An answer to the One Great Question

I have a bad cold and my head is full of goo. As such, since I haven’t blogged in a long time, I’ll just steal from someone without goo in their head:

ONE GREAT QUESTION underlies our experience, whether we think about it consciously or not: What is the purpose of life?  I have considered this question and would like to share my thoughts in the hope that they may be of direct, practical benefit to those who read them.

I believe that the purpose of life is to be happy.  From the moment of birth, every human being wants happiness and does not want suffering.  Neither social conditioning nor education nor ideology affect this.  From the very core of our being, we simply desire contentment.  I don’t know whether the universe, with its countless galaxies, stars and planets, has a deeper meaning or not, but at the very least, it is clear that we humans who live on this earth face the task of making a happy life for ourselves.  Therefore, it is important to discover what will bring about the greatest degree of happiness. ~ Tenzin Gyatso; The Fourteenth Dalai Lama ~

So what makes you happy?

This makes me happy.

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22 Comments

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22 responses to “An answer to the One Great Question

  1. Landing a new, full-time job after many months of searching makes me happy! (Which just happened.) Also, hanging out at dog parks, fitting into old jeans, writing “the end” on page 306 of my first novel, and playing dining room ping pong with my pre-husband.

  2. sparrowkatie

    And, I thought my one post had been lost so I posted again Yegads, this internet thing will get me yet.

  3. sparrowkatie

    Oh, and I hope the head goo goes away soon. Blech.

  4. sparrowkatie

    For me it’s all about having a routine and balance of the things in life I love. Like, just having a really solid day in and day out that’s enjoyable. Also, my kid has made me way more happier than I knew I could be. Also, milk fat.

  5. sparrowkatie

    Most of all, having a daily life that I love. I mean a daily practice that is more or less full of things I like to do: writing, walking, cooking, being friendly, helping others, being near people I love, eating, and sleeping. And, I never thought this would be true for me, but having a kid has made me so much happier.
    Also, milk fat.
    It’s a great quote, and a great question. And I hope the head goo goes away soon.

  6. The delights of chocolate, music, museums with great artists and having a friend that can look in your eyes and know exactly what you are thinking.

  7. Being in the flow. Also, warm socks on a cold day.

  8. Yes! We all look at things differently, but we all, ultimately, want nothing more than to be happy. It’s that one thing that joins us all together.

    What makes me happy? The moment when I finally–finally!–figure out the right way to write something. (I just had one of those moments with an article; I’m still floating.) Hearing my children laugh. Listening to birds sing. Watching all the plants I worked so hard to put in last fall come back to life. And knowing that I have finally found my place in life. 🙂

  9. rhondasaunders

    Partial list of things that make me happy (in no particular order): Coffee, salt, rum, most things Hostess, health insurance, my family’s happiness, daydreaming with my husband about the places we’ll go, living on this subtropical island during the winter, escaping this subtropical island during the summer, and getting to write for a living (I mean “a living”).

  10. I really like your assessment on the purpose of life!
    It’s simple and just makes so much sense : )

    There are lots of things make me happy, but here are the top 5:
    1. Daydreaming while staring at the clouds
    2. Writing a story while listening to a John Williams score
    3. Teaching someone who wants to learn
    4. Listening to passionate people talk about the thing(s) they love
    5. Watching kittens play

    That last one was especially cheesy, but hey…it’s true. If I’m having a bad day, all I have to do is see a kitten and the day is instantly 25% improved.

    Hope you feel better soon!

  11. The Beatles make me happy too.

  12. I thought the one great answer was 42? 🙂

    Mostly what makes me happy is the little stuff my kids do that take me by surprise. But outside the domestics… it makes me so happy to tell people I’m a writer, simply because I’ve written stuff. It’s taken me a long time to get to a point where I feel comfortable telling people “I’m a writer” whether I’ve been published or not. Because the writing makes me happy. Someday I hope to be able to share it with the world. But until then, I’m just happy to say I’m doing it. (How’s that for stream of consciousness?!)

    • That’s awesome, for stream of consciousness! I’ve written long diatribes on the importance of calling yourself a writer whether you’re published or not. I applaud you for that.