What does happiness mean to you?

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” ~ John Lennon

Hopefully, as we age, we would have achieved our goals and learned to live with what we have.

How much we wisely utilize (save and invest) is more important than how much we earn.

Money is not everything, but almost everything — from the cradle to the grave — requires money. Sufficient wealth, if used wisely, minimize and alleviate causes of unhappiness, such as pressures to bring home the bacon, stress over bills and mortgages.

We can be happy right now right here. Choose happiness. Decide on happiness. Happiness, like wealth and health, is a state of mind. Such kind of happiness is related to gratitude.

“我必須重新定義「成功」。老實講,有錢真的不錯,我喜歡錢,特別是在買東西的時候。但有很多錢並不表示你成功了。你不但得有錢,還得讓你的工作有意義 (do meaningful work), 因為意義能帶給你真正的富足。當你的身邊充滿了你信任、珍惜的人,而他們也同樣珍惜你,這才是真正的財富。”—奥普拉
” 我要談談失敗。沒有任何人一生風平浪靜,每一次危機、每一個困境、每一度失意,我都會問自己:「你學到什麼?」只要你從摔跤中學到教訓,就站起來,拍拍灰塵,繼續走下去了。否則,失敗總是會換一種樣式,繼續出現在你面前,你得補考,考不過就得再考。”

Try to minimize commuting and know when enough work is enough. Indeed, spending too much time working is one of the five biggest regrets according to the nurse Bronnie Ware.

On 20160525 (not yet 11am!), after I was slightly disappointed that my salary has not been credited to my bank account [1], I read an interesting research explaining the effects of (short-term/momentary/hedonic or H) pleasure and (long-term/cumulative/eudaimonic or E) contentment/gratitude on happiness. The results suggest that we should adapt our attitude and behavior to our environment.

When resources (food, $, jobs, education and health access) are scarce,

  1. the competitive (who does social comparison) does better,
  2. E [2] dominate H,
  3. your well-beings are diminished if your neighbors are also well or better off.

From another perspective, echoing what we learned from Viktor Frankl, it is not what happens to us that matters, it is how we choose to response to what happens to us that matters.

Happiness is a choice.

Happiness is now.

Accept the fact that we can never please everybody.

[1] I usually do not bother, but I want to ensure that I have enough fund to pay my credit card bills by the end of this month. It’s also a good habit to be debt-free.

[2] Laozi’s observation that “the satisfaction of contentment is an everlasting competence” works for E in an environment full of scarcity and adversity. 知足常乐!




  1. […] I agree with Arkad that wealth, if it did not actually create happiness, certainly enhanced the quality of life. Money is not everything, but almost everything — from the cradle to the grave — requires money. […]


  2. […] To meet each level of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, everyone needs money. Perhaps, the amount of money required for highest level is less than that for lower levels, but without successfully and completely fulfilling lower levels, it is challenging to meet the highest level 3. That’s why it is good to remember that money is not everything, but almost everything — from the cradle to the grave — requires money. […]


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