I was wondering today about the connection between the words “happy” and “happen”. It turns out that both derive from the old Norse word “happ” which means “good luck, chance”. A few hundred years ago, the word “happy” was used mostly as an adjective meaning lucky, as in “a happy coincidence”. If someone was “hapless”, they had no luck.

keep calm and just beOver time though people started to desire happiness, as if it was something you could keep with you constantly. People these days wonder why they aren’t happy. In fact, entire industries are built on trying to make people happy – from psychology to pharmaceutical to motivational speakers to advertising and consumerism.

We have taken being lucky and tried to make it a permanent state of being. Then, when it doesn’t work out the way we desire, we become UNhappy.

I would like to suggest that the secret to permanent happiness is to accept whatever happens in your stride. I like to call it HAPPENESS. When we realize that every single thing that ever happens is the result of the universal laws of physics playing out and, therefore, is exactly what HAS to happen, we can gracefully accept it. The result is a permanent state of happeness.

What if you have bad luck? The fact that you are alive at all is certainly an amazing bit of good luck. For the majority of the history of this planet, mammalian life couldn’t even survive. The fact that you were born in the small window in which mammals can survive on this planet is an amazing piece of luck. The fact that you didn’t die yesterday from any number of causes is an amazing piece of luck. Even the fact that this universe exhibits the exact properties required for suns to form, then collapse in a supernova, creating heavy elements such as carbon and oxygen, and then explode, seeding those atoms across the universe so planets like ours can form, is the ultimate piece of luck.

So, doubt not my friends, you are lucky. You have plenty of hap. Be happy with what happens. And see what happens.