The Secret of Happiness IV

More about the secret of happiness, you ask? Transitioning this series of posts from SpongeBob Smiley’s magic formula for happiness … to happiness as something one must choose and cultivate … to Dr. Viktor Frankl’s view of happiness as a fanciful American phenomenon, one might imagine these three posts cover the spectrum reasonably well … but one might be wrong! Too much data has yet to be considered!

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to oldies but goodies night.

To start, here’s a musical number specifically addressed to the gents. Permit me to introduce Jimmy Soul whose 1963 Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping hit was titled If You Wanna Be Happy. Soul had a relatively short career, the next best thing to a one-hit-wonder − he was a two-hit wonder. Here are the lyrics in case you want to sing along.

For men who’ve already jumped the shark by marrying beautiful women … well, I suppose there might be other perks, but − if Jimmy Soul’s song is to be believed − don’t count on happiness being within reach.

Perhaps those guys may find solace in Bobby McFerrin’s 1988 Song of the Year / Record of the Year / number one pop hit, Don’t Worry, Be Happy. Here are more lyrics for your sing-along pleasure.

McFerrin’s hit song became popular across the globe, clearly due to its catchy, carefree tune, but also because its positive message resonated.

Now, here’s a change of pace (from my oldies theme). This song from the IMPACT Repertory Theater delivers a delightfully upbeat tune as well as being performed by energetic young people who definitely enjoy their music and presentation.

Doesn’t this video make you want to get up and dance?!

Finally, let’s return once more to the oldies. What oldies musical retrospective would be complete without a nod at Del Shannon? This version of Happiness wasn’t a runaway hit (get it? Runaway?) for Shannon, but the song still made it as cut number three on the Little Town Flirt album.

There are numerous other oldies that might have been featured in this post. I passed on The BeatlesHappiness Is A Warm Gun, not so much because of the drug references but primarily because guns and happiness don’t represent an acceptable duo in today’s politically correct culture.

Happiness Loves Company (Red Hot Chili Peppers) is too new. Lee Ann Womack’s song Happiness − a good song, but again, not an oldie. My Happiness by Connie Francis qualifies as an oldie, but I’m not exactly a fan of her music. There were others:  Roberta Flack’s Happiness, the Happiness cut from You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and many more. (Visit the iTunes store to gauge the abundance of tunes about happiness.)

Set to music, happiness frequently consorts with love. There’s sufficient justification, in my view, for that coupling. Consider the words of Jesus in John 15:11-13 (ERV):  I have told you these things so that you can have the true happiness that I have. I want you to be completely happy. This is what I command you: Love each other as I have loved you. The greatest love people can show is to die for their friends.”

Being willing to die for one’s friends? That kind of conscious, unconditional love − as Jesus taught in word and deed − is surely the path to true happiness.

The Secret of Happiness I

If you do a Google search for the word happiness, some 293 million supposedly relevant links result. Wikipedia − always the ultimate resource for helpful information − offers this summation:  Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.


Wikipedia also includes a picture of a yellow smiley face stating in the caption:  The smiley face is a well-known symbol of happiness.

I’m kind of partial to SpongeBob Smiley’s face (at left). For another discussion of SpongeBob the granite monument, see my previous post.

Since Wikipedia uses the term contentment as part of its description for happiness, you might also refer to my previous post related to contentment.

When attempting to define a term (like happiness), people sometimes use other emotion-related words almost interchangeably. More often than not, this fails to illuminate but instead muddies the water. Furthermore, plenty of people are unable to explain what happiness is … they’re much more capable of explaining (usually in great detail) what it is not.

The Secret of Happiness − at least as I understand this actual, bonafide secret − shouldn’t be that hard to figure out! And I have great news for you. I have done sufficient study on the subject to discover the secret and I’m pleased to share it with you below. These are important instructions and must be followed to the letter. You want happiness? Here it is in five simple steps.

  1. Copy the SpongeBob Smiley image above; paste and print the image on a letter-size sheet of white bond paper.
  2. Three times each day, hold the paper in front of your face; stare deeply for five minutes into SpongeBob Smiley’s eyes.
  3. Immediately drink eight ounces of cold water; sit quietly in a comfortable chair and relax. Let your breathing slow.
  4. Lean your head back, close your eyes and visualize SpongeBob Smiley’s image as if it is pasted to the inside of your eyelids. Do this for five minutes at each sitting.
  5. At the end of one week, you’ll know and understand The Secret of Happiness.

And please be sure to let me know how you did!