Independently Happy

I take happiness seriously. So you don't have to.

How to Be Happy

Hello, my dear happiness-seeking friend! Are you wondering how to be happy?

This is the place to start. I’m thrilled that you’ve wandered onto my little nook of the webs. Countless books have been written and countless blogs are maintained to help you be Happy,

So how can I possibly squeeze it all into 500 – 700 words? Especially when I’ve already used up 47 words with this intro?


I’m glad you asked.

If you want to be happy, you must first realize that happiness isn’t something you find or get. You can’t give it to someone else. You have to earn it. They have to earn it.

Maybe I should call this “How to Not Be Happy?” Nobody is going to Google How to Not Be Happy. if you want to figure out how to do something, it makes sense to also learn what not to do too.

So let’s take a little tour, a tour through my blog and a tour through…

How to Be Happy

Here are our stops along the way:

  1. Happiness isn’t something you can find.
  2. Happiness isn’t something you can get.
  3. Happiness isn’t something you can give.
  4. Your happiness is your responsibility.
  5. Happiness is earned.
  6. How happiness is like nutrition.
  7. How happiness is like a puppy.
  8. Don’t take happiness too seriously.
  9. Three resolutions.

What a trip!

This is the best part of the trip
This is the trip, the best part
I really like
What’d he say?

– Jim Morrison, The Soft Parade

I never had any clue what he was talking about there. I just thought it was funny.

how to be happy
Mary Poppins also has great advice.

Happiness Isn’t Something You Can Find

Finding Happiness

You’ve heard the tales of the hero (or maybe the villain or victim) setting off on a journey to find happiness.

Usually, in the story, they find happiness.

After they fight the dragon.

After they save the villages.

After they meet the love of their life.

That’s the subtly of the story.

The hero doesn’t find happiness. The hero leaps, journeys, fights, saves and meets it.

The hero builds it. Creates it.

Maybe it is just a figure of speech, but how many times have you heard of someone setting off to find happiness? We’ve heard it many times. What George Bernard Shaw said about “finding yourself” applies to finding happiness. Happiness isn’t something you find.

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. -George Bernard Shaw Click To Tweet

Life Isn’t About Finding Happiness

The lady’s unhappy, so she leaves her family and strays to greener pastures to find happiness. The guy’s unhappy, so he starts flirting with a co-worker hoping to find a little boost to his ego. The kid looking for a distraction and decides to experiment with some substances.

Or the guy quits his job of 20 years so he can make money online and travel the world! I mean that guy didn’t even get his online business going first, so he’d have a little money to feed his family. I’m so glad I’m not that guy!

It’s precisely the same as finding yourself. You don’t find yourself; you create yourself.

Wait. Wait. George, how was it you put it?

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. -George Bernard Shaw Click To Tweet

Yes, that’s exactly l what I was thinking!

Life is About Creating Happiness

You don’t find happiness; you create happiness.

Two semicolons in a post? Take that Kurt Vonnegut! Unless I didn’t use them correctly. In that case, I should have listened to Kurt.

But don’t take my word for it, let’s ask a famous person everyone loves and respects.

Dr. King, what do you think about finding happiness?

find happiness S

I agree completely, Dr. King!

There’s searching and there’s running. Are people venturing out to find happiness, or are they running from something? Do they think they’ll be happier if they can get out of the trap they think they’re stuck in?

The point is that we don’t find happiness. It’s not this magical thing in a hidden place through a maze behind a wall through a door protected by a giant three-headed dog and a lock with a code and when you grab it the floor falls away and arrows shoot out of the wall and a giant bowling ball chases you out of the cave only to have it stolen by your nemesis from college.

No, that’s Raiders of the Lost Ark with a little Harry Potter and Philosopher’s Stone mixed in.

Check out Do Happiness for some ideas!

One more quote:

The foolish man seeks #happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet. - J. Oppenheim Click To Tweet

We can create happiness anywhere we are.

But Shayne, don’t you want to travel for happiness?

Excellent question! I really, really want to travel more.

Travel is a source of happiness for me. That sentence contains two key words.


  • Not relocating
  • Not running
  • Not escaping
  • Not hiding. Travel
  • Not seeking anything, but an adventure
  • Go somewhere
  • Growing from getting out of your comfort zone
  • Embracing a new and different culture
  • Meeting new people
  • The anticipation of the trip
  • Memories of the trip



Shortest subtitle ever!

It is a source, not the source. It’s just one thing to do.

Happiness Isn’t Something You Can Get

happiness-get S

You’ve seen the spoiled ones, right? They expect everything will be given to them. Somebody owes them.

A sense of entitlement is a recipe for unhappiness.

It’s not our partner’s job or our parents’ job to make us happy.
Arguably, it’s not their job to make us unhappy.
We must realize that happiness is up to us. Don’t waste time waiting to get happiness.

Happiness is Something We Have to Create and Build

It takes some effort. Getting happiness from someone else won’t give you lasting happiness. It won’t make you Independently Happy. Happiness isn’t something you can get.

Getting Happiness

Do you know anyone who just isn’t happy unless she has a boyfriend? Or, you know, whatever type of friend they prefer? Or that person who blames their spouse, because the spouse doesn’t make them happy? Or blames their parents for not making them happy?

There is no getting Happiness. Happiness takes some effort.

What do you think about that Plato?

how to be happy

Let’s not dogpile Plato for the sexist language. He meant all genders, biological and identity. He died before trending Tweets could enlighten him.

Do you know somebody who’s miserable because they hate their job and they won’t do anything for themselves because they’re job makes them too depressed to have the energy to search for another job or start a business?

I’m going to say that I don’t know anybody like that just in case that person happens to stumble across this blog or click any of the links I send. No, I’m not talking about you. I’m making a low-key reference to this obscure book I read that’s only printed in Spanish that my wife’s cousin told me about.

Do Happiness

Do you know anyone who’s miserable because of their health and appearance but won’t do anything about it because … Actually, I have no clue why on this one. Also, I don’t know anybody like this.

There is no getting happiness.

Don’t wait around for that special person to come around and give you happiness or make you happy. That’s not how Happiness works, Finn.

Okay, I can’t resist.

Have you checked out Do Happiness yet?

We Are Not Entitled to Happiness

Yes, gratitude and mindfulness are vital ingredients. They’re like the chocolate in chocolate milk. Finding appreciation and gratitude for what you have right now might take some effort, but that’s the point. It helps us not take things for granted and most importantly helps us not develop a sense of entitlement.

But you also need the milk.

If you want to be happy, the first step is to realize it’s on you to develop it (build it, create it) that Your happiness is Your responsibility.

If you want to be #happy, the first step is to realize it’s on you to build it. Click To Tweet

What do you think? Can anyone give you happiness? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Let’s help others realize that getting happiness from someone else won’t give them lasting happiness. It won’t make them Independently Happy.

It’s something you have to do. You have to work for it, suffer for it. If you know someone with that sense of entitlement, that key ingredient for unhappiness, share this with them.

Happiness Isn’t Something You Can Give.

happiness-give S

Giving is awesome! It feels great to give. It also feels great to receive gifts. Gifts can give you a few minutes, hours or even days of joy, but it’s not lasting happiness.

Speaking of a few minutes, let’s stop off for a few at Happiness Isn’t Something You Can Give.

Remember the spoiled ones from the last stop? Don’t contribute to their unhappiness and yours by trying to give them happiness. Don’t try to take on the responsibility of another’s happiness. I know it’s tough watching a loved one who is unhappy but trying to give them happiness will only make it worse.

The only way to #give #happiness is to teach that happiness can't be given. Click To Tweet
Please feel free to give that a Tweet.

Then let’s hop back in the boat and ask the Captain to sail us across the lake to…

Your Happiness is Your Responsibility.

responsibility S

It’s all on you. Others can help. You can help others. Helping helps happiness.

But happiness requires a little more.

Our Next stop is at Your Happiness is Your Responsibility.

Each person can really only make themselves Independently Happy.

It’s a pretty short post. It’s got a lovely image with a striking red accent and an adorable subliminal heart! So Pinable. Hint hint.

#Helping helps #happiness. Click To Tweet

Then let’s reboard the plane and ask the pilot to fly us up for an inspirational aerial view of…

Happiness is Earned.

earned S

The webs are full of advice on presence and living in the moment. It is absolutely true, but it is potentially bad advice. You need to build something for later.

Our next stroll is through Happiness is Earned.

No financial advisor in the world is going to say, “live it up. Spend it all now. Nobody lives forever. Live for the present moment.”

Sure we need to be present now. Presence and mindfulness are essential for the mental brain and the physical brain. But if we spend all our money now, we’re going to be broke later. We will never be independently wealthy.

The same goes for happiness. If we don’t build something for later, we will never be Independently Happy.

Then let’s go back to Platform 9 and 3/4 and hop back on the train for…

How Happiness is Like Nutrition.

nutrition S

We should know by now that fad diets don’t work. Fads and diversions don’t help build sustaining happiness either.

Next, we pay a little visit to How Happiness is Like Nutrition.

We want to eat food now that is delicious and enjoyable, but we also want food that will contribute to our long-term health. We want a Lifestyle that is sustainable and healthy.

We should treat #Happiness like #nutrition. Click To Tweet

Please check out that post. I’d appreciate a share, if you would please.

Then let’s see if we can get a Lyft over to…

How Happiness is Like a Puppy

puppies happiness

Puppies can be a pain in the ass.

They poop and pee everywhere.

They eat bugs and poop, lick themselves, then want to lick you.

They get fleas and ticks. They need to be groomed and brushed.

They get sick. They need shots and trips to vets.

They chew up toys and clothes.

I once had a puppy chew up my glasses. I’ve seen puppies chew up phones.

Still, we love them. They bring us so much happiness.

Let’s take a brief stop for adorableness at How Happiness is Like a Puppy.

Then lets air up the tires, hop on our bikes and pedal on over to..

Don’t Take Happiness Too Seriously


I take happiness seriously.

So you don’t have to.

It’s a little too easy to try too hard to be happy.

In fact, one of the best ways to not be happy is to try too hard being happy.

Let’s go look at another dog pic and learn some very valuable happiness advice at Don’t Take Happiness Too Seriously.

Just have fun where you are. Don’t go thinking that you can’t have fun unless you’re someplace awesome.

Have fun where you are. Laugh where you are. Make others laugh. Play games, toss a ball in the office or a Frisbee in the yard.  Simple stuff. Like Bruce Lee said:

The meaning of #life is that it is to be lived. - Bruce Lee #meaningoflife Click To Tweet

We’ve got one, last stop, so let’s put on our best shoes, climb on to that Bigwheel and pedal ourselves over to…

Three Resolutions

Get it? Resolution. Yep.

Get it? Resolution. Yep.

Don’t wait for New Years Day!

Let’s go learn the Three Resolutions that will lead to enduring happiness!

These aren’t goals. These are resolutions.

These aren’t great things to set goals to do. These are philosophies on how to live a happy life.

But don’t just take my word for it! Click that link and see what I have to say about it!

In Conclusion

That’s basically the skeleton of

The rest is frosting.

So you’re saying it’s the frosting on the skeleton? You totally mixed metaphors.

I hope you enjoyed the tour!

Please let me know what you think by sharing in the comment sections below. I’m offering you Facebook comments and/or Disqus comments.  Pick the one you like best. Or pick both.

If you’ve enjoyed this journey, please share either by Pinning some photos or clicking some the ClickToTweets.

If you didn’t enjoy the journey, tell everyone you’ve been down a YouTube rabbit hole.  Speaking YouTube. If I were Google, I would have called it GooTube.

But that’s just me.

Facebook Comments

Stat Feeling Great Today!


Download your free Independently Happy Prescription for Well-Being!

Powered by ConvertKit
  • Cori Leigh Mann

    Love this post!
    Great quote!
    “The same goes for happiness. If we don’t build something for later, we will never be Independently Happy.”

    • Shayne

      Thank you, Cori! I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. 🙂