What Is Genuine Happiness?

Happy Children Laughing

Something dawned on me last night, one of those questioning thoughts I often have and it was:

“Have I ever met anyone in my life who is truly happy?” (adults not including babies).

And I realised that there was only one person. And I asked my best friend Mike if he had ever met anyone genuinely happy and he is in his late 70’s and he said no.

I was so astonished I lay in bed trying to rack the memory banks of my life so far for a genuinely happy person and again I had only met one. I knew of 4 others but didn’t know them personally

And what did these 5 people all have in common?

They live in the present moment.

Who are the 5 genuinely happy people I know?

Byron Katie, Mother Amma, Mooji, Eckhart Tolle and Thich Nhat Hanh.

I have met Mother Amma twice now and what strikes me about her way of being is that she loves so incredibly unconditionally, she allows feelings of pain and suffering, she weeps with both laughter and sadness and she is genuinely happy because she does not attach her inner peace or contentment to outer circumstances, upon things changing or not. She knows no lack because she knows who she really is beyond this form.

Byron Katie went through a challenging life before fully embracing ‘what is’ and stopping  labelling anything as good or bad.

Mooji also sees beyond the form and has no attachment to needing anything  to be a specific way.

Eckhart Tolle lives a simple life and does not need anything to be a specific way for him to experience deep satisfaction.

Thich Nhat Hanh welcomes his feelings, each moment, embraces ‘what is’.

All 5 embrace the present; all 5 see beyond ‘The Story’ of being human.

What Genuine Happiness Is NOT?

Well the reason I feel I have only met one person who is genuinely happy is because I probably view happiness differently than the average person.

I used to think happiness was being a success in whatever I put my heart into; I used to think happiness was having a fulfilling romantic relationship; I used to think happiness was having good friends, being socially active and having enough money to have great choice and options to do what I wanted in my life.

What I discovered was, I had none of that. I didn’t have the outward success; I didn’t have the romantic relationship; I didn’t have many friends in my area and I certainly was not a social butterfly – probably more an urban hermit.

So… by my definition of happiness, back then, I was pretty much failing at it big time!

And so I began my inner quest, what is genuine happiness?

Genuine Happiness – What Is It?

happy dog on beach

Well, I am slowly learning. I wouldn’t say I  experience huge amounts of ‘happiness’ – yet, but I am beginning to understand what it is when it arises.

Happiness is NOW.

Happiness has always been available to me.

Happiness is FREEDOM, in that a man could be in prison yet still feel completely free.

Happiness is knowing who you are beyond ‘The Story’ of the body; ‘The Story’ of failure/success; ‘The Story’ of riches or poverty.


“Much like the sky, happiness has no edges”. CLICK TO TWEET


Happiness occurs when we drop everything we limit happiness to be.

When we stop labelling our own experience as good or bad, worse or better.

We can’t strive for happiness.

We must drop the ‘trying’ to be happy and allow happiness to simply arise through simply being present in the NOW.


What is happiness to you?
Do you feel you are genuinely happy?
What do you feel needs to change in your 
life to awaken real happiness within you?

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The above photos were downloaded from freeimages.com under creative commons licensing, if you are the owner of these photos and you did not give permission for this, I am only too happy to remove them or give you credit. Thank you.

Kelly Martin
Kelly Martin

Kelly Martin, author of ‘When Everyone Shines But You’ is a dedicated writer and blogger who fearlessly explores life’s deepest questions. Faced with a decade of profound anxiety and grief following the loss of her father and her best friend Michael, Kelly embarked on a transformative journey guided by mindfulness, and she hasn’t looked back since. Through her insightful writing, engaging podcasts, and inspiring You Tube channel Kelly empowers others to unearth the hidden treasures within their pain, embracing the profound truth that they are ‘enough’ exactly as they are.

Find me on: Web | Twitter/X | Instagram | Facebook


  1. May 2, 2014 / 12:40 pm

    Happiness is a cigar called Hamlet .. used to love that advert. Seriously though, happiness to me can be being in a beautiful place and just enjoying the time there. I think happiness needs to come from within myself, which I haven't found easy to obtain.

  2. May 5, 2014 / 9:02 am

    LOL yes I remember that advert. Totally, its not always easy, it sometimes seems like it is wrong or not to be trusted being present with what is, I know my ego likes to tell me happiness is not in the now.

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