1 » February 5th, 2012, 4:59 am

fschmidt wrote:My main one is: people I trust. Unfortunately there are none. Of the two I trusted most, one killed himself and the other tried to screw my wife. I dream of being Noah. Still, there are some sources of happiness: my family, church service, sex, food, hot showers, and chocolate.
Yikes, Fschimdt! Sorry to hear that about your life. Yeah, I agree it's tough to trust people since many of them are so self-serving and greedy. There are people out there that aren't like that thankfully.

NorthAmericanguy
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Post by NorthAmericanguy » February 15th, 2012, 1:58 am

fschmidt wrote:My main one is: people I trust. Unfortunately there are none. Of the two I trusted most, one killed himself and the other tried to screw my wife. I dream of being Noah. Still, there are some sources of happiness: my family, church service, sex, food, hot showers, and chocolate.
I have already resigned myself into believing that it's alone at the top, and that the only thing I can truly trust is myself, and money, because they are the only two things I have full control over.

Can humans be more compassionate? Sure. Could I be more trusting of humans. Sure. But the problem is that I live in modernized society where I have no choice but to distrust others and look after my own ass because everybody else is doing the same thing.

Trust me, I have given people chances, and was deceived in major ways, so enough was enough and it's Machiavelli time for me.

Here is the deal though, it's not that bad of a life to live. I'm just working, saving money, and looking after MYSELF. Sure, it's lonely at times, but at the same time it's peaceful because know I'm not living a lie.

NorthAmericanguy
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Re: What is the key to happiness in life in your experience?

Post by NorthAmericanguy » February 15th, 2012, 2:10 am

davewe wrote: The answer is E. none of the above.

I've had a lot of time to think about this personally and have watched my 16 year old son drink the American coolaid and believe its all about money and power. I tell him that we all know many people who have the attributes listed above and yet are not happy. We also know happy people who have none of the above. One of the extraordinary things about traveling abroad that is rarely mentioned is that in many cultures people have nothing and yet are happier than Westerners. And often Westerners go to those cultures but bring their Western baggage and are never happy. Frankly this sounds like some members here.


Happiness or unhappiness is in fact - a choice. No I don't mean simple positive thinking, though that may be an element of it. We can choose to enjoy life or hate it till the day we die. We can go on our adventures abroad and soak up extraordinary experiences or travel and complain about what we see, and hate our lives.

I'm not suggesting blind acceptance. There's a Buddhist term I have always loved, Honin'myo, which roughly means fresh start. I am suggesting that every morning we each get up and have a decision to make - a fresh start. Make it a good one. Decide to be happy!
Yea, I hear ya. I have contacts with rich guys who have the blond trophy wife, the million dollar homes, and the exotic toys to go along with it, and I can assure you they DON'T look happy. Some of these guys don't even smile and they look miserable.

The truly happy men I have met in my life were the poor to moderately successful Mexican men.

Contrarian Expatriate
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Post by Contrarian Expatriate » February 15th, 2012, 2:49 am

None of the above. Happiness is a thoroughly individual state, and getting there is as different for each as his face.

For me, happiness is having attained the financial wherewithal to experience life abroad and knowing that my personal hell in the US is not a life-sentence.

I'm sure having relatively good health is a factor and looking younger than my 45 years as well.

Having foreign female friends who I love and consider my family ranks high on my list also.

America is done, and had I not known life away from this country, I might have driven my car off a cliff!

momopi
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Post by momopi » February 15th, 2012, 9:30 am

1. Work to live for self & family. Not "live to work".
2. Good food and wine (bring on the Armand de Brignac, ditch the Cristal).
3. Living near the ocean or lakes with good fishing opportunities.

This would be a bonus:

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Re: What is the key to happiness in your experience?

Post by Winston » November 17th, 2017, 1:06 pm

Here are some things I learned about happiness:

People are happy temporarily. But it isn't sustainable or permanent. You can buy temporary happiness with a bottle of wine even. But in the end its really a state of mind.

However, if you cultivate happiness as a state of mind rather than as something dependent on favorable results and circumstances, then it can be longer lasting though. See the movie "Hector and the Search for Happiness". It illustrates this nicely. There's a popular saying in spiritual books that goes like this:

"There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way."

Now that may sound a bit hokey and new ageish at first. But the more you think and reflect on it, the more sense it makes. Especially if you believe that consciousness can manifest your reality to some extent.

Personally, I think it's more important to have meaning or purpose in life than mere happiness. Every great book and film has meaning in it. If you think about it, your favorite films and books are your favorites because they are the most meaningful, not the most happy. Deep seated meaning is longer lasting and touches your soul, more so than temporary happiness or pleasure does.

Having interesting new experiences is very important too. They produce both happiness and meaning, and exercise and stimulate your mind too, thus keeping your brain active, young and healthy.

What typical Americans and Taiwanese don't understand is that being in a safe, sterile, structured environment all the time (e.g. like in middle class American suburbs and Taiwanese environments) will kill the soul. You see, without obstacles, challenges, risks and new experiences, the soul cannot grow or evolve. Life and human existence were not meant to be completely safe, sterile and artificial.

One can be a goldfish in a fishbowl and live completely safe with free food in a sterile environment. You could say thats not a bad life too. However such a life would be meaningless and boring and kill your soul. There would be no new meaningful experiences or special memories. Nothing to grow or evolve your soul. I know thats an extreme example but you get the metaphorical point.

Nature does not evolve in such environments. Such environments do not create special memories or meaningful experiences either. They only result in boring routines that kill the soul and make one lifeless, which you can see in the faces of people there. Yet thats the kind of environment that America, Taiwan and Japan attempt to create.

Thats why people in less developed and less modern countries (e.g. Russia, China, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Mexico, Cuba, India, Southeast Asia, former Soviet republics) usually seem happier, freer and more open, relaxed and carefree. Not so serious, stern, rigid and uptight as Americans and Taiwanese are. And they are more soulful and authentic as well.

Furthermore, their environment has a much more positive and freer vibe as well, one that allows you to really have fun and "let loose", laugh a lot, joke a lot and laugh loudly too, all of which are considered inappropriate in repressed American and Taiwanese cultures.

In short, such cultures allow you the freedom to BE YOURSELF, which is the ultimate freedom, even if you don't get to vote in any elections. Being yourself is far more relevant to freedom than any democratic system can offer, which is mostly an illusion anyway, as we all know. Also they allow you the freedom to connect with others and form true meaningful friendships and relationships with others as well, unlike the superficial friendships and acquaintances that you usually get in the USA and Taiwan, which don't last and were fake to begin with.

This is because people in such freer, less developed cultures do not live in sterile environments that are overly safe, rigid and repressed with too many rules and standards. They live in chaos and have learned to accept and celebrate it. Once you embrace the chaos around you and not try to control everything, you become more free, liberated, carefree, relaxed and less uptight. Only then can one be truly free to be oneself. This is something most Americans and Taiwanese do not grasp unless they are seasoned travelers with good observation skills and introspection skills, which are especially lacking in young people.

You can see all this as you travel to more countries that are not first world. Thats why me and my friends feel much more freedom outside of America and Taiwan. Once you experience all this and see what I mean, you will understand and see the light. However, once you see the light, you cannot unsee the light or get accustomed again to the darkness and repression of America and Taiwan again. As Einstein said, "experience is the greatest knowledge and teacher, not books."

Anyway, those are my lessons, observations and experiences. Hope they are meaningful to you all.
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Winston
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Re: What is the key to happiness in your experience?

Post by Winston » November 17th, 2017, 8:51 pm

I put my happiness lessons into a blog post here:

http://blog.happierabroad.com/2017/11/w ... iness.html
Check out my FUN video clips in Russia and Female Encounters of the Foreign Kind video series and Full Russia Trip Videos!

Join my Ukrainian/Russian Women Dating Site to meet thousands of legit foreign girls at low cost!

"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne

snede
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Re: What is the key to happiness in your experience?

Post by snede » November 17th, 2017, 10:20 pm

The key to happiness? Plenty of fiber in your diet.
You may laugh now, but just wait until you get older...

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Re: What is the key to happiness in your experience?

Post by Winston » November 18th, 2017, 5:35 pm

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"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne

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