I’ve always said that each person is in charge of their own happiness. What makes you happy? I’ve asked several people this question and all of their answers differ. 

One woman said money, being financially stable and able to provide for her family. Another said “making my family happy” seeing the smile on your children’s face from spending a day with them out in the park. A woman said achieving her career goals, being able to be the top in her field. Everyone finds happiness in something different but can happiness be found in tangible things?


One thing I’ve learned from watching the movie Inside Out was that yes, happiness is an important mood but so is Sadness. We have to feel our emotions and be able to allow the parts that help to get us through the ups and downs caused by emotion. 

Happiness Ebb and Flow

In some relationships, happiness is based on the ability to make one another happy. If your partner isn’t happy it’s hard to express your joy until you are able to assist them through their sadness. Romantically speaking, your partner’s happiness is just as important as your own. In a relationship, happiness is understanding each other’s love language and fulfilling their needs without taking away from yourself. In a platonic relationship, happiness is linked to likeness, what both of you do together and talk about.

The quality of your relationships can hold so much power when it comes to your happiness. Friendships, although we may have many friends, the characteristic of each friendship may not be the same. We each bring something different to each relationship. Some relationships are purely about companionship, having someone to do any and everything with. Other relationships are about emotional security and being able to tell that person anything without judgment. Each relationship can provide a different level of happiness.


Happiness is defined as good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy. Yet, we as people can’t determine clearly where happiness comes from. The saying “money can’t buy you happiness” seems ridiculous when you think about how the world runs on money and power. The saying “happiness comes from within” seems like a hope more than a reality when you don’t feel happy inside. Choosing to be happy is hard, you have to find what makes you happy when externally things are going wrong.

We are told to find our happy place and think about the last place we were when we were truly happy. From there, we can build ourselves back up. No one ever talks about how happiness is not one person, place, or thing but can be a combination of what is needed at that moment. For a child, it could be a hug from a loved one, a favorite toy, or ice cream. For someone who is career driven, it could be that promotion that you’ve been waiting for or getting recognized for all you’ve done. For someone who is worried about their relationship, being on the same page as their lover could make them happy.

For me, happiness comes from what I do and who I choose to spend my time with. I’m family oriented so being around my family causes me joy however, being around them all the time can be a bit much. After a stressful day at work, I like to come home to my family to relax and watch tv. When I feel sadness I enjoy watching my favorite movies and cuddling my tigger pillow pet. Do yourself a favor and don’t try to fit into the basic definition of happy.

Happiness is not simply defined, it is not the same for every person and can change according to circumstances.

So again I ask…What makes you happy? How are you in charge of your happiness?