What Does Happiness Look Like?

What Does Happiness Look Like?

Sometimes happiness is about redefining that one simple word in our minds. Sometimes it isn’t at all about making changes and being different, but instead about embracing what is all around you. And I think that is why I do feel so happy so much of the time. Because despite the fact that there are things that I am changing in my life, I am so incredibly grateful for everything I have.

And, perhaps, it is thankfulness that allows the happiness meter to teeter from one side to another – the idea that we can be grateful for everything we have, or might have, or will never have. The idea that we can be grateful for the decisions we are able to make. The idea that we can be grateful no matter what life throws in our way. We have control over how we see the world and how we treat the things in our world. And we can control how we react and act and give back to the world.

All of this culminates in one very moving thought:


Think about how often we search for a THING that will make us happy, be it money or a house or a lover or an adventure. Yet those things, while they are amazing, are not wholly what creates happiness in us. Therefore happiness is not something that we either have or do not have based on what we possess; it comes to us as freely as the wind in our hair or snow flakes on our lips. It is ours to take at any moment, despite our circumstance and status. It is there always, beckoning us if we choose to hear it.

We have great power in the world and even greater power within ourselves. We can choose happiness, and that is something I do now and always. I do not let happiness become something I am searching for because it is already here, found, and locked inside my mind like a most beautiful memory: even when it fades, it still has a place that will never be lost, and can always be found again.

I am happy because I understand what happiness is to me. I understand that it is something that I need not search for but see all around me. It is inside me. It is the way I see the world and react to the world and contribute to the world. It is waking up every morning to see the sun rise and saying hello to a beautiful day because it is a beautiful day, and a beautiful life.

It is saying hello to life, greeting Her with a smile, and understanding that we have the power to exist passionately.


12 thoughts on “What Does Happiness Look Like?

  1. Thank you Brooke for the inspiring posts this week. It has been a very hard week for me as I am dealing with the loss of the love of my life. Your posts are a little light in the darkness that surrounds right now.

  2. I absolutely believe there is light in everything. Even within our darkest times there is a glimmer. When you are open it will find you. 🙂

  3. I loved the entry, Brooke

    I’m a design student and amateur photographer from Costa Rica and It’s been really hard for me to find real happiness, because what makes me happy is to able to create and share those things to people.The thing is that it’s really tough when those people sometimes will never believe in you, they put some fear on you saying things like: you never gonna make it. You should work in something else or things like that.

    I do believe in myself, but never been able to ignore negative attacks.

    I found some inspiration in what you wrote here, It gave me faith

    Thanks Brooke!

  4. Abraham Lincoln pointed out that “People are about as happy as they choose to be”. I think he’s right and its been a key touchstone in my life. It also helps me understand why some folks are never happy, and some are happy despite real challenges. The book “The Four Agreements” comes at this from another angle and has been a light in the darkness for me too.

  5. I love this image of you. It’s perfect on so many levels and makes me smile.
    Good words as well. I’m trying to be happy. Lots of uncertainty lately and I’ve been sick as dog since Friday. (Longest cold/flu thing I think I’ve ever had. Ugh.).
    Hope the weekend treats you well:)

  6. This reminds me of my mother. She has always told me to be grateful for what I have and for what I don’t have. Grateful that I am not ill or have any kind of sickness, grateful that I have a roof over my head and don’t live on the street, grateful that I don’t have problems in my life, etc etc.

    Or like my husband who always says we cannot keep waiting for happiness. We must choose it because we will not find it anywhere except inside us.

    And… I agree… my whole life I spent looking for happiness, in something I bought, in a boy, in a friend, in shopping, etc etc. To be honest… when I married my husband much of that happiness came to my life and stayed there… but in the end, you always end up looking for more happiness… that is why you must choose to be happy with what you have and don’t have…I no longer look for happiness in the future or in what’s to come… I look for happiness in my small and cozy home… or by spending time with my family… or by simply being and knowing that right now… all is well.

  7. Being alive and health is already a happiness. And it is true that happiness is inside us. We must look inside us the clues that lead us to such happiness, without being too demanding. And that’s where the problem is, too much exigency. As youngster I found inside me the clue that told me that my happiness passed for photography, but I had no camera! So would be unhappy? No. Working for a camera made ​​me happy. And was not a DSLR, it was just a simple point and shoot camera, and I was so happy with what I had. What a beautiful week so far, respect at your posts Brooke, Awesome. <3

  8. Happiness is “ours to take at any moment”. I believe this fiercely and live my life that way. Even when things are not going my way and there are things I would want to change, at the core, deep inside I am profoundly happy because, hello, I am alive and healthy, the world is a beautiful place, I have two amazing healthy children, I am married to my soulmate and we have all our necessities covered. That is what makes ME the happiest in the world. So the rest is just more happiness to chase but always being so very grateful for what I DO have.

  9. I am so happy you wrote this. The other day this week I also wrote a post on my blog about me being happy. I was a very sad and dark person that always thought that I was going to find happiness when I reached my goals. I was always waiting to feel that “happiness”. But I realize that I don’t need certain things to make me happy, I can just be happy with what I am and have right now. I know that reaching your dreams instantly makes you feel happier, but just believing that someday I WILL reach them is just enough. I’m happy because maybe I don’t have everything that I want, but I do have everything that I need. Thank you for this post Brooke (:

  10. Brooke,

    I love this that you said about happiness:
    “It is saying hello to life, greeting Her with a smile, and understanding that we have the power to exist passionately.”

  11. I’ve only come to understand happiness recently. When I was younger I was constantly looking for it somewhere outside of myself. I thought, if I had that or could do this I’d be happy. That wasn’t true though. Like you said you make a choice to be happy. It’s the way you choose to react to the world around you. Great message. Great post. Thanks.

  12. just what i needed today, been having such a bad day, with everything going wrong! But i know there will be a better tomorrow and seeing your work just makes the day seem brighter! Thank you 🙂

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