Define Your Own Happiness – Day 97 of 365 Days to a Better You

Can you define happiness for you?

What makes you happy? Do you know?

The vast majority of people say they want to be happy in life. For a topic so important, many go through life without ever really defining what it means for them.

The Declaration of Independence enshrines happiness in the American consciousness.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

You probably are among those pursuing happiness, but have you ever really taken the time to determine what makes you happy? Some of the all-time greats have tried to define happiness. Their definitions may guide you on the path, but you are the only one who can truly decide what makes you happy.

Here are a few of my favorite definitions of happiness and descriptions of the pursuit of happiness. Give them a look and really think about this question. What would truly make you happy?

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
~Mahatma Gandhi

The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.

The myriad things are complete in us. There is no greater joy than to reflect on ourselves and become sincere.

Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.
~Henry David Thoreau

Happiness depends on ourselves.

There is no path to happiness. Happiness is the path.

What can you glean from these quotes? Happiness, it would seem, is something that is aligned with being your true self, aligning with your true path, basically being authentically you.

How are you doing that right now? How are you not doing that right now? How could you do more of it?

Happiness may be that elusive butterfly, but you, my friend, are born to attract it.


Just a reminder. Tomorrow begins our 10-Day Detox. I’ve had a couple people share what they are giving up. Beginning at midnight tonight, no soda (especially by beloved Dr. Pepper) will touch my lips for 10 days.

This, by the way, falls very much in line with John Stuart Mill’s quote about happiness.

“I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them.”




Staying Happy in a Changing World

It’s our last morning in Palm Beach. The expectations of the trip were met and exceeded. April and I had every bit the experience we wanted. I’m sure, though, you’ve had that sinking feeling on “headed home day.”

How do we go from the amazing high of expectation to crashing deflation of vacation’s end? In Buddhism, impermanence is a large part of the discussion. One of Buddha’s great insights is that we are craving beings. We want things and experiences hoping they will fulfill us. They do temporarily, but there’s always that moment when we realize the feelings are passing.

Another of his insights is that we’re clinging beings. We try to grasp harder to keep the things, experiences, and people in our lives just as they are. Yet, in an ever-flowing universe, this is not possible.

So, we become suffering beings because the things we wanted didn’t bring us permanent joy and the grasping to them only made it worse.

What’s the solution? How do we having fulfilling experiences in our lives without feeling the suffering? We can learn to appreciate the ebbing and flowing moments of our lives without grasping on to them. We can find our joy in the only thing that is permanent – Change.

There are more things to have, experiences to experience, and moments to enjoy. In fact, as long as we’re here, they never stop.

Jon Kabat-Zinn has a great quote that captures this principle. “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”

You don’t have to suffer. You just need to let go and catch the next wave.

Have an amazing Saturday!



Click on over to The Affirmation Spot for more great motivational content.

Affirmation: Happy Healthy Wealthy Wise

Enjoy the video! If you’d like to download your own copy of the mp3, click here.

Follow your bliss. Experience your bliss. Become your bliss


Who Determines Your Happiness or Success? – The Affirmation Spot for Thursday August 12, 2011

Thought:Whoever or whatever controls the criteria for your happiness and success, controls your happiness and success.”

raised_arms_horizonThink about that statement for a moment. Now consider who or what is setting the criteria for your success and happiness in life? Is it you?

Giving up control of your happiness and success has become a common trap in our society. People allow institutions, other people, or their own rigid beliefs to limit or squelch their happiness and success. The barriers become so many and so high that hardly any happiness or success can be enjoyed. Sadly, many people do not even realize they have done so.

Advertisers, politicians, and religious institutions are often active players in asking people to cede their happiness or success to the criteria they set. They set a standard and rely on fear, base instincts, and subconcious/unconscious programming to embed their controlling messages. We can have tremendous reason to be happy or feel successful, but someone is telling us that we cannot be, until we…[fill in the blank].

Here are a few examples of the conscious or unconscious criteria that begin to impact our ability to achieve and enjoy happiness or success. Sometimes these criteria even have noble purposes or great goals behind them, but they are not reason to put your enjoyment of life on hold.

  • “I drink beer brand A because I can only be happy if I have the attention of attractive women.”
  • “I can only be happy as a size 4 because when I look in the magazines that’s who gets the attention.”
  • “I can only be happy when I have a bigger house or more clothes.”
  • “I can’t be happy because I’m an imperfect sinner and not worthy.”
  • “I can’t be happy until all poverty is wiped out.”
  • “Success means having a foreign sports car and a summer beach house. I’m not a success until I have those.”
  • “Success means having a championship ring. All my accomplishments are nothing without that.”

Sometimes we give other people the power to set the criteria for our happiness or success. Sometimes they will it away from us as a means of control.

  • “I’ll never be happy until I’m one of the popular kids.”
  • “I can’t be happy until my son is married.”
  • “I cannot be happy as long he is the president.”
  • “I can only be happy when my husband or wife approves of me.”
  • “I cannot be happy until I have my dad’s approval.”
  • “I’m not be a success until I prove to “them” that I am a success.”

Our words have power! And when we place preconditions on our happiness and success or allow others to, we lose. Our lives pass by unfulfilled.

All of these things are worthy goals when you choose and pursue them on your own accord. It’s fine to work to change who is president, to make your spouse as happy as possible, to purchase clothes that you like. What’s not OK is to allow these things to be criteria for your success or happiness.

There is no secret, objective happiness gained from being a size 4, a millionaire, or having your dad’s approval. Of course, the easy proof of this is that there are plenty of unhappy size 4s and happy size 18s, there are miserable millionaires and happy janitors, and there are just as many unhappy people who have dad’s approval as don’t.

Goals are fine. Aim for the size 4 or the million dollars. Just don’t make it prerequisite for enjoying a satisfying life. When you do you are placing your hope for happiness or success in an external, future condition that does not even guarantee the success or happiness when achieved.

You are allowing your experience of happiness or success to be held hostage to these criteria. You are placing your happiness and success at the mercy of subjective criteria and circumstances set and controlled by others. Why? Your happiness and your success are right here for you to access and enjoy right now.

Thought: “Happiness and success are not matters of fate, faith, or circumstance. They are states of mind that we choose or reject.”

The keys to owning your own happiness and success are fivefold.

  1. Identify – recognize the areas of your life where you have allowed someone or something outside of you to set the criteria for your happiness or success. Make a list if it helps you organize your thoughts.
  2. Reclaim Control – take responsibility. Your happiness and success are yours. That entails some responsibility and it is one reason many people give it away to begin with. Recognize that you gave control over your success and happiness away and you can take it back. When other people or institutions have had their control over your success or happiness for a long time they may fight to keep it through guilt or other means. The fact is your happiness and your success belong to you not to them. Claim it!
  3. Lower Barriers – some of us have a difficult time accepting and claiming our happiness and success. You may not feel worthy of these feelings. Even when you gain back control you may establish impossibly high barriers for yourself or continue to use the criteria established for you by others. This gains you nothing. Become friends with the idea of you having success and happiness in your life. If there are hidden emotions or thoughts that are preventing you from enjoying them, get some support or use techniques to identify and handle what is holding you back.
  4. Experience and Enjoy – when you are in control of your own happiness and success and you have an easy, comfortable relationship with them; life is good! Experience your happiness! Celebrate your successes! Share and spread your happiness and success with others.
  5. Help Others – when you experience the emancipation of owning your happiness and success you will want to help others do the same. You will become easily aware of the ways in which people let these influences rob them of their best moments and achievements. There is no reason for us to live in bondage to other peoples’ expecations or criteria. We are as able as they to determine what makes us happy or successful and far more entitled!

Follow your bliss! Experience your bliss! Become your bliss!


Ray Davis is the Founder of The Affirmation Spot and focuses on empowering minds to think positively, achieve goals, and live dreams. He is author of the ebook The Power to Be You and the forthcoming The Power to Be You 2.

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Be the Architect of Your Life

Today’s Affirmation:

I am the architect of my life and my dreams!

R. Buckminster Fuller, or “Bucky Fuller” as he was known to his friends, was an inventor, thinker, and futurist. He was one of those rare visionaries who was able to see clearly beyond “what is” to “what can be”.

One of my favorite of his many wonderful quotes is, “We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims.”

It’s easy to see the wisdom in a quote like that and equally probable that we gloss over it without realizing the significance of it.

We ARE architects of the future. You can easily substitute life, career, relationships, experiences, or potential in place of future. For we are, the architects of it all. We are constantly creating each of these spheres of our existence.

The second part of the quote – “not its victims – is also powerful. We sometimes go through our lives acting as though we are passengers on a bus that we have no control over. We develop a mindset that tells us that circumstances and experiences “just happen” to us randomly. Few things could be further from the truth.

The fact is – whether we are attentive or inattentive to it – we are driving the bus. It’s what we came here to do.

Carl Jung had a wonderful quote about this way of looking at events. He said, “When an inner situation is not made conscious it appears outside as fate.”

The fact that you often create unconsciously rather than consciously does not negate your role as the architect, producer, director – pick your term – of your life. The goal is to bring more and more of that creation into the conscious sphere so that you can drive your life in the directions that make sense for you.

So, here is today’s task. Think of three opportunities or situations that you want to manifest or more fully manifest in your life. Write them down and place them in strategic places around your life where they will constantly be in front of you. For each situation, list the steps that will help you create that situation in your life. Finally, work consciously this week on ways to bring those circumstances about in your life.

Remember you ARE the architect in your life and you certainly are not its victim. Taking ownership will take you far.

Follow your bliss. Experience your bliss. Become your bliss.


Ray Davis is the founder of The Affirmation SpotΒ and an advocate for the potential of the human race. Β He’s the author of the breakthrough novel Anunnaki Awakening: Revelation – order your signed copy today at

anunnaki_cover_full_colorAnunnaki Awakening: Revelation is turning heads and opening minds. Humanity’s past is checkered, secret, and dangerous.

White House Correspondent Maria Love is on to the story of her life and with the help of an Anunnaki leaders seeks to unravel and reveal history’s biggest conspiracy. The Awakening has begun!

110 Ways Happiness Is

Today’s Affirmation:
Happiness is a choice and today I choose it!

Back in 1962, famed Peanuts cartoonist Charles M. Schulz penned a New York Times Bestseller titled Happiness is a Warm Puppy Dog. The book featured his cast of Peanuts characters sharing what happiness meant to them.

Today I am doing a collaborative blog. I want to build a list of reminders of where happiness can be found to refer to or refer friends to on tough days.

Saturday I began asking friends and followers on Twitter to finish the following phrase. Happiness is… As you are about to read, I have some of the wisest, most insightful, happiest followers anywhere.

This is a great exercise for anyone. It gets you thinking of all the things that make you happy. I would love to add your version too. Leave a comment and I will add it to the main blog.

Stay inspired!


Ray Davis is the Founder of The Affirmation Spot and focuses on empowering minds to think positively, achieve goals, and live dreams.

He is the author of the Anunnaki Awakening series (2015). Book 1 – Revelation – is now available in paperback and on Kindle. This trilogy takes Ancient Aliens out of the past and into the present. An interstellar, interdimensional journey ensues with humanity’s future hanging in the balance.

  1. @nurtureyrheart: Happiness is belonging.
  2. @newmansculpture: Happiness is a collector buying a piece of art they LOVE!
  3. @AWonder: Happiness is the ability to accept self, release fear and embrace love.
  4. @livenbothworlds: β™₯ Happiness is Love in Your Heart β™₯.
  5. @BrianKauke: Happiness is waking up at 5am and realizing it’s Saturday.
  6. @BeALegacy: Happiness is being able to bless others with wisdom, compassion and money to improve the quality of life all around.
  7. @ClemensRettich: Happiness is a consequence of real and sustainable independence.
  8. @DelieseE: Happiness is one moment at a time.
  9. @mzkewl79: Happiness is knowing I am unconditionally loved even though I don’t deserve it.
  10. @JoshuaGuffey: Happiness is present before thought arises.
  11. @ajarrellhayes: Happiness is being satisfied with the positive:negative ratio in life.
  12. @Hanalla: Happiness is a fleeting emotion, like sadness. Enjoy it when it is here. Welcome it like the energy shifter it is.
  13. @OHbornTXbred: Happiness is being a teacher and making a difference in the lives of others.
  14. @Live4lyfe: Happiness is catching a stranger by surprise with a pleasant smile of “hello!”
  15. @A_Creighton Happiness is my daughters sticky little hand patting my face and saying “I love you mama.”.
  16. @ednaruano: Happiness is falling asleep & waking up hearing the ocean sounds like I recently did in Tulum.
  17. @djillpugh: Happiness is scratching the chin of a purring cat curled up in a sunpuddle on your living room floor.
  18. @mikemorrish: Happiness is a verb. – what happens when you decide to no longer suffer.
  19. @mikemorrish: Happiness is what a child, a fool and a wise man have in common. H… is happiness!
  20. @mikemorrish: Happiness is knowing that you are enough just as y@ou are.
  21. @mikemorrish: Happiness is abundance in all aspects of life.
  22. @mikemorrish: “Happiness is loving what is.” — Byron Katie
  23. @WheatgrassCafe: Happiness is created.
  24. @LasANJ_A: Happiness is a matter of CHOICE, not a matter of luck. πŸ˜‰
  25. @Ellentweet: happiness is letting go of diminishing thoughts about myself.
  26. @WinterJasmine33: Happiness is knowing all your loved ones are safe, well and happy.
  27. @WinterJasmine33: Happiness is identifying and moving forward with your life’s purpose πŸ™‚
  28. @WinterJasmine33: Happiness is knowing you don’t *have* to get up early; but doing so anyway to catch the sunrise.
  29. @WinterJasmine33: Happiness is feeling safe in your own skin, being true to yourself, and knowing you’re helping others to do the same.
  30. DazzlingRayn: Happiness is a park on a warm spring day.
  31. DazzlingRayn: Happiness is cooking for people I love.
  32. @KelliKimi: Happiness is realizing your potential and knowing it’s good enough for you even if it wasn’t for someone else.
  33. @KelliKimi:Β  Happiness is seeing your future and knowing you control it.
  34. @KelliKimi: Happiness is looking at your children and knowing you did the right thing by choosing to be happy for you first.
  35. @KelliKimi: Happiness is waking up and living to see another day.
  36. @KelliKimi: Happiness is when you speak and you know someone is listening and not just hearing you.
  37. @KelliKimi: Happiness is to love and to be loved.
  38. @KelliKimi: Happiness is knowing you did your best but it wasn’t the best for the wrong person, it’s the best for the right one that came along
  39. @KelliKimi: Happiness is being enough for yourself and it’s totally OK! πŸ™‚
  40. @KelliKimi: Happiness is when you wake up to your kids laughter instead of arguing and screaming.
  41. @KelliKimi: Happiness is baking all your favorite things and being able to walk away from them.
  42. @KelliKimi: Happiness is freshly painted toe nails on the first day of sunshine. πŸ™‚
  43. @KelliKimi: Happiness is looking into the mirror and for the first time smiling back at what you see instead of frowning.
  44. @KelliKimi: Happiness is watching your children play their hardest and losing but having the time of their lives.
  45. @KelliKimi: Happiness is being in a bad relationship knowing you did the best you could give it and believing it still once you’ve left it.
  46. @KelliKimi: Happiness is buying several boxes of Girl Scout cookies and not opening them right away because you can control yourself. LOL
  47. @KelliKimi: Happiness is finding out you can still be Happy when you thought you never could be again.
  48. @KelliKimi: Happiness is believing in Yourself when you thought no one else did.
  49. @KelliKimi: Happiness is finally learning to believe in yourself because you realized no one else will if you don’t.
  50. @KelliKimi: Happiness is taking charge of your life not because you have to but because you want to.
  51. @KelliKimi: Happiness is living the life you were meant to live after believing you never could.
  52. @KelliKimi: Happiness is understanding that it’s ok to be selfish if the outcome benefits more then yourself.
  53. @KelliKimi: Happiness is learning to live with your mistakes and finallyletting them go because you’ve learned from them.
  54. @catherina: Happiness is a personal mission.
  55. @catherina: happiness is…not needing anyone but yourself to feel complete.
  56. @Fibenymphs_Blog: Happiness is HOPE.
  57. @MesBates: Happiness is knowing where you need to be in the morning.
  58. @birthgoddess: Happiness is listening to your children all giggling together.
  59. @LolitaParrot: Happiness is waking up every morning, breathing deeply, being thankful for surviving cancer 5 times and living life thanking God for my gifts.
  60. @abbybecker: Happiness is feeling the love of the people I love.
  61. @abbybecker: Happiness is a glass of Merlot after a hard day of work.
  62. @abbybecker: Happiness is living life to the fullest.
  63. @TrudyMagnifique: Happiness is being who you are without any apology.
  64. @myaffirmations: Happiness is not a destination, it is a conscious decision made daily; it is a choice to be happy and it IS MY choice!
  65. @thoughtcoach: Happiness is it’s knowing I didn’t “sell” a house-I helped my client find a home.
  66. @thoughtcoach: Happiness is knowing I can make a difference-from a smile at the grocery store to being there for someone at the right time πŸ™‚
  67. @thoughtcoach: Happiness is walking on the beach n seeing the dolphins dance along with you πŸ™‚
  68. @thoughtcoach: Happiness is knowing there are tools-like Twitter- to help people understand-we are all one πŸ™‚
  69. @thoughtcoach: Happiness is..walking on the beach and seeing the dolphins dance along with you πŸ™‚
  70. @thoughtcoach: Happiness is gratifying when another’s needs are more important than yours and you get lost in the gift πŸ™‚
  71. @NikTherapy: Happiness is realizing the goal you thought of 5 years ago is now your reality.
  72. @PhilGerb: Happiness is like a warm, sunny day, surrounded by those you love and who love you.
  73. @LuckLovesMe: Happiness is knowing that money isn’t necessary to experience happiness!
  74. @ShennaNanette: Happiness is when your frowns smile.
  75. @Dhann77: Happiness is peace.
  76. @Dhana77: Happiness is God.
  77. @Dhana77: Happiness is sexy.
  78. @Dhana77: Happiness is simple.
  79. @Dhana77: Happiness is Loving the Blessing in your Life!!!
  80. @Dhana77: Happiness is Excercising and taking care of yourself.
  81. @Dhana77: Happiness is Peace and silence.
  82. @Dhana77: Happiness is your children.
  83. @Dhana77: Happiness is peace of mind.
  84. @Dhana77: Happiness is a Beautiful (Inside & outside) Mate.
  85. @Dhana77: Happiness is Laughing for no reason!
  86. @Dhana77: Happiness is Happiness is seeking Wisdom continuously.
  87. @Dhana77: Happiness is silly fun thoughts.
  88. @Dhana77: Happiness is releasing our inner child.
  89. @Dhana77: Happiness is turning to a comedy show instead of the news.
  90. @Dhana77: Happiness is a gathering of fun friends.
  91. @Dhana77: Happiness is having a Crush on someone as an adult and having Butterflies in your stomach…lol
  92. @Dhana77: Happiness is that feeling after a Great Workout!!!
  93. @Dhana77: Happiness is hearing Thank you and being Appreciated.
  94. @Dhana77: Happiness is sharing.
  95. @Dhana77: Happiness is God’s Miracles and knowing that He LOVES US!!!Thank U God!!!
  96. @Dhana77: Happiness is Opening ur EYES EACH Morning Knowing THAT GOD allowed us to SEE another DAY…Thank U GOD!
  97. @Dhana77: Happiness is THANKING GOD FOR EVERYTHING!!!
  98. @Dhana77: Happiness is Looking into your Mates eyes in silence.
  99. @Dhana77: Happiness is being LOVED!!!
  100. @Dhana77: Happiness is Counting your Blessings!!!
  101. @Dhana77: Happiness is enjoying your Own Company.
  102. @Dhana77: Happiness is being ALIVE.
  103. @Dhana77: Happiness is making some1 else Happy and you were feeling bad.
  104. @Dhana77: Happiness is Breakfast…you need it first Thing in the Morning.
  105. @Dhana77: Happiness is a Prayer Telling GOD THank you…no matter what!
  106. @Dhana77: Happy is closing your eyes smiling…and Playing your happiest Memory!
  107. @simpleorganized: Happieness is being able to find what you need when you want it in your home or office. Organization=happiness πŸ™‚
  108. @Abeeliever: Happiness is a shared moment with a child.
  109. @starweaver: Happiness is kittens snuggled at your feet, in your lap, and on either side of you.
  110. @NotTheCar: Happiness is having years of speech therapy pay off when your daughter speaks her first full sentence at age 7.

Teaching Happiness at UCLA – The Affirmation Spot for Friday May 22, 2009

Today I am posting an interesting video from YouTube about a course in happiness being taught at UCLA.

From YouTube page:

When Emily van Sonnenberg was in a wheelchair five years ago after surviving a fatal car crash, she was told she would never walk again. Then a friend gave her a book by Martin Seligman, the father of positive psychology, which she says changed her life. She adopted Seligman’s methods of positive thinking and miraculously was able to walk again.

Wanting to share the methods of positive psychology and achieving happiness with others, van Sonnenberg created the course “Happiness” at UCLA, part of the Undergraduate Student Initiated Education program which allows students to teach other students a course not already offered at UCLA.

The course teaches and assigns practical applications of positive psychology such as keeping daily gratitude and intention journals.

Stay inspired!


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2009 Affirmation

“This year I am absolutely committed to being the person I came here to be!”