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. Deep

    What Deepak said should not be taken literally word by word. By the act of giving, one can be happy, I however disagree with Deepak that one can't ignore our own happiness. Because by being unhappy no one can think of anything for any other person. So if you are atleast happy or moderately joyful, it is the time to find the real happiness.

    For all the confused Christians followers, I read the scripture myself , thought not completely, but what I got out from it is, life practices are described in a way which will be in accordance to Jesus. Jesus is god or not that is a whole different story.

    If you want to be happy eternally, STOP looking for happiness outside of yourself. The infinite source of happiness in you, and that comes from giving to others. When you start giving care to anyone apart from you, you are establishing a positive relationship and that bond will give you happiness and this happiness will be long lasting.

    May 21, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
  2. TsirhCitnA


    He is God himself who decided to live a human life as a carpenter and you are questioning his modesty?...You truly have no clue!!

    Ed. Was he the son, or was he him/her? You can't have it both ways. I also have lots of clues. Do you have any facts?

    May 21, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  3. heimlick

    happiness = a good bowel movement. seriously.

    May 21, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
  4. Wesner

    Any thing can make people happy; happiness is a state of mind, it is a feeling, but joy is a conviction that is derived from the multiple graces that God renders to those who surrender to him, "Woe to Christianity".

    May 21, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
  5. ipad

    chopra recommends ipads for hapiness

    May 21, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
  6. ipad

    never ever look for hapineess ouside of ipads.

    May 21, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  7. ipad

    how about true happiness in ipad, the latest one is packed with hapiness.

    May 21, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  8. deflair

    religion,the opiate of the masses

    May 21, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
    • brooke


      May 21, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
  9. T4Texas

    To all you non-believers,
    Why read and comment on the article if you're so sure God does not exist?
    Why bother wasting your time?

    May 21, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
    • TsirhCitnA

      I'm a non-believer. I'm confident that a god does not exist. I am not, by any means, 100% sure.

      Why are you so certain a god does exist? More importantly, why are you so certain it is the god you chose to believe in that is the only one to exist?

      Explain the difference between your god, and Ra, Zeus, or Allah.

      May 21, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
    • Deep

      couldnt have said it better

      May 21, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
    • brooke

      because the article isn't about god, it's about happiness. and we're happy! (probably because we don't live in fear of the guy with the long white beard who lives in the clouds and who will make us burn in hell if we vote democratic.)

      May 21, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
    • D Nelson

      Because not all the people in the article are Christian – or even follow a "God" – One of them specifically does NOT believe in God. Perhaps YOu are the one who has not read the article.

      May 21, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
  10. VK RAMAN

    Happiness is when you live in happiness. No shortage is felt. No weakness is felt.

    May 21, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
    • Deep

      I like your thought.

      May 21, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  11. lindag24

    I always find it hilarious that people who say they don't believe in God get so worked up over someone they claim doesn't even exist. LOL!!

    May 21, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
    • brooke

      i'm sure you find it hilarious. jesus freaks find humor in so many things! unlike you, i'll call out my own sarcasm.

      May 21, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
  12. Socrates

    Cleanliness is Godliness .Love all

    May 21, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
  13. JT

    Jack. You may not know, but there are those of us who do. I know there is a God. One God...alive and well.

    May 21, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  14. JT

    Amen MJ!!!

    May 21, 2010 at 2:29 pm |
  15. Ben

    To all of you on this blog....I know that God lives as sure as the sun shines. I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He states that he is the way the truth and the life and that no man cometh unto the Father but by him. It is through him that all of us will one day return to the presence of our Heavenly Father and live together as families. This I know to be true. All of you are my brothers and sisters and I love you all!

    May 21, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
    • TsirhCitnA

      What about the nice people who are condemned to hell?

      May 21, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
  16. Gee Wizz

    The difficulty with trying to define happiness is that it comes with expectation. By creating or anticipating an emotion, state of mind, we are leaving ourselves wide open for disappointment if that emotional high bar is not achieved.

    I think it best to remain in the moment and be aware of how all things exist and be content in the knowledge of that truth. Then "happiness" will be experienced at whatever personal level one is at. Work on that understanding and ones knowledge and wisdom will become greater, hence a fuller understanding of happiness. No expectation, no disappointment, just the understanding of ones own happiness.

    May 21, 2010 at 2:21 pm |
  17. Reza

    Here is a quote from the bible to cheer you up:
    Deuteronomy, Deut.22

    "If any man takes a wife, and goes in to her, and then spurns her, and charges her with shameful conduct, and brings an evil name upon her, saying, `I took this woman, and when I came near her, I did not find in her the tokens of virginity,'
    then the father of the young woman and her mother shall take and bring out the tokens of her virginity to the elders of the city in the gate; and the father of the young woman shall say to the elders, `I gave my daughter to this man to wife, and he spurns her; and lo, he has made shameful charges against her, saying, "I did not find in your daughter the tokens of virginity." And yet these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity.' And they shall spread the garment before the elders of the city. Then the elders of that city shall take the man and whip him; and they shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver, and give them to the father of the young woman, because he has brought an evil name upon a virgin of Israel; and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days. But if the thing is true, that the tokens of virginity were not found in the young woman, then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones, because she has wrought folly in Israel by playing the harlot in her father's house; so you shall purge the evil from the midst of you.

    May 21, 2010 at 2:21 pm |
  18. KOG

    Could it be that the concept of cheering up others is borrowed from the statement "Do unto others as you would want them to do to you?". And that statement is from the Kingdom of God. I pray that you find or have found that Kingdom.

    May 21, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
  19. mdfar

    I think whole these posts have a commmon point : "beleiving "– from nothing to everything–whose care!!!the important is just "beleiving", this means we are alive....
    Forgot fighte of the minds , they 're fighting just because they can not see the reality beyound the others'word and they 've misunderestood....

    May 21, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
  20. MJ

    hhhmm, it's funny to see how many people can complain about what Joel Osteen said but they wouldn't say nothing about the other guys and their comments!
    Talon6, if God didn't exist then, you wouldn't even spend your time on this website to say he's a mythical thing and well, I'm sure you need Him! We all do....
    WOW! If soo many people talk about HIM.. whether the comment are good or bad, it's because He definitely IS ALIVE!

    May 21, 2010 at 2:13 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.