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October 3, 2010

What is happiness?

"People have always thought about happiness." Last week we had the good fortune of catching a fantastic discussion on the exploration of happiness while listening to NPR. What we heard grabbed our attention & inspired some serious reflection on what happiness actually means. To pay homage to such a thoughtful topic, we're asking the DIL community: What is happiness and how important is it in your life? Is happiness something you're mindful of and plan for? If you need a bit of inspiration on the idea of happiness you can listen the the radio show here.

Participation is caring. Share your thoughts and help shape the dialogue in a meaningful way. Your contribution makes all the difference in building a stronger Design is Love community.

09.19.10 / 9:56 PM
You probably hear us say it a lot: Participation is caring. The Design is Love community is built on a foundation of generous support, supplied by you and other members. And for that we are extremely thankful. Your consistent contributions to inWords and the Design Fund make us more happy than you can imagine.

For us at Design is Love, happiness is found in the success of the participatory culture we've so delicately cultivated together. If the site grew to 1,000 members the day we launched sure we'd be happy, but seeing the movement grow slowly, a few members at a time, is so much more satisfying. It's our belief that a little happiness, sustained over a longer duration, is so much more fulfilling. Keep sharing the Love.
09.20.10 / 12:32 PM
For the last inwords topic I spoke about changing myself and the self-antagonists I often align myself with. That side of me is always looking to say the right thing, the perfect thing... which certainly isn't me. It certainly doesn't make me happy.

Happiness, like love, is what I get to take with me. It's what is inside of me, a feature of my soul. My energy.

My happiness is up to me and how I choose to perceive my world, my life. Saying that, I realize and admit that I am not always happy and probably can't always be happy ( in the present ). What I can do is make sure that I pursue happiness. That I speak of it and feel it, that it is something that I am aligned with. I can make sure that I put myself in a happy frame-of-mind and spirit. It is my right, my mission to attract happiness. It is a failure if I expect it to just happen.

I found this quote, upon searching for one:

"The highest perfection of intellectual nature lies in a careful and constant pursuit of true and solid happiness."
- John Locke, Concerning Human Understanding
09.22.10 / 9:28 PM
Tonight, I went outside and stood in the rain. I looked up to the sky and watched the brilliant flashes of light. I listened to the thunder and felt it shake the earth. Warm rain soaked my hair and spattered on my face and arms. I was completely happy.
09.25.10 / 1:33 PM
happiness is love and friends and family and good beer, and pizza. it is doing what you love, all day every day. is finding love in every task, no matter how miniscule or tedious.
happiness is bossa nova on vinyl and watching things burn in a fire.

happiness is connecting with people. closing your eyes, keeping them closed and then opening them.

[ i don't know what happiness is, but it feels like it might be the combination of all the things above ]

i remember reading a quote somewhere, probably some cheesy sketchbook/journal cover with a black and white photograph of a puppy. It said: "happiness is wanting what you got"
although the context didn't help, it kind of stuck with me.
09.26.10 / 3:41 PM
sunday Sept. 26th:
Happiness is the blessing of the animals service, adding a personal close to "into the mystic", swinging on the front porch with the baby watching the cars roll by, recognizing that cole (12 year load) can now add a decent guitar lead to what I'm playing, hunter (14 year old) joining a band, my wife's goldfish shirt.

happiness is a surprise.
09.26.10 / 9:24 PM
Happiness is what feels right. I don't really know how to define happiness. I know I am happy right this moment and will probably be tomorrow. I know I am happy when spending time with people I care about and who care about me. And I know I am happy when I am making things and designing which is what I love.

Frank Chimero just wrote a really great piece related to this!

As did Liz Danzico!
09.27.10 / 2:28 PM
I think @constanz_a described it pretty well: happiness is love and friends and family and good beer, and pizza.
09.27.10 / 6:07 PM
Happiness is the journey . . not the destination : )
So along with what Constanza said . . its all part of the process. After a long day of creating beautiful things, coming home to loved ones , is happiness.

For each of us here . . Happiness is what makes us smile & gives us the reason to wake up tomorrow.
09.28.10 / 7:27 PM
monday + tuesday Sept. 27th + 28th:
Happiness is being sick and able to work and take nourishment, finally learning what it means to "sing over the cold" and being able to belt out "A Change is Gonna Come" even when stuffy, working on the saddest project I've ever imagined and feeling positively energized because it will make a difference, coming up with incredibly silly ideas that should never see the light of day and actually witness them seeing the light of day, finding a plastic lizard by the dumpster and swearing it's the real thing, trusting the people you live, work and play with, screwing up and–finally–not beating yourself up, rain.

Happiness is the conviction that everything in life is reconcilable.
09.29.10 / 9:54 PM
wednesday Sept. 29th:
Happiness is the curve in the small of karen's back and how it matches the arch of her foot, driving home with a smashed window and not sweating it, looking through images of the kids to upload to Facebook, conversing with my aunt the poet, talking to a nutritionist and recalling being 90 lbs and wrestling and running and biking and playing soccer all day long, a muscle memory (physiological + spiritual), making steady progress towards balance.

Happiness is judgement interrupted.
09.30.10 / 8:17 PM
thursday Sept. 30th:
Happiness is a cool breeze from a coming storm, talking chess strategies with my 14 year old while we're rushing home—late for supper, veggie buffalo wings, a lilac and green hydrangea the size of a bowling ball perfectly centered beneath raindrop crystals of a chandelier, sitting at our crappy baby grand and plucking out the melody to a tune by Chris Delmhorst and remembering the lyrics— "and love is made by hand..."— while a generous Mao smiles down from the our colonial mantel surrounded by sweet flower children, hearing stories of a fantastic event I really wanted to but couldn't attend.

Happiness is the unlikely, fanciful pairing of opposites.
10.03.10 / 3:14 PM
friday + saturday Oct. 1st + 2nd:
Happiness is sneaking into the Women's Fellowship Retreat, a guys weekend with Dean (5) and Sawyer (8 months)—going our for chinese—naming the fish, stacks and stacks of clean laundry all over the couch, saying "no" with an open heart, receiving a Youth service award—because work with youth is the most important thing I'm involved in, bedtime stories + late night snuggles, nothing worth watching on TV, grown men sining acoustic versions of Cindy Lauper songs.

Happiness is a moving target you can hit over and over again with some practice.
10.03.10 / 4:32 PM
I just returned from a weekend of mindfulness. We practiced just being, in the moment. Reminders that the only breaths we can take are right now, and we can only enjoy and participate in our 5 senses in the present, so that is where to live. Happiness is not usually of the jumping up and down giddy feeling, but rather being content with what's happening now and enjoying it to the fullest. Bloom where you are planted.
10.03.10 / 6:42 PM
Happiness is tiny moments, small victories. In the face of autism, every little triumph - a correctly formed sentence, a typical peer willing to play - brings a frisson of happiness.


We'll post the topic to start the conversation. Where it goes is up to you.

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