Happiness is a topic that receives a lot of attention. For some, the definition is simple and clear-cut, like “prosperity”. For others, it is more complex referring to a sense of lasting well-being, contentment or joy. Or it can be more momentary in nature such as the experience of pleasure, fun or general satisfaction. Whatever your definition is, happiness is a mental state that when experienced and recognized can lead to greater longevity, less stress and more peace of mind.

Here are some quotes from well-respected leaders, authors and happiness experts. What calls to you?

  1. “People who are happy accrue a lot of positive outcomes. They’re healthier, more creative and have better relationships. Happy people are not as self-centered as unhappy people. They’re more generous and other-focused.” (Sonja Jyubomirsky, AARP Bulletin, June 2016).
  2. “We tend to think that we owe it to ourselves to be as happy as we can be. And this is true. But happiness is far more than a personal concern. It is also a moral obligation. (Dennis Prager, Happiness Is a Serious Problem, 1998)
  3. “Happiness (positive emotions) broadens a person’s building blocks: stronger cognition, boosted creativity, improved memory, and increased energy. This foundation then leads to more life success, which in turn leads to more happiness.” (Paul Krismer, happinessexperts.ca)
  4. “Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values.” (Ayn Rand)
  5. “Happiness is something that you are and it comes from the way you think.” (Wayne Dyer)
  6. “Happiness is the spiritual experience living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.” (Denis Waitley)
  7. “True happiness comes not when we get rid of all of our problems, but when we change our relationship to them, when we see our problems as a potential source of awakening, opportunities to practice, and to learn.” (Richard Carlson, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and It’s All Small Stuff)

In spite of our obsession with youth, happiness is not just for the young. In fact, happiness can actually increase with age, especially for those individuals who choose to be happy. It’s a conscious decision that can be reinforced by the life choices we make such as more frequent exercise, deeper engagement with family and friends, a greater commitment to life-long learning and the act of giving to others.