In my opinion, people are either happy, sad or comatose. Within those 3 categories, there are plenty of levels one could choose from in helping to get closer to the truth.

Overall, I think we would all agree that being happy is the best out the 3 emotions I mentioned. Depending on your makeup, it’s either the easiest one to reach or the toughest one to get to. I tend to believe the things that determine how well you can do this have to do with how you grew up and your present environment.

For instance, if you grew up relatively happy with parents who didn’t argue all the time, even if your present circumstance is bad you can usually pop back into a happy mode faster than someone else can. If you grew up in a depressed family with a lot of problems, you’ll be happy if you’re in a great environment, but it will be pretty easy to fall back into a depressed mode when things don’t go right.

So then, it begs the question of just how happy are you most of the time? I’ll answer first, with a little bit of explanation. I’m not as happy a guy as I used to be. I think it’s because working for myself has not only been much harder than I had expected it would be, but I don’t get to see people as often as I used to. In all the years when I worked for someone else, I can honestly say I never felt any pressure until the last year, which is what helped encourage me to give it a shot. Nine years later I’m still fighting the good fight, with some great years and some not all that great years, and it starts to take a toll.

But I grew up in a relatively happy household. My parents were very practical, but my dad was one of those types of people who could lighten up every room he went into. My mother didn’t really develop a sense of humor until a few years ago I hate to say, but she wasn’t a mean person, just always worried that something might go wrong. I can understand that; Dad was in Vietnam, and often had to leave for months at a time and we knew almost nothing about where he went or what he was doing.

So I got a bit from both parents, but because my upbringing was fairly happy, I’m quick to laugh at things and can enjoy my own company, or just my wife and I, almost always. People seem to love when we’re together at the health club because we laugh a lot; my wife is funny. And we tend to draw people to us; I think happy people tend to do that. But I have my moments; I’m just glad I don’t have them often.

Just how happy are you most of the time? And why are you as you are?

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