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May 20th, 2010
11:55 AM ET

What makes people happy?

Happiness is something we all strive for in our lives. But is there a secret ingredient to being happy?

We asked five faith leaders of varying perspectives to answer the question, "What makes people happy?" Their answers showed that happiness comes from meaning and purpose in life. It's in your heart and soul and can come from helping others.

And if you're looking for perfect happiness, it doesn't exist. But imperfect happiness does.

- Associate Producer

Filed under: Culture & Science • Leaders

soundoff (800 Responses)
  1. cathy

    shopping, drinking, eating, spending time with friends and family, going to bed after a hard days work, a clean house, a mowed lawn, being alone, good health, my puppy, reading a good book, surfing the web, watching a great flick, enjoying the flowers i planted, boating, driving my smart car, a smile on my childrens faces, these are the moments of happiness for me

    May 22, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  2. egh

    What would make Americans happy is if that muslim traitor Obama would relinquish his presidency and move back to Africa!!

    May 22, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
    • omdusa

      What would make real human beings happy is if people who call themselves 'real Americans" fell off a giant cliff and were never heard from again. I urge you to take the first step.

      May 22, 2010 at 7:47 pm |
  3. LouAz

    Damn. Too many christians. Too few lions.

    May 22, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  4. Terry W. Brookman

    He is the Fun God He is the Sun God, RA RA RA

    May 22, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  5. nomad

    This guy is fake, driven by greed, don't listen to him.

    May 22, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
    • Charles Almon

      Greed id good.

      May 22, 2010 at 10:56 pm |
  6. Tru Believer

    Happiness is Odin, THE God.
    And his awesome Son of God, Thor.
    That is where true happiness lies.

    And a good pet dog.

    May 22, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  7. Ana

    If you want to change your religion because you feel you don't fit, i think it's fine. Just believe in what you feel good and let you be a better person.

    May 22, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  8. Ana

    Hi,
    I agree with some of the posts here. I think as someone said you are more happy if you don't care about other's people belief, I mean I feel good to do my things and be what I want to be, and also let be what others want to be. Don't pay to much attention in what others try to push you what you should believe. Just care and love other people about what they are and not what believe, that doesn't matter.
    You don't really know what it's gonna be in the end, so nobody has the real true. So for those people who like to push others to be in the same religion, how they know they are right. Just be respectful and don't push the people to believe in your own religion. That's more important in my opinion.

    May 22, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  9. Frank Izo

    Be happy and believe in my lord Jesus Christ and be saved. The only way to God, if I'm wrong your dust if I'm right your in Hell if you don't believe. look up John 3:16

    May 22, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
    • logic

      I saw a similar post yesterday from "Jake". Now after reading yours, I realize this thought is hold by many people. I have to say the logic is so obviously weak and wrong. Here is why.

      You assumed that, since I don't believe in god, I believe everyone gets the same treatment after he dies. Therefore you are clever enough to buy a little insurance for your second life– to be a believer. If there is no god/heaven/hell, you don't lose much, since you just waste your insurance, and you will encounter the same as everybody else; if there is indeed this holy god, then you have bet on the right thing and you saved your 2nd life.

      How smart! What an opportunist! I bet your god must feel sad if his believers believe in him as an insurance.

      But wait a second, your assumption is wrong. I don't believe in god, but I also have a little belief. I believe one should not believe in any known religion. If you do believe in god, your second life will be miserable.

      Now isn't it clear why I insist on not believing in god? That choice is also my insurance. If you are right, I go to hell; if I am right, you go to hell. I have to bet on something. You are not that different. We are just buying different insurances. When brainwashed people keep telling me their insurance is better, I laugh. When insurance salesperson keeps trying to sell it to me, I think it is fishy.

      May 22, 2010 at 10:40 pm |
    • Frank izo's biggest fan

      Hi Frank

      I think you're amazing for posting that! Very simple, to the point, without any negative! It's nice to know that people can post without adding negativity! You're obviously a very happy man! You must have been blessed with a family who loves and adores you for all that you inspire!

      May 23, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  10. gwriter

    The "crimes" Mr. Chopra has committed in the name of so-called spiritualism is at least as revolting as the self-centered suicide bombers who target others in the name of religion. To say that Mr. Chopra is a con-artist would belittle all the real con men and women since the begining of time.

    You may want to check out "Help! Debunking the Outrageous Claims of Self-Help Gurus" that exposes the kinds of sham Mr. Chopra has fostered and sold. He is the spitting image of one of the greatest con men of all time, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, whom Mr. Chopra once revered and followed. Indeed, Mr. Chopra was the Yogi's salesman when he first made his fortunes selling dubious "get well" products. It gets worse. Read "Help!"

    May 22, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
    • Charles Almon

      Tho he has slimmed down nicely (If there is anything worse than a hustler, it's a FAT hustler) and gotten a few gig for his equally greasy son.

      May 22, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
  11. Terry W. Brookman

    A good BJ every now and then creates happiness!

    May 22, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  12. Justin

    This is just a tid ethnocentric, which is fine, but they said "from varying faiths" which I think would encompass a greater variety than Christian and a new age healer. Kind of sad CNN.

    May 22, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  13. ib42

    Happiness, like end of a cat's tail, can't be caught, but if you go about your business, it will follow you around.

    May 22, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  14. Anil Singhal

    You are all right and I dont blame you; how can you believe something you never have seen before. I am saying it because I actually did it.

    happy meditating...

    May 22, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  15. ib42

    Happiness is the absence of of insoluble conflict.

    May 22, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  16. Peter Aquino

    To Ray in Vegas: There are many that live in violence and abuse. There are many that suffer in mind and body. There are the homeless that don't know where their next meal will be comming from. There are those that suffer from the wrath of nature. Unhappiness will be a great part of their lives. This is the harsh reality of life for it is said, "Many are called but few are chosen."

    Protect what is before you in your domain that you rule and control. Take good care of yourself. Go out, get fresh air and sunshine and work-up a sweat. The sweat that flows from within is the spring that will nourish your mind and body. It will relieve stress and lift your mood. Remove impure thoughts and happiness will come to you in droves.

    May 22, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
  17. 96mcmullen

    My answer may contradict with a lot of others here. Though, I feel like all of our answers contradict one another's. Happiness, at least I have found, is not something that can be 'achieved'. I find the more I try and control my own life and steer my own path– that is when I screw up and mess up and become incredibly unhappy. But when I give up control of my life to God ((and this is when the contradiction comes in)), and don't worry about what's coming next or what's going on around me... That is when I am the most happy.

    May 22, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  18. William Karl Brayton

    I don't care what others say about my life. I'm happy being a little nerd with no life, because the life I've seen from my fellow teenagers isn't a life. Drinking and passing out on the ground while your friends laugh and trip over themselves isn't fun...blowing up stuff on a computer screen is :3

    May 22, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
    • Michael Wong

      Women are more fun than both drinking and computer games.

      May 22, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
  19. Anil Singhal

    Happiness means becoming thought-less; zero thoughts.

    May 22, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
    • Michael Wong

      Wow. So watching FOXNews really WILL make you happy!

      May 22, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  20. Anil Singhal

    First, Happiness means state "where there is no happy and there is no sad"; I call it state of living in heaven. Most of people waste their life in-between happy and sad. At the end of life, they learn they did nothing and they know nothing.

    This happiness state can be achieved through meditation (Note: I am not talking about concentration). That is the only solution to get happiness. Knowing "who you are" can address all your mental issues and happiness is one of them.
    Also you will get lot more "your" powers.

    Thanks for reading....

    May 22, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.