Someone says, among other things..

… Your decisions ALONE can determine your happiness.

Happiness is a state of contentment with happenings to you, and around you.

I am certainly NOT happy that we have been having epileptic power supply, there is mad traffic in the metropolis, getting fuel is a herculean and costly task, and the heat is not allowing me sleep at night.

No matter my attitude to these inauspicious circumstances, these are external factors I have very little control over, and which my decisions don’t materially alter positively.

What Influences Our Happiness The Most ? seems to support the assertion that a major part of our happiness is in our hands, and I agree. Where I disagree is in asserting that our happiness is TOTALLY within our control.

I responded,

Contrary to popular folklore , external factors, which you often have no control over, DO determine your happiness. And while people would say your attitude to what happens to you is more important than what actually happens, this is mostly .. grandstanding.. saying something that sounds good, but which does not have much substance..

And a counter response..

I would like to agree that external factors sometimes determine your happiness. This is because we often tie our happiness to those things. For example, people equate their happiness to being wealthy; being married ; being in a certain religious group and so on. When these things don’t manifest, they become sad and miserable. This shouldn’t be. Your happiness should be tied to more profound factors that can’t be broken based on external factors.

You can be happy if you decide to help others anyway you can. If you decide to do what’s right. If you decide to count friends rather than enemies. So, no matter what happens externally, those innate qualities remain.

Hmmm.. Sounds good. The practicability is the big question…

It certainly is a tough one. But as with most things, practice would eventually give you some measure of perfection. It has to be habitual


I wrote the article Popular Wisdom Is Often Plain Stupidity

I think the original statement that brought on this short conversation falls into the same category of a populist statement that is mostly steeped in romanticism.

No man is an Island, so there is no way your happiness is subject to your decisions ALONE.

Can you truly be happy based solely on your attitude or internal convictions alone, seeing that the (in)actions of OTHERS rub off and influence YOUR decisions, regularly ?

I don’t think so!

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