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Old 09-21-2012, 08:31 AM   #1
ResuNezily

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happiness is having a cold one without fearing that the terrorists are going to blow you up.......
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:17 AM   #2
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How can you even compare happiness of different people?? People in BKK might define happiness as having enough money to spend the weekend at a nice place or to have a party or to be able to go abroad for holidays... or whatever. While people in Issaan might consider happiness being with the family, being healthy, not being in need of anything, etc. in a totally different way! If you offer a trip to Europe or somewhere to someone from Issaan, if they'd even agree to go they might feel less happy than at home.

I really wonder what these questionaries looked like...

And something else: How does a person with depressions define happiness? How do working people define happiness? Men and women? Rich and poor? Young and old?
Personally, I don't think it's a good idea to quantify and compare people's happiness. It somehow makes me guess if I'm happy enough. And why would I need somebody else to tell me how happy I am?

Rant off. Sorry about that, I feel better now
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:05 AM   #3
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lots of insights here on happiness. I asked the question "what is happiness?" because lots of people have been asking me "and now that you've been in Thailand almost a year, are you happy?" and I just couldn't answer the question right away, I said the concept of happiness just doesn't make sense in these circumstances, I am neither happy, nor unhappy. I have a job I am totally absorbed in, so I don't think about self-realisation or personal growth or anything along those lines, I am merely living, and it's a kind of sustainable balance I am living, meaning that I know I can go on with it for the time being, there are no deadlines in me about moving on, having to move on because of sensing it is something temporary, something not sustainable financially or emotionally or "overworkedly". even when I wasn't working in the past year, I was trying to get out, take pics, get absorbed in events (luckily, my unemployment in Chiang Mai coincided with the summer season packed with holidays), avoid having to be left alone and having to think about anything, let alone myself. my life has just been too much "me, me, me", it tends to be if you are long-term unemployed and getting depressed, and that's not sustainable. so now I don't really care about myself, I use all my energy for my work, it's really something that demands a lot from me but I don't mind most of the time. I as an individual being with personal dreams and aspirations cease to exist when I am there as a teacher, and that is so much more fulfilling than struggling with my personal dreams and blablablah junk. but when I try to explain this to friends back home, the reply I get is, "oh, so you're escaping? you must be really unhappy!" but I'm not. I just try to exist so that it doesn't hurt me so much having to exist, something like that.

ok, I guess it's too personal, but I guess it is kind of the same, though definitely not in the same league, when people work all the time, and they have families to raise, they struggle to make ends meet, they have communities to run, that they damn don't sit down and ponder about being happy or about the meaning of happiness or unhappiness, they are just busy existing or somehow, at a physical, emotional, spiritual level, beating the odds of having to exist, or trying to come to terms with the realities of having to exist and achieve some kind of balance and peace of mind.

I like the way Anatta put it in the first sentence of the previous post.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:21 AM   #4
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Have we seen this post before? Salaries and wages, post #24. It's well worth reading again, I think.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:45 AM   #5
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Coincidentally , this appeared in one of the British newspapers today

Working 'makes us happy'

Working 'makes us happy', an expert has claimed. He found being unemployed could be as dangerous as smoking 400 cigarettes a day.

Unemployed young adult males are 40 times more likely to commit suicide than their working counterparts and are also more likely to suffer depression, illness or even die, it was claimed.

Statistically, the health risks of being out of work for six months or more are equivalent to smoking 20 packet of cigarettes a day, said a professor at Cardiff University.
Prof Mansel Aylward advised us to wander to work with a spring in our step and a smile on our face, happy to avoid the depression of unemployment.

He said doctors should be concerned about getting people back to work rather than writing sicknotes because being out of work could be more risky that working on an oil platform or as a safari guide.

His analysis of figures from the Office of National Statistics show the depressed unemployed risk serious illness and even death, with young unemployed men 40 times more likely to commit suicide than their working peers.

But Professor Aylward, Director of Cardiff University's Centre for Psychosocial and Disability research, also said work can only make us so happy because we each have a threshold that limits how happy we can be.

His studies reveal that people become happier after winning the lottery - but their happiness levels soon return to the same as they were before the win.

Prof Aylward said work kept people smiling and that employers could make their staff happier by giving them more control. He said: "The evidence is quite compelling that being at work is good for happiness and is also good for health.

"There are straightforward issues that help people enjoy their work. The biggest one of all is that people have a measure of control over what they do, how they do it and when they do it.

"People may still feel that work is bad for them, but in fact, they have a network of colleagues there, they feel valued and they are doing something worthwhile.

"There is a positive link between the feeling of happiness and level of health, so being out of work is very dangerous. If you look at the suicide rate of young adult males, it is 40 times greater for those out of work than those who have a job - that is a figure we can't neglect.

"Even if we look at the whole spectrum, people out of work are six times more likely to commit suicide than those in work. Those who are out of work for a short time are at risk, but for people out of work for more than six months, the theoretical health risks equate to smoking 20 packets of cigarettes a day - that's 400 cigarettes.

"We also know about increased risks of coronary heart disease, diabetes and cancer for the unemployed. Sometimes the risks of being out of work can be more dangerous than working on North Sea oil platforms or being a safari guide."

But pushing for promotion might not be the best route to happiness, with a limit on how much happiness money can buy.

Prof Aylward added: "Studies also show that there is a certain wage threshold above which you do not get any happier. The American study found people who earned more than $16,000 (£8,500) did not become happier the more they earned, while below that level each pound extra made people happier.

"Millionaires are not much happier than those on lower wages." The professor, speaking ahead of a Happiness and Wellbeing conference in London said our ability to be happy was genetic, with a built-in happiness level, which was difficult to cross for any length of time.

But lack of work or family trouble could easily see us fall below the threshold and slip into depression. Recent research has revealed happiness makes a certain area of our brain buzz with activity and 'light up' on an MRI scanner.

Prof Aylward said it could lead to genetic treatment of depression in the future. He added: "In general, happiness activity is confined to a particular part of the brain in all people. In some people where their attitude to life is more negative the other side of the brain shows activity.

"It shows there is a major genetic component to happiness - we do not move away from our inbuilt level of happiness. Some people sit trying to be happier, but it has been said it is like trying to be taller.

"People who have won the lottery and people who have had serious accidents, that leave them paraplegic for example, do have very different levels of happiness immediately afterwards, but after several months, their levels of happiness return to a similar level as those before the event.

"Everybody has a set point of happiness, and we are not going to exceed that for a long period of time. However, you can make sure you are not going to go below that level, by having strong links with your family, working and having spiritual values.

"Chronic depression is a very serious illness and in the future it could be possible to look at DNA and see which pattern is responsible for depression.

"At the moment doctors should be aware of the dangers of unemployment and trying to get people back to work."

Prof Aylward added that limiting our happiness could be evolution's way of protecting us from danger. He continued: "If you look at stone age man, it pays to be less happy and more cautious, to not impulsively eat fruit from trees that could be poisonous or just head into caves that could be dangerous."

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/liv...n_page_id=1770

Needless to say-not everyone here in the UK agrees
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Old 09-21-2012, 02:49 PM   #6
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There comes a point in time, when you got enough money and you just want to take it easy, with out the stress, but the obsession of making money overrides the objective to take it easy, I semi retired early, but I need to be on a strict budget to do so, that means I expect, woman to pay there own share, but now I'm not in business any more, I'm happier with out the stress. The people of the north of Thailand, live a simple life, which is less stressful, compared to the money hungry people of Bangkok.
Some times I think of the aboriginal in Australia 250 years ago, they had no mortgage, no rent, no money and multi million dollar Sydney Harbor views, all this for free. Now we have made life difficult, maybe people should be living like the people in the north, have a nice family and a social village life, and not obsess about keeping up with the Jones's.
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:58 PM   #7
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Yes I know that type of person very well.
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:18 PM   #8
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Seems to be a good article about thai happiness on the thread salaries and wages in thailand. post #24. Involve's buddhist thought. Personally I think the word is a mystery. Rather think of contentment, or settled ..than happiness. But, the word happiness light's the fire.
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:06 PM   #9
enfoires

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Default How happy are Thai people?
HAPPINESS SURVEY
Bangkokians least content of all Thais
Isaan folk still happiest; money not the answer
The Nation, 14th September 2001

Bangkok residents are the most unhappy in the country, and the national sentiment has slumped, according to the latest survey on gross domestic happiness.

Out of a possible 10 points, Bangkok residents' happiness was rated at just 5.54 in a survey conducted by the Abac Poll Research Centre between August 25 and September 12.

The survey - of 4,864 people in 25 provinces - focused on their happiness last month.

The most happy people in the country were those living in Northeast, where the gross happiness index touched 6.69 points.

"Since we have conducted the gross domestic happiness surveys, the Northeast has always emerged as the happiest region," the research centre's director Noppadon Kannika said yesterday.

He said the country's happiness slipped to just 6.34 points last month from 7.29 in July.

In June, when the country celebrated the 60th anniversary of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej's accession to the throne, the index soared to 9.21 points.

Noppadon said respondents were still most happy about Thai culture and their loyalty to the monarchy. People's family ties, health, job satisfaction and good relationships with others in the same community also contributed.

According to the survey, a higher income does not mean more happiness. When divided into groups based on incomes, 19 per cent of those earning less than Bt5,000 a month said they were happy while only 9 per cent of those earning more than Bt30,000 a month said they were happy.

"It should also be noted that those who strictly embrace [the King's] sufficiency-economy theory recorded a higher gross happiness index," Noppadon said.

He said all parties should formulate clear policies on how to increase the happiness index instead of just focusing on developments driven by capitalism.
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:56 PM   #10
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By now there are two kinds of difference happiness; the happiness that comes from getting what we hunger for and the happiness of the total absence of hunger.


As I’m Thai who living in Thailand . I think happiness of Thai people based on respect to Buddhism.

In the Dhamma sense, happiness is when there is no hunger or want at all, when we're completely free of all hunger, desire, and want.

There is the Dhamma principle for living and stopping foolish hunger results in peace of mind, cool happiness, freedom from disturbance, working as doing Dhamma (not for money), sustenance enough life with dept free, giving and sharing to others .

The world today continues to develop the kind of education and evolution that seek merely to produce things which are more lovely and satisfying. Modern technology and science are slaves of hunger. Our world is falling into this deep hole of endlessly producing increasingly seductive things to try to satisfy hunger. Everybody are bothered by hopes and wishes. These hopes, wishes, and expectations are another kind of spiritual hunger.

Hunger is solely a mental problem. The highly developed human mind develops hunger into the spiritual hunger that results in attachment.

If we don't know how to living with enough, although we may be millionaires, with homes full of consumer products and pockets full of money, we still hunger spiritually. The more we consume, the more we hunger. However much we try to satisfy mental hunger, to that extent it will expand, grow, and disturb the mind ever more. Even billionaires are spiritually hungry.
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Old 09-22-2012, 12:36 AM   #11
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what IS happiness, by the way? I mean it. this is a serious question
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Old 09-22-2012, 02:50 AM   #12
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and not obsess about keeping up with the Jones's. but they are if given a chance.

All it takes is just a little bit more than their neighbor.

Like in mexico where I have seen it happen more than here, probably because I was out moving around the country more, but when poor and just enough corn and beans from the harvest to last a year, they were happy and never worried, Not even a door on their house, let alone a lock.
But let them get just a little and they changed, built a wall with broken bottles on top and 3 german shepard dogs inside barking all night long, carrying guns and hired body guards,, you know the kind of people I mean.
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:16 AM   #13
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Well I'm happiest when I get to sleep in late, and get up about mid day.
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:20 AM   #14
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I believe the survey is somewhat superficial. Although Iím not keen of using the word self-actualization, however, before any of us can find true happiness, we must understand what is the most important thing in our life first. By the time we reach the self - actualization state then I believe we become secure of who we are. In other word, we can never truly find happiness unless we are happy with ourselves first.

Noi
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:39 AM   #15
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Must be peace of mind and satisfaction on who you are and pride in yourself as a human being, Loving and being loved.

Don't have to mean that you are rich or powerful, those people are mostly not proud of how they got there.
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:47 AM   #16
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For sure, Have to hire bodyguards and think every woman is a sponge and trying to rip you off and make you bitter like PaulAU.
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Old 09-22-2012, 05:21 AM   #17
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According to the survey, a higher income does not mean more happiness. When divided into groups based on incomes, 19 per cent of those earning less than Bt5,000 a month said they were happy while only 9 per cent of those earning more than Bt30,000 a month said they were happy.
How do we get "Happiness Index"?!
I make more than Bt30,000 and I'm also not THAT happy.... I wonder who about those who make Bt billions though.... probably not cos they worry about being assinated everyday?
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Old 09-22-2012, 05:38 AM   #18
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Also if you are healthy, both physically and mentally, happiness will follow. I believe Thai people have a more relaxed life style than many high stresses westerners in western countries. Thai's not having as much stress, can make them happier.
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:10 AM   #19
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Here is one answer for "what is happiness ?"

In Search of Happiness
by Petr Karel Ontl

All of us seek, each in his or her own way, that strangely elusive state called happiness, but very few of us can describe or define just what we think will give us that happiness. Most of us are looking for something, but we don't quite know what. At best we may have only some vague, nebulous hunches. Not very much to go on! It is as if we have undertaken a journey without a clear idea of where we are going, or how we are to get there. Is it any wonder that we repeatedly fail in spite of all our efforts?

All things change, and our notions of happiness are no exception. It is clear that, if it is formed at all, the concept of happiness is extremely subjective and personal, open not only to wide individual interpretation, but to the vagaries of social, cultural, and even economic conditioning as well.

In simpler, bygone days, it appears that happiness was generally taken to be a tranquil, anxiety-free state of contentment brought about by the fulfillment of certain conditions necessary for survival. One who was properly sheltered, adequately clothed, well fed, free from serious illness and pain, and was not in danger of harm from enemies, was deemed to be happy. For what more could one ask? Fragile though it was, such a basic state of security was deemed to be a blessing, and grounds for great happiness.

In our time, however, it seems that happiness is more than ever held to be somehow linked with the experience of pleasure, and with "getting and having things." Some seek it in the direct agitation and gratification of the senses. Others, in the accumulation of material objects, and in the attainment of fame, status, power, and wealth. And many think it lies in the rather hazy concept of "being free," which today has taken on the extreme connotation of freedom from discipline, morals, social conventions, and even good taste! (In other times this was known as license.)

Unhappiness (suffering, or dukkha) is much easier to define, possibly because we experience so much more of it. But either way, whether we are scrutinizing happiness or suffering, we are dealing with unstable, impermanent states of mind and impermanent external conditions being in accord, or at odds, with what we want and expect. As soon as we no longer have things going our way, happiness wanes and some degree of unhappiness or suffering arises. It may be trivial or severe, but it is nonetheless suffering. Suffering is simply wanting, endless wanting. It is dissatisfaction with things being the way they are.

The Buddha identifies wanting (desiring, craving, tanha) as the basis of all our suffering, and in the same breath he adds that it is the causative factor of rebirth. The Buddha points out that there is no lasting, inherent pleasure or happiness to be derived from having satisfied a desire. Any desire. The pleasure occurs only during the peak moment of releasing the frustration, the anticipation, the tension of the wanting itself. Once the desired object is secured, once the discomfort of wanting has been relieved, gratification dwindles to an afterglow, and soon ceases. As soon as the novelty wears off, our attention rather quickly moves to the next item that catches our eye. It is a never-ending process.

Furthermore, the Buddha also points out that no object or situation can ever, in and of itself, be a source of pleasure or displeasure. Rather, these are constructs of the mind. In our minds we form certain expectations, the way we want specific things, situations, and persons to be. As long as these expectations happen to be met, we experience a degree of satisfaction. When they are not met, we experience displeasure, disappointment, anger, and other unwholesome mind-states in direct proportion to our frustration.

We cannot crave that which we already have, only that which is still out of our reach. We can have an attachment to what is already ours, but that is also a desire, a wanting for the future to be a certain way. We want a guarantee that the object of our attachment will continue to give us pleasure, that it will remain in our possession, and that it will not change, break, or otherwise fail to live up to our expectations. We still want something that is out of reach: a firm guarantee that future circumstances will not alter.

We deceive ourselves and each other into believing that happiness is just one more step away, almost within our reach. If only we could get rid of this, if only we could have that, if only we could change the other, then for sure we would be really and truly happy forever! We spend our lives "if-onlying," reaching and grasping, yet we never manage to get hold of happiness. It always seems to slip through our fingers. That is the story of our lives, life after life, birth after birth.

Yes, this constant reaching and grasping for "just one more thing," this is the craving, the tanha about which the Buddha warns us. This is the glue that binds us so firmly to the Wheel of Samsara, this grim Merry-Go-Round of Misery that drags us endlessly from birth to rebirth, from death to death again, and from suffering to more suffering, relieved here and there by short-lived sparks of gratification or pleasure.

Ironically, the more we grasp at this thing called happiness, the more we chase after it, the more certain it is that it will escape us. We have misinterpreted, misunderstood both the cause and the nature of happiness, and then we have compounded the error by looking for the happiness in the wrong place, in the world, rather than within the mind! Our efforts are doomed to failure from the very first.

Happiness lies not in the ability to satisfy our every desire, but rather in the ability to refrain from reacting compulsively to every craving and prodding of the mind. It is the ability to observe the mind dispassionately, to allow anything to manifest without our "buying into it," without becoming enslaved by it.

There is little that can be done about what occurs to us through external circumstances. That is old, conditioned stuff, kammavipaka surfacing. We need do nothing, except to observe carefully its arising and its passing away. We do, however, need to be very careful about how we react to it. That reaction, that mental, emotional, and volitional response, creates our conditioning for the future.

The clear awareness of our feelings toward the arisen object or thought, unaccompanied by an automatic, self-interested, reflex reaction based in greed or aversion, begins to weaken the kammic bonds that hold us to samsaric misery. And practiced regularly, it provides insight into the workings of nature and of the mind. This insight, this understanding of the impermanence, ultimate unsatisfactoriness, and selfless nature of all conditioned phenomena (anicca, dukkha, anatta), quickly breaks the kammic chains and leads to liberation from Samsara. It is the very core of the Buddha's Teaching
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:13 AM   #20
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...by the way, I really like FiP's definition of happiness:

Must be peace of mind and satisfaction on who you are and pride in yourself as a human being, Loving and being loved.
here's mine:
being able to love myself, being in close contact to nature, "growing" constantly and learning something new every day, feeling valuable to others, ...

anyone else?
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