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. I am for friendz

    Deepak Chopra is a cultural thief. He has encashed all his self esteem on the foundations of Hinduism. But he makes sure he never gives credit to Hinduism. He represents a category of bloodsucking creatures which are never good for the body they depend upon.

    May 21, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
    • Hindu

      His speech sounds phony and hollow. His so called spiritual retreats are enormously expensive! The true spiritual monks offer their advice for free.

      May 21, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
    • Michael Wong

      All religions employ cultural thievery. Old Testament Jewish law borrowed heavily from Hammurabi's Code. So what?

      May 21, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
    • anne

      yeap. you are totally right. I hate all those people who take all their ideas from Hinduism and call them theirs.
      I don't like Chopra, however, so many people do not know about Hinduism, but they will listen to him. so at least, he spreads the word of Hinduism to everyone else. he better never call himself enlightened, because an enlightened person will never try to make money out of Hinduism.

      May 21, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  2. Hindu

    As long as Deepak Chopra can stay away from physics, I'll be happy! His physics=super-unnatural state of matter:)

    May 21, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  3. Archangel

    It shocks and surprises how some people are actually atheists, is just shocking. This is a Christian state. And obviously how some people turn to Philosophical terms to make a point. Which I would rather accept. But maybe you should understand and RESPECT why about half of all Psyches hold Conservative values. And don't get me started on that. Cause I;m gonna be one, which I hold great hope and prosperity.

    You're a shame, some of you, not all of you. If you want some damn respect, maybe learn how to speak accordingly and stop speaking with your tongues twisting.

    May 21, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
    • Hindu

      We are not going to get you started on that! We can't even understand what you started already! Your sentences are highly fragmented!

      May 21, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
    • jkinorlando

      This is a christian state.....no this is the United States and the two shall not be confused.

      May 21, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  4. IceT

    Happiness can be obtained by giving over to God all that makes us sad or things we don't understand. Since God resides in our own minds we are actually making ourselves happy. Whether we choose to call it God , something else or nothing at all, our happiness is our own choice.

    May 21, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  5. Bruce

    Is a humanist a person of faith? CNN, you falsely advertised that this article was about people of faith, yet you interviewed a humanist. Accuracy is something you really need to work on.

    May 21, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
    • Michael Wong

      Yes, a humanist is a person of faith. He believes in the moral tenets of humanism. So do you, even if you don't realize it. The entire concept of human rights was a humanist invention. There is no such concept in the Bible.

      The Bible has divine authority.
      Buddhism has karma.
      Humanism has human rights.

      Make a note and try to remember that.

      May 21, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
    • Archangel

      @Wong Tell em, this dumb people are wasting my time.

      But don't worry, I'll be seeing them in clinical studies in the future.

      May 21, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  6. Scott

    "Money can't buy you happiness, but it can buy you a big yacht to pull right up next to it." David Lee Roth

    May 21, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
    • anne

      once you get the yacht, you want a big boat and once you get that you want a trip to the moon, etc. you will never achieve happiness through money. look at what is happening out there. all those CEOs are so rich and they are still not happy. they make everyone else so unhappy because of their greed. a happy person will never do that. happy people want to spread happiness not misery. only miserable people want to spread misery. that is why money will never make you happy. rich people are not happy, if they would be, they would not be so afraid of loosing their money.

      May 21, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  7. SunGoD

    Correction: six action tools 1. legs 2. arms 3. digestive systems 4. talk (tongue plays dual role to taste as well) 5. reproductive organs 6. thinking iof the mind

    May 21, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  8. Venkat


    May 21, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
    • Chanti

      Good. You are absolutely TRUE. I feel this is the only correct answer. Everyone! Please think about this one word.

      May 21, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  9. SunGoD

    Happiness is a state of mind. To understand the state of mind you turn off all the five knowledge senses "Gnanendriyas" and control (yoke, yoga etc) your five action tools (sensory organs) "karmendriyas" from ancient text in Tamil called Thiru Manthiram by Thiru Moolar

    May 21, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  10. shilpy

    i feel happy when i watch the tonoght show with jay leno.

    May 21, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  11. Gwen Boucher

    I find it incongruous, that those who have created the most pain in my life think they know anything about happiness.

    May 21, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  12. John N

    Happiness is talking a lot about common sense and obvious things. Then go write a book about it. Then go on TV promoting such a book. Then sell lots of DVDs and tapes, make millions of dollars, give lots of useless advice that you don't believe in, and have people fall for it doling out lots of cash to you. You become rich talking and promoting the same thing year after year. The end.

    May 21, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  13. sri

    joel osteen is a tool. Look at his arrogant face. Feel like slapping it.

    May 21, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  14. Archangel

    I have a question. What do YOU think happy is? Is it materialistic OR spiritual? Religious? Or pain?

    I have studies, numbers, stats and facts stating how people become really happy. That's how good I am now. Whether you are atheists, for example, measuring happiness is not a way of spirituality but a way of perceving what is happiness. Anybody can be happy. Happy is a state of mood when we feel good about ourselves. It can be a tough state, a moody state, an emotional state, etc. How do YOU measure happiness? Does religion matter?

    Nonbelievers believe that in order to be happy, the God up there and his son has no purpose or meaning to why we should be happy with the way we live. Well, I don't have time to argue with atheists and Libs so I ask you.

    What do you defy in happiness? Job? Family? Life? Etc?

    May 21, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  15. Melissa

    This was recently posted and thought I would share...Your Secrets Revealed: What Makes YOU Happy? http://www.staceytv.com/your-secrets-revealed/

    May 21, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  16. speri

    reminds me .. Nithya Ananda in Sanskrit means .. Happyness for ever !! LOL he was Happy of course Minting in $$$$ do yourself a favor by bing on this guy Nithyananda !!!

    May 21, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  17. Kathleen Bergin

    Amy – five profiles on the pursuit of happiness, four from white men, and not a single woman?

    May 21, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  18. speri

    All the folks out are Multi Millionaires !! Why wouldnt they be happy SELLING it for Hundreds and thousands of $$$$ these guys are all white collar thiefs same as that guy Nithyananda in Safron Robe !!! Shame on CNN for promoting Chopra and others out here !

    May 21, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  19. morena

    happiness comes from our own individual feelings, many differents kinds of happiness but the most happiness is when you believe in God and fallow his commandments now you can feel rest of your soul.

    May 21, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  20. John

    I find immense happiness from trying to understand why people need delusions to trick themselves into being happy. What a cruel trick on our minds by evolution to create a creature which perpetually seeks something it calls happiness, being momentarily satisfied by reproduction and food, living from one moment to the next, endlessly seeking that which it can never find. Put a human by a button that when pressed, causes a direct pleasure in the brain, and it will press the button until it dies from starvation, just like any other animal.

    May 21, 2010 at 4:41 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.