In talking with friends and clients I’ve found that there is a disconnect in people’s meaning of the word “happy”.  Some people say the word happy when they mean the sensation of being contented.  Others us it to mean being passionate about something and being able to participate in it.  Having two people in a conversation where they are using the same word to mean these two different things can cause all kinds of misunderstanding and hilarity.

Those who find contentedness to be happy need their lives to have no ups and no downs.  Everything needs to stay on an even keel with no drama and very little anticipation.  It’s just all good all the time.  Those who see passion as happiness seek out something to be passionate about and then dive into it.  They are happiest when they are getting their hands dirty working towards something or doing something that they feel strongly about.  And if they achieve their goal or they find that the goal wasn’t worthy or it got subverted, etc, etc, well then it’s off to work on the next project.

For me, the word “happy” falls somewhere in between these two states.  Feeling happy should bring on contentment, but I personally get a little antsy if there is nothing going on.  So I get passionate about things that make me happy.  The best is when I find something that makes me smile but I don’t even know that I’m smiling.  When I find something like that I like to actively participate in it.  Meet it half way, if you will.  I get fired up about it and I’m willing to take some chances, look like a fool, seem crazy, in order to be happy.  But that’s me.  What’s your definition of happy?