Drawing on a variety of sources, including Buddhist teachings, life-coach David Hare offers his personal Top Ten definitions. (Plus a bonus.)




Happiness is:

1. the purpose of your life (too many people think their main purpose is just to survive).

2. the soundtrack of your mind and the tune in your heart, WHATEVER is happening in your life. Stop and listen, there is always a soundtrack - is it excitement, hope, love? Or anxiety, regret, resentment, frustration?

3. when faced with obstacles, knowing in your heart that 'the wise rejoice and the foolish retreat.' Truly happy people see problems and obstacles as welcome fuel for developing their humanity and contributing to society. They have an attitude of "Whatever it takes to become the person I need to become."

4. knowing that every moment and every life is precious and feeling grateful just to be alive. Once you get this fundamental truth, there is almost no limit to what you can be, do and have in terms of goals and relationships. Most people don't realise that you only get 28k days in the average lifetime of 76 years!!

5. absolutely not the absence of problems (common myth No.1) nor the abundance of money (common myth No 2 - there are miserable people in mansions, from London to Lisbon to Los Angeles and beyond)

6. unconditional. In other words here and now not if and when (I get that job/girlfriend/house). Or if and when I go to some afterlife paradise, which in my personal view is a seductive figment of our powerful imaginations. 'The mind is its own place and in itself can make a hell of heaven, a heaven of hell' (John Milton, Paradise Lost)

7. being 'neither elated by prosperity, nor grieved by decline' (Buddhist priest Nichiren Daishonin in 13th century Japan); and an oft-repeated sentiment when Arsene Wenger or Alex Ferguson win or lose a match!

8. knowing that nobody can ever 'make you feel' anything that you do not CHOOSE to feel (as taught by business philosopher Richard Jackson, creator of Mancroft International's Winning Edge personal development programme). Therefore nobody EVER wound you up, upset you, got on your nerves or made your blood boil! This attitude gives you total freedom as well as total responsibility - a powerful combination! 

9. living in the moment yet also looking forward to who and where you want to be.

10. comparing yourself to your own potential and striving to reach it. (Too many people waste buckets of energy comparing themselves to others.)

Finally - happiness is your right and also your responsibility!

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