Happiness is….

“How many of us, I wonder, can recall that childhood moment when we experienced happiness as a state of being, that single moment of untarnished joy that moment when everything in our world, inside and out, was alright, everything was alright.” – Hector and the Search for Happiness
Recently, Netflix recommended that I watch a movie called Hector and the Search for Happiness. I never heard of it before but Netflix suggested if I watched it, I would rate it five stars.  Since I rarely rate movies that highly, I decided to give it a try.   Essentially, the  movie is about a psychiatrist named Hector who travels the globe searching for what makes people happy.  Throughout the movie, he creates a list of the ideas he comes up with.  Below is Hector’s list.  
1.   Making comparisons can spoil your happiness.
2.   A lot of people think happiness means being richer or more important.
3.   Many people only see happiness in their future.
4.   Happiness could be the freedom to love more than one woman at the same time.
5.   Sometimes happiness is not knowing the whole story.
6.   Avoiding unhappiness is not the road to happiness.
7.   Does this person bring you predominantly A. up B. down?
8.   Happiness is answering your calling.
9.   Happiness is being loved for who you are.
10. Sweet Potato Stew!
11. Fear is an impediment to happiness.
12. Happiness is feeling completely alive.
13. Happiness is knowing how to celebrate.
14. Listening is loving.
15. Nostalgia is not what it used to be.
This movie and this list got me wondering what would make it onto my “list”?  I have to agree with a lot from the list above, particularly the ideas of being loved for who we are and not avoiding unhappiness.  
For me, waking up each morning with Cole curled up next to me and snuggling him makes me feel happy.  

After a nature adventure, looking through my photos and finding one especially good shot in the bunch makes me happy. 

Having one life-long friend who knows more about me than anyone else in the world makes me happy.  

Having the freedom to pursue my dreams and make my own decisions makes me happy.  

No matter what happens, my family will always love me and knowing that makes me feel happy (and secure). 

Living life as my authentic self makes me happy (although it seems one of the hardest things to actually do). 
With all the things I know make me feel happy for moments, I’m still not sure what it means to actually “be happy”. I know it can’t be something we are every moment of every day.  I also know that without knowing unhappiness, we would have no barometer for what happiness is. The filmakers of Hector and the Search for Happiness have their own idea of what “happiness is”.  Watch it and let me know what you think.  

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