Happiness Is...

This past Sunday, my 14-year-old daughter needed my assistance on the computer. She was working on a school assignment and needed some clip art for a Happy Book that she was writing.

Some of you may recall the book, Happiness is a Warm Puppy by Charles Schultz. It consists of several "happiness is..." statements, as the title suggests.

My daughter's assignment was to create her own Happy Book and come up with several "happiness is..." statements. When she mentioned the project to me, several pedantic thoughts started going through my mind: we get so busy looking for happiness in a relationship, in a job, in our toys, and in our goals and dreams, that we forget to just be happy. We really don't have to go searching for happiness. We carry happiness inside us. We create happiness. We are the source of our own happiness. Sure, a certain type of happiness is derived from externals, but the externals should merely be reminders that we have access to all the happiness we want or need.

So together, my daughter and I searched the Internet for clip art that would prompt her thinking. It was a wonderful father-daughter exercise and it allowed me to see a creative side of my daughter I'd never seen before. She sat for a couple of hours going through image after image, chuckling and brainstorming over what she found.

Her favorite image was a grinning Zulu dancer. She wrote: "Happiness is looking at this cool dude in a grass skirt banging on his drum."

She showed me the image and it immediately brought a smile to my face. But so did the fact that my daughter had taught me an important lesson:

Happiness is what you decide brings you happiness.

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APA Reference
Staff, H. (2008, December 3). Happiness Is..., HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 23 from

Last Updated: August 8, 2014

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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