Happiness in One Word


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At the beginning of my Is Happiness a Choice? presentation I ask the audience to write down the one word that best describes what has brought them the most happiness in the past 12 months.

How would you answer this question?

In one word, what best describes the people, places, or things, that have brought you the most happiness in the past 12 months? Big or small.

What makes life worth living?

I’m pictured here with St. Clair College graduates Olivia Bauer and Sarah Ryrie.

My One Word = Students.

The one thing that brings me the most joy, meaning, and contentment is the opportunity to work with Canada’s future, our students. It’s the one place that I believe I’m making the most difference in this world.

Wake Up Call.

Every time I get a little down, frustrated, and/or disappointed (basically anytime I’m feeling powerless or stuck) by the circumstances of life (we all have ups and downs, positive psychologists included), I bring myself back to the “One Word” that best describes how blessed I am to be alive.

And some days my one word = Chocolate

May the one word you write down be a beautiful reminder of all the light that shines in your life, even on the darkest of days. And please don’t forget to share your one word for happiness. Your one word may be someone else’s wake up call to joy. ⏰✨


32 thoughts on “Happiness in One Word

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  1. Children – students, grandchildren, and my own children (who, of course are no longer ‘kids’ as they keep reminding me, lol.) A constant source of happiness!

  2. Music- I’ve been a DJ since the age of 8 years old. No matter how good or not so good my day goes, mixing and producing music takes me to a place of happiness that nothing else does. On a bad day, spending an hour in the studio will basically restore the smile back to my face as well as my heart.

    On other days, my word is……. COFFEE! Haha! A nice cup of hot coffee can’t be rushed. I’ve never witnessed anyone chug a cup of hot coffee. It’s one of the very few things in life that a person must take time to enjoy and the first sip is instant happiness to me (unless it’s iced coffee; that’s another story! Haha!)

  3. If I could describe what brings me happiness in one word. I would say, “presence.”

    I’ve learned to get out of my own head and just be present in the moment. It’s not always easy but it has truly helped.

    Your blog is lovely, by the way.

  4. For me “Nature” 🙂
    I like the breeze when it tickles my face, the birds singing for each other, the confused look on animals and the assertiveness of trees.

  5. Writing. It’s a complete experience. What else, apart from my second – reading, can take you to places that don’t even exist?
    PS – when I was younger there might have been something else that topped my list.

  6. So true about starting the morning with a happy thought – every morning as i put my feet on the floor – I say thank you and feel that life is full of grace – that is my one word GRACE – things come and go – people come and go – but GRACE is enduring – and LOVE.

  7. Service! Boy when I’m in my “stuff”, I can be of service for like 15 min – half an hour max – and I feel better. Go, kindness!! Thanks for the question, it made me look inside for the answer. Blessings 🙂

    1. Love how you wrote “in my stuff’! How true is that! And you are so bang on when you say that being of service (not to the point of exhaustion, which would defeat the purpose for all involved) but just long enough to send out some love. And feel it back… ten-fold. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Connecting- to my AP Psych students, my children, son’s doctors, the bagger at the grocery store, bloggers etc… There are so many opportunities(even in a very brief moment) to make a connection or a touchpoint with another human being. Enjoying your posts. Thank you. 🙂

    1. Thank you Pepper! What an uplifting response. I can tell how filled up your life is with happiness moments, just by your words. (And how lucky your AP Psych students are.) Sunshine multiplied. 🙂

  9. ‘Beach’! Makes my dog, Sam, happy, too.
    When we get to the Beach, the word is ‘Gratitude’.

    (PS I love these posts that create focus on the positive.)

  10. I know I’m late to the party, but thank you so much for this post Dr. Dinardo. It really made me think about what makes me happy. My word is family. My family is always there for me and has always helped me through my darkest times. Love love love this thread!

    1. You’re never too late! I am so grateful that you shared your experiences on this post. That’s the best part of blogging!

      Family = Happiness. You are so blessed and so are they. And the best part is how simply a photo of them will bring you from dark to light in an instant.

      Thank you for sharing! Your joy brings me joy. 🙂

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