There Are Various Definitions Of Happiness, Which One Appeals To You?


I have often been confused by the notion of happiness. I have tried to equate it with contentment and have found it to be its synonym.

I have also linked it with ‘our passion’ because when we try to follow what our heart says we experience that special feeling, which is probably ‘happiness’.

I have never tried those ecstatic moments, which make you fly to seventh heaven. I have only heard and read about them.

Comprehending a simple word – ‘happiness’ is quite complex.

One thing I am sure of is that when a long-standing desire gets fulfilled, it is certainly a moment of happiness but it may not lead us to eternal happiness, which lies in our heart, mind and thoughts.

Initial imprints:

I must be in high school when I read ‘The Enchanted Shirt’ by John Hay.

This shirt was recommended for a king who could not get well despite all the medicines, which were prescribed by the royal doctors. The king’s men traveled far and wide to find a ‘happy man’ so that they could borrow his shirt to make their king healthy and happy.

The man who seemed to be happy was requested to give his shirt. The happy man confessed that he didn’t have a shirt!

The depth of the message, which this poem carried didn’t register in my mind at that time but there was something, which percolated deep down, as this poem immediately comes to my mind whenever the word ‘happy’ is mentioned.

“The secret of happiness is to admire without desiring.” – Carl Sandburg

Gauging happiness:

I have tried to scale the boundaries of ‘happiness’ many times from various directions and I have always found great solace in breaking it up into syllables:

H hope   (to)
A accomplish
P pervasive
P peace   (and)
I incorporate
N necessary
E endeavor   (for)
S spontaneous
S serenity


I have also tried to observe how happiness visits us uninvited:

A child can find joy in little moments of skipping in water or blowing bubbles.

The ecstatic moments of a lover are in the arms of his beloved.

A mother’s bliss lies in the delightful face and little accomplishments of her child.

A hungry person can find pleasure in simple food.

For a sick person, the charm of getting well and walking again is supreme.

The elderly seek good health and company to be happy.

But these are fleeting moments of joy. Happiness is eternal albeit it is made up of such little moments. They promote wellbeing. They nourish mental health. They keep the hope of brighter days alive.

The definition of happiness is as divergent as that of success.

Happiness quote

This is what the experts and the great thinkers say: (an adapted version)

Happiness is perceptive. It is like a cloud that keeps vanishing.

It is determined by our own disposition.

Happiness is harmony with our thoughts…a spiritual journey.

It is breaking the chains of your mind and let it soar.

Happiness is a choice. You have to create your own ways to be happy.

It keeps changing with time and space.

Happiness must be cultivated; chasing it takes us nowhere.

It is a profound feeling of contentment and knowledge that all the blessings of life are around us, only if we can perceive them.

Happiness blossoms in the hearts of those who respect and value relationships.

It could be sitting in your home and you didn’t notice it.

I had written a poem ‘The Valley Of Happiness’ in one of my most intense and gloomy moments. You may like to read it.

Thank you for reading this. Your support is immensely appreciated. Please share your views about this much discussed and stimulating topic.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.



42 thoughts on “There Are Various Definitions Of Happiness, Which One Appeals To You?

  1. You have deep understanding of life I believe, that makes you beautiful human, unique , writer.
    And give a different dimension to your personality as a whole.

    Thanks to blogging !

    Keeping my alive connection with you !

    Loved your piece of writing from deepest core of my heart .

    This post has made my day.

    Pray that people can get accessibility for connecting with you.

    You are simply superb ” Balroop”

    1. Thanks for such kind words Nisthur. I am glad you liked my thoughts. I would love to hear the definition of happiness that has appealed to you.

      Yes! blogging is an amazing medium, a blessing that connects us with people all around the world. Thanks for standing by to write such beautiful words. Stay blessed!

      1. My definition of happiness expanding.

        Being happy without any rhymes and reason and knowing I myself is happiness.

        I am made up of happiness, love and peace. Maintains my happiness. Equanimity.

        The moment I identify my happiness with any external factor. I lost the control over happiness.

        I have written last 2 posts on same topic.
        Do check for more details.

  2. It’s a very relevant question to ask what is happiness? Something that we don’t question!! Certainly it’s a mental state. certainly there is difference between temporary happiness and state of happiness, in general. it’s a pretty complex to answer in true essence. well humans are complex… So it’s never easy to answer. I’m happy to read these posts that you make every now and then. quite relevant
    I’ll surely share it with others as you mentioned for the benefit of everyone! keep posting.. 🙂

    1. Hi arv!

      I agree with you, humans are complex and therefore create more complexities around them! We think too much, we are not easily satisfied and keep looking for perfect answers…that’s why we keep thinking of various interpretations.

      I am glad you like my posts. Thank you so much and I also appreciate your honest answer to the question that this topic raised. 🙂

  3. What a profound and wonderful piece on happiness, Balroop. You well and truly picked apart the word and explored what it really is. The line that stood out to me while reading this piece was, “It could be sitting in your home and you didn’t notice it.” Happiness is often always so elusive; we don’t realise it is around us. So often we miss the little moments because we are always chasing after the next best thing, or the thing that we think will make us happy for a life time.

    “The definition of happiness is as divergent as that of success.” Another line that I agree with. I do believe that “success” may not necessarily equate to happiness. As dancing violinist LIndsey Stirling once said, our next big thing or big moment will always be ahead of us. Quite often, happiness is in the now. All we have to do is slow down, take a breather and appreciate what we’ve got.

    1. Hi Mabel,

      Thanks for sharing such profound and beautiful thoughts. You seem to understand happiness quite well and I must say you are on the right track…happiness is in the moment we are living, feeling it depends on our own disposition.

      While we ‘keep chasing the next best thing’…so true! Most people miss those delightful moments of their life by chasing to acquire more and don’t even realise that the best moments pass by, the ones which can never come back…like the smiles of their children, those first words they speak and the funny pranks they play…

  4. Happiness is part of many things, I think. You include peace and serwnity. I like that you you used the letters of Happiness. It helps to remember your ideas or elements. Joyous moments and contentment do seem to fit in. Thank you for a thoughtful presentation, Balroop. Hugs, Robin ♡

    1. Thanks Robin, I am glad you liked it. Yes! little moments of joy add to our happiness, which leads us to contentment, only if we stop chasing the elusive notion of happiness. 🙂 hugs back to you.

  5. Hi Balroop, The post makes me happy as I particularly like the way you’ve broken up the word ‘Happiness’ into different syllables. Like you, I also believe that happiness about harmony with thoughts, contentment, passion and also having something to look forward to each day (not necessarily an external event).

    1. Hi Somali,

      I am glad this post made you happy…our thoughts seem to be in alignment with various emotions. Harmony and contentment are two very important components that define happiness, most of which lies in those reflections. Looking forward to new events or developments in our life keeps the hopes alive and hope and happiness are best friends! Hope resides next door and keeps peeping out of her French windows to pass on a breath of fresh air to her neighbor. 🙂

      1. Thanks Somali. Hope and happiness are so interconnected!
        It is the hope of being successful which leads us to it and happiness follows effortlessly. While conscious efforts are required for all that we hope to accomplish, happiness just meets us on the way to success. 🙂

  6. Hi Balroop,

    Loved the profound way you wrote all about happiness 🙂

    The breakup was so apt, though each one would have their own versions as each one takes happiness in his or her own way. For some making money maybe what brings them happiness, while for another person, it may just be giving away the money they earn. We are no one to judge, to each their own.

    However, I think we can find happiness in the smallest of things, if only we could have those eyes to see. As you mentioned, for a mother it could be related to her child, for a lover – the arms of his or her beloved…and so on. One just needs that heart, large enough to bring happiness from within, isn’t it?

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    1. Hi Harleena,

      You are absolutely right. Each one of us have our own story of happiness, our own interpretation of events that bring those elusive moments alive in our life. But nowhere in this world has money brought eternal happiness.

      It surely lies in the hearts of those who respect and value relationships, who pay attention to emotional ties and keep cementing them with love.
      Thanks for standing by and sharing your valuable views. Stay blessed and have a nice week.

  7. Nice dismantling of happiness, balroop, into the components that go into it’s making. Essentially, happiness is an inner state of being in harmonious flow with the universe, fully exercising one’s faculties.

    1. Thank you Raj, it is always a pleasure to hear your pearls of wisdom. It is indeed a harmonious flow of thoughts with our surroundings…the acceptance of life as it comes and leading it with a smile. 🙂

  8. This is such a profound thought that keeps us constantly engaged and at the same time disengaged with our life. Happiness is an illusion and happiness is absolutely relative, and life is such a mystery, happiness is hidden in the mystery and keeps playing hide and seek with us.

    As rightly pointed out for different people and different stage of life, the degree and depth of happiness varies and nothing in life is permanent and happiness is no exception. Life is random blend of good and bad, ups and downs, lows and highs of life…happiness is contextual and happiness is transient and our desperation to cling on and hold on to the moments of happiness is something we don’t reconcile and align.

    The breaking up of happiness in syllables is wonderfully done, hope, peace and serenity sums it all…The statements that touched me more than others are “Happiness is perceptive. It is like a cloud that keeps vanishing.Happiness must be cultivated; chasing it takes us nowhere.”

    Happiness for me is something I’m in constant search but the fulfillment of my passion and it is experience of contentment that comes with it makes a huge difference in me.

    Indeed thought provoking and I must get back with more perspective…

    1. Hi Nihar,

      Yes, the thoughts of being happy keep us persistently occupied. The moment we stop chasing happiness is the moment of understanding. When we accept pain and joy as essential parts of life, we learn the true meaning of happiness.

      I am glad you have found your happiness in your passion…discovering your passion is half the work done as it is very satisfying to know what you want from life. Thank you for sharing such beautiful thoughts. Stay blessed and happy 🙂

  9. A timely post as I was writing in my journal last night how I deserve happiness, but that led me to wonder what that even really means. I guess in large part happiness comes from feeling like one is leading meaningful life. For me, that means leading a life where I cut down on needless distractions. Happiness comes from doing what we love, and I’ve always been my happiest when out hiking.

    1. Yes Jeri, it definitely comes from doing what we love the most because the glow of the enjoyment can be seen on the face. it is strange how the definition of happiness changes for each person! For me happiness has been living a life of my choice, freedom of thought and action has been the key to my happiness.
      Thanks for sharing your perspective.

  10. Hi Balroop, I love this topic! Of course, people spend epic amounts of money and time trying to find this elusive state of being. You have explained it so well! I agree it’s the little things that make us happy. WE carry it in our hearts if we choose. Your syllable break down of the word is perfection. Cheers to happiness, although we can’t always have it we should notice when it’s there and truly embrace it!

    1. Hi Lisa,

      Money and time have their own significance but they have nothing to do with happiness, we all realise this sooner or later!

      Thank you for sharing your views! Cheers! 🙂

  11. What a wonderful in-depth account of those feelings which we often equate with Happiness.. I think for me I am contented with Happy spells of laughter which weave they way into my life, often through others.. Such as my little granddaughters infectiousness fit of giggles that has me laughing till tears stream down my face..

    I like the sentence where the experts say.. ” Happiness is harmony with our thoughts”.. Truly being Happy within one’s own thoughts is a huge Key of unlocking our inner Happiness..
    I am learning to play some music right now.. a project I shall share in due course ,, This is bringing me huge amounts of Happiness as I can see each day I progress a little more.. 🙂
    As always Balroop, Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us.. I just love all you write.. It is often so what I need to read at the right moment 🙂

    Love and Blessings dear friend..
    Sue xxx

    1. Hi Sue,

      I too share those giggles and laughter with my grandchildren and feel those moments of happiness are most precious. The positivity, which children carry around them is an unlimited source of enjoyment. It is during such times that we realise how happiness is all around us.

      I am glad that you are learning to play music, which is another source of inner tranquility and joy, a natural healer. Thanks for sharing.

      I am indebted to you dear friend for standing by and sharing your thoughts despite so many activities that keep you occupied. 🙂
      Love and blessings back to you.

      1. It is always a pleasure to catch your thoughts here dear Balroop, time is precious, But it is always well spent here reading your inspiring posts :-).. And like our time spent with our grandchildren.. We make time for those whose company we love being within.. 🙂 and I love being within your vibration you create here my friend.. For your love pours out of your heart to speak your truth that so many can relate to..
        Love and Blessings your way Balroop.. Enjoy your day..<3 Love Sue

  12. What a beautiful and thoughtful article on happiness, Balroop. We often search for happiness, but I believe, it remains in our heart, in the way we behave and believe. It’s our own disposition. It is momentary and has many a source, often elusive, too, but still it lifts our heart and when it does, we know, we are happy… 🙂

    1. Hi Rakesh,
      Welcome to Emotional Shadows. Thanks for an innovative definition.
      We need not buy the plant because it is handed over to us by our forefathers. We just need to nurture it. 🙂

  13. You’ve tried to nail down the most difficult term.

    Happiness to me is from within. Materialistic possessions can only provide a fleeting one, while some like physical well being are relatively more permanent.

    Everyone can be happy in their own way…we only have to ask ourselves what matters to us and be happy with what we have.

    1. Yes I keep waiting for his monthly ‘offering’ as he calls it…there is much depth in his philosophical thoughts. Thanks for the recommendation. 🙂 Have a blessed day.

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