You May Not Be Seeking Happiness

Real Estate Agent with Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 CA BRE# 01261476

"People are as happy as they choose to be."
Henry Ford


You think you seek "happiness" and it makes sense that you do, because when we're happy, our emotions experience feelings ranging from contentment to bliss and even pleasure. But, I submit it's Joy you truly seek, that more elusive feeling that comes from being a giver, from gratitude and selflessness.


"If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day go fishing. If you want happiness for a year inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody."
Chinese Proverb


You see, happiness is emotion affected by the external. It's based on how the outside world is allowed to affect you. How people, relationships, experiences, news, places and even our thoughts affect us. Happiness is connected to your hope for an outcome, your thoughts about yourself and your future. And, what you think about, you become.

Joy is the emotion affected by the internal-it's not circumstantial. The sense of being in a state of well-being or contentment that has nothing to do with the outside world-it's just who you are because you are at peace with yourself. You are connected to joy even when going through adversity, because your head and heart are in alignment with your faith, values and definite purpose. You're content with your life, but not satisfied to remain status quo, you want to continue to change and grow.

Happiness is a state of well-being and contentment triggered more through what you experience in life through other people, places and things. It's a temporary response to your circumstances of fortune and adversity in your life. Change can often be a threat to your happiness and fear can steal your joy.


"Being Joyful doesn't mean that everything is perfect.

It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections in your life

and be happy in spite of them." TJN



Being at peace with yourself doesn't mean there's an absence of conflict in your life, it means you can find comfort in who you are and what your capable of; it's knowing "I did it before, I can do it again." Sometimes it's knowing you've been through worse that keeps perspective.



As a REALTOR*, I found the 2007 Crash far more devastating an experience than the 2020 Pandemic. It doesn't mean the pandemic isn't bad, it just means I'm able to remain joyful and calm, work the problems so to speak, because I have had experiences in my life that give me strength through perspective to do so. So in the spirit of "I did it before, I can do it again." and simply apply that to today in the form of, "I survived the crash, so I can handle the pandemic, because the crash for me, was worse."


“He who has learned to disagree without being disagreeable has discovered the most valuable secret of negotiation.” – Chris Voss


Joy is the state of being grateful. Gratitude affords the ability to be happy because happiness is also a response the choice we made to be grateful. And it’s impossible to be angry, depressed, or envious when you are feeling grateful. Joy brings clarity to your values, goals and definite major purpose. It allows you to be resolute, faithful and focused on what matters most in your life. 


Joy lives in the now, it's appreciative of now. Happiness can often be conditional, it can  fool you into the idea of "future happiness". Here's what I mean: "Once I land that job I'll be successful", "Once I win the lottery I'll be financially sound and happy", "Once I meet that right guy or gal, I'll know love", etc. Money, Love & Success, is nothing more than a magnifying glass on who you are and they do not change you, they only reveal you. If you were unhappy, lacked joy before you fell in love and got married, you'll soon meet that person agian after the honeymoon (if not during the wedding planning). Better to be connected to your joy and then seek your Money, Love & Success, not for what it gets you, but for what it'll make of you.

“People are either going to get bitter or better over time.” – Brian Buffini



  Here are 5 Steps to Joy and Happiness

  1. LOVE MORE: How do you do that? Simply ask yourself "If I were coming from a place of love right now, how would I act?" and then do that. 
  2. HAVE WRITTEN GOALS: They are the road map of your day, week, month year...and lifetime. They help you focus on what is important, especially when life isn't so clear. Writing them down mentally connects you to them and makes them real to your subconscious-self and reviewable for your conscious-self.
  3. EAT HEALTHY AND BE ACTIVE: It's hard to be happy when you are sick and it's tough to be joyful in clarity when you are clouded by your own health issues.
  4. GO YOUR OWN WAY YOU are in charge of your life, no one else is. Don’t compare. Comparing is the stealer of joy. Accepting yourself unconditionally doesn’t mean Settling, it means FIRST appreciate, then endeavor to pursue your growth your way. Live your life your way.

  5. ENJOY THE JOURNEY: Why? Because the "journey" is your life! We can forget  sometimes to enjoy the pathway that takes us to our destination. And here's the thing; if you are growing, you never truly arrive at the peak, you just experience new and elevated base-camps... so you'd better enjoy the adventure of it.

  6. BONUS Step: LET GO and FORGIVE: Let go of "what was" and live in "what is" while preparing for "what can be". And forgive yourself first, for past failures - in fact I task you with failing forward. Failure is only feedback and what you do next with that feedback is what determines your results ultimately. Forgive others. Bitterness or grudges held on to are toxic. They are like you swallowing rat poison to kill a rat.


"Be responsible for the energy you bring into a room." ~ Oprah



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Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets what an absolutely beautiful quote....thank you for sharing it.... 

Nov 19, 2020 08:00 AM #1
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

I like that quote so much. In our society, it seems more money is what people think will bring them more happiness/freedom/joy. In reality, we have all we need right now. 

Nov 19, 2020 09:18 AM #2
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Thomas - I have previously heard the Henry Ford quote but I think I am going to think a bit more about that Chinese proverb. . .  Just because.

Nov 19, 2020 09:20 AM #3
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

This, is one of your best log post ever. Thank you for sharing it with us this morning 👍👍👍

Have a joyous Thursday and life Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets 

Nov 19, 2020 09:24 AM #4
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Henry Ford's quote is a universal truth!  When we look outside ourselves for happiness we are often disappointed!  If we are unhappy, we need to change something within ourselves!

Nov 20, 2020 05:27 AM #5
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

CONGRATULATIONS Thomas, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Nov 20, 2020 05:28 AM #6
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Thank You Myrl Jeffcoat ...always an honor!

Nov 20, 2020 08:19 AM #7
Manuel Angeles
Doorway Home Loans NMLS #222730 - Los Angeles, CA
Home Loans Made Easy

Great post! Thank you for sharing this ☺


- Manuel Angeles

Nov 28, 2020 07:04 PM #8
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

I am not sure that I completely agree with your distinctions between joy and happiness - although I certainly do think they are different - and I heartily agree with your argument that whether you are happy or joyful or not is impacted greatly by whether you decide to be happy/joyful

"Being Joyful doesn't mean that everything is perfect.

It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections in your life

and be happy in spite of them." TJN

Jan 07, 2021 07:02 AM #9
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Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast
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