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@Valeria I think happiness is something we can decide for ourselves. For me it's a principle in life. What are all the riches worth if you are not happy?

Even when I have a bad day, I take a look at my principles and think "I shouldn't be angry, one of my most important principles is it to be happy and so I should be happy." By thinking that way I am happy more often, more forgiving and much more grateful.

I think outsiders can have an impact on your "level" of happiness but ultimately it is something you can decide for yourself. The impact outsiders can have on you depends on the "strength" of your character. The less you have, the more your happiness depends on the opinion of other people.

Think of concentration camp prisoners, some of them practiced gratitude and happiness in one of the worst situations they probably have ever experienced.


I know what makes me successful when I analyze (review) what I have done to solve a problem and use this information again (and again) and it works again (& again) always building on the information and continuing to review it. However I am careful not to create an inflexible solution pattern and I have done that too, resulting in known failure! Success to me is solving interesting and difficult problems for design clients, friends, family and the entrepreneurs I interface with. I am very fortunate that when I am successful, I get positive feedback and Thanks. I can actually remember using this self analysis of my success when quite young (6 or 7 years old) in dealing with my parents successfully. Definitely I am trying to build a superhighway, rather then carving a path, to build on my success.


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@Julius - is being happy an outcome, or is it an attitude, something we can decide for ourselves? Can someone else or something else determine our level of happiness? I'm exploring with you.

@ana - I welcome you with open arms, even as you seem uncertain as to how you'd like to participate to the conversation. I see it as we are all "us" - there is no "them". You and I are part of it. How would you lead?

@Brian - thought-provoking. In his book, The Art of Possibility, Ben Zander suggests we become the board - the stage on which life is played, taking responsibility for what happens on it. I'm seeing a bit of that in your response.

@Capsule - that was fast! I look forward to your next visit.

@Carolyn Ann - my point of view of materialism is that we are also material - flesh and bones, and all of that. Substance that looks for sustenance and it's ok to rely on other materials to lean on - shelter, food, transportation, etc. all in the proper balance they all matter (do they have the same root?). See what you've done? We've gone exploring a different question altogether. And that is just fine. Success can also mean being content with asking the questions and not knowing all the answers.

@Sheryl - I really liked your take. Feedback is everywhere in nature as well, isn't it? It's a very powerful conversation of listening and learning with others. I'm really glad we had the opportunity to meet on Twitter.

@Dennis - the video is very powerful. My success depends totally on my ability and willingness to fail a little every day, so I can see longer term, deeper, differently. Thank you. I will check out your story.

@Brian - I observed that it depends on how we enter the conversation. Sometimes we're the ball.

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