Mental Health

Happiness is Reachable

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In our modern day era, people seem to be rushing themselves to learn new skills in order to keep up with the constantly advancing world. There are times when we tend to feel lonely and empty in our hearts. Thus, seeking for happiness seems to have become a common concern for most of us, but it has also in due time become a process so very vague since we set it as an end goal to solve all of our most pressing concerns.

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In Dr. Barker’s book, it stated that happiness is a genuine satisfaction with our present experiences, which reflects a deep underlying sense of fulfillment, a sense of doing a good job with life. Happiness is not a constant, but satisfaction can be. Unhappy people wanted to change events, situations, conditions, and people in their individual worlds. They do not want to change themselves. A change of consciousness might make unhappy people become happier. Moreover, unhappy people want to change situations in their experience while remaining in their present static states of mind. However, a changed experience can only happen to a changed individual (The Power of Decisions, 2011).

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Dr. Barker also expressed his concerns that the material world will make you comfortable, but it will not make you happy. Your arrangement of your world is through the power of your own mind. We should be hungry for new ideas. Static minds create monotony and boredom. Our minds need to have creative ideas. Minor problems need new thoughts to reduce it to nothing. More problems will be generated if we continue to let them exist in our life without doing anything, and this will cause depression. Thinking based on exciting new ideas is the cause of happiness. 

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We should not attempt to reform unhappy people because you cannot reform anyone who is gaining his or her goal by being unhappy.  They alone must make decisions for THEIR OWN happiness. And obviously, unhappiness is a self-destructive emotional state (The Power of Decisions, 2011).

A French psychiatrist has listed the things he observed, throughout his professional life, which will lead to one’s happiness. He wrote down the list in his book Hector and The Search for Happiness, in a humourous way.

1. Making comparisons can spoil your happiness.
2. Happiness often comes when least expected.
3. Many people see happiness only in their future.
4. Many people think that happiness comes from having more power or more money.
5. Sometimes happiness is not knowing the whole story.
6. Happiness is a long walk in beautiful, unfamiliar mountains.
7. It’s a mistake to think that happiness is the goal.
8. Happiness is being with the people you love.
9. Happiness is knowing your family lacks for nothing.
10. Happiness is doing a job you love.
11. Happiness is having a home nd a garden of your own.
12. Happiness is caring about the happiness of those you love.
13. Rivalry poisons happiness.
14. Women care more than men about making others happy.
15. Happiness is a certain way of seeing things. People who have great success might see their glasses as half empty, whereas people with great misfortune might see their glass half full and thus be happy.

We should all take a moment to reflect on our own life. It is always nice to be creative in our lives, that will eventually lead us to be in control again, making the world a more colorful place to live in.

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Read this article on the book by Bertrand Russell, “The Conquest of Happiness”.


1. Lelord, F. (2010). Hector and The Search For Happiness. New York, NY: Penguin Books.
2. Barker, R. C. (2011). The Power of Decisions. New York, NY: Penguin Books.

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Quin, a graduate from University of Otago majoring in Psychology, has the experience working with both special needs and typical children. Has the passion for early childhood education and, at the same time, realises the fundamental of character building in children. Still on the journey of learning and self-improvement.

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