You Can Be Happy

Zig Ziglar on

The dictionary says that happiness is "the agreeable sensations that spring from the enjoyment of good; that state of being in which his desires are gratified." It's "the enjoyment of pleasure without pain."

My 1828 Noah Webster Dictionary says that "happy" is "the pleasurable sensations derived from the gratification of sensual appetites renders a person temporarily happy, but he only can be esteemed really and permanently happy who enjoys peace of mind and the favor of God."

One of my favorite sayings is that "other people can give you pleasure, but you will never be happy until you do something for someone else." An English newspaper pondered the question, "Who are the happiest people on earth?" and they offered prizes for the best answers.

There were four winning answers: First, a craftsman or artist whistling over a job well done; second, a little child building air castles; third, a mother after a busy day bathing her baby; and fourth, a doctor who has finished a difficult and dangerous operation and saved a human life. As you can see, the list did not include kings, emperors, riches or anyone of rank. None of these were mentioned in the list of answers.

If you analyze the observations above, you will notice that in each case, the people who won the prizes were doing things -- they weren't just sitting around, pondering life's principles. I believe that's a major key to being happy. Busy people, by and large, are happy people. And I'm not talking about people who are busy for the sake of busyness, but who are busy because they have something to do that they believe is important.


In other words, happiness comes not only from being the right kind of person, but from doing things that benefit others. Take that approach to life, and I'll see you at the top!


To find out more about Zig Ziglar and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at



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