What Makes People Happy?

Thousands of women. All in the same place. Honestly, I’ve never done well with that.

I had two older brothers. We had three guys who lived with our family at various points when I was in high school. College was the first place I ever had the opportunity to live with all girls. Hated it. Girls are all high maintenance, including me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved (most of) my roommates. I even roomed with Cathy for three years.

But the whole large group of women together thing took a lot of getting used to. I don’t think I ever did.

So while I love the Women of Faith speakers and the music, I often quake at the thought of two days with thousands of women. All that estrogen in one place makes me shudder.

When I got the offer to go to WOF free as a blogger, I wondered if I should go to the Friday daytime sessions or if two days would be too much. When the torrents of Tropical Storm Lee made travel hazardous the day before, I almost canceled. If my friend Cyndi, who was going with me, hadn’t been so disappointed, I would have bagged it altogether.

So glad I didn’t. Friday, Henry Cloud spoke. (Don’t worry, I’m not being sexist. I enjoyed all the women I heard as well.) He spoke first on the behaviors that research has showed makes people happy, outlined in his book The Law of Happiness. Here are three:

  1. Happy people are givers.
  2. Happy people are connected.
  3. Happy people have goals.


No wonder people who volunteer or employed by nonprofits, who work hard to end poverty or lift others up, are some of the happiest people I know. They give. They have goals, goals to make a difference. And they’re connected to others who share similar goals.

Do you want to be happy? Give. Connect. Set some goals. And nothing could be better than to set the goal to make the world a better place, to have your life count for eternity. It’ll make you smile.

And while laughing might not mean you’re deeply happy, if you want a laugh that was shared at Women of Faith, check out this video from the other man at WOF: Tim Hawkins.

2 thoughts on “What Makes People Happy?”

  1. Carol, that is something we have in common…..large groups of people. I enjoy them, too, but it drains me. I usually enjoy get togethers, but relish the peace and quiet of home when it’s all said and done.

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