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Inspiration: Happiness Is Like A Butterfly…

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“Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder…” Henry David Thoreau

Inspiration: Happiness Is Like A Butterfly...

When all your desires are distilled
You will cast just two votes:
To love more, And be happy. Hafiz of Persia

Nasrudin Steals Happiness by: Author Unknown
Nasrudin saw a man sitting dispiritedly at the side of the road. And asked him what troubled him.
“There is nothing of interest in life, my brother,” said the man.
“I have sufficient capital in order that I don’t have to work, and I am only on this trip in order to seek something more interesting and entertaining than the life I have at home.” “So far I haven’t found it!”
Without another word, Nasrudin seized the travelers knapsack and made off down the road with it, running like a rabbit. Since he knew the area, he was easily able to out distance the man. The road curved, and Nasrudin cut across several switchbacks, with the result that he was soon back on the road, well ahead of the man he had just robbed. He put the knapsack by the side of the road and waited for the distressed traveler to show up.
Presently the miserable man appeared, following the tortuous road, more unhappy than ever because of his loss.
As soon as he saw his property lying there, by the side of the road, he ran towards it, shouting with joy.
“That’s one way of producing happiness,” said Nasrudin.

When I make a conscious effort to look for things to make me happy, what I find is often temporary. Temporary pleasure can vanish in an instant… Happiness is being content where we are. For this post, I have added a few gifts of happiness for your perusal and enjoyment; quotes, stories, photos and a sincere wish that everyone find delight in their life. Read: 10 Happiness Quotes We Love

What is the meaning of life? To be happy and useful.” Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

Inspiration: Happiness Is Like A Butterfly...

“Try to make at least one person happy every day, and then in ten years you may have made three thousand, six hundred and fifty persons happy, or brightened a small town by your contribution to the fund of general enjoyment.” Sydney Smith

The Ass and His Masters by: Author Unknown
An ass, belonging to an herb-seller who gave him too little food and too much work, made a petition to Jupiter to be released from his present service and provided with another master. Jupiter, after warning him that he would repent his request, had him sold to a tile-maker. Shortly afterwards, finding that he had heavier loads to carry and harder work in the brick-field, the Ass petitioned for another change of master. Jupiter told him that it would be the last time that he could grant the request, then  sold the Ass to a tanner. The Ass soon found that he had fallen into worse hands, and noting his master’s occupation, said, groaning: “It would have been better for me to have been either starved by the one, or to have been overworked by the other of my former masters, than to have been bought by my present owner, who will even  tan my hide, and make me useful to him after I am dead.” He that finds discontentment in one place is not likely to find happiness in another.

The story above reminds us of the futility that comes with expecting things to change when we don’t change. Our external conditions might change but if our thoughts remain fixed on the negative, if they don’t change, we won’t either.  There is much to embrace around us. For starters, we can make a daily commitment to help someone. Read: 10 Ways to Find Happiness

“What will they think of me?” must be put aside for bliss.” Joseph Campbell

Inspiration: Happiness Is Like A Butterfly...

“Happiness is a journey, not a destination; happiness is to be found along the way not at the end of the road, for then the journey is over and it’s too late. The time for happiness is today not tomorrow.” Paul H Dunn

Happiness on Hold by: Author Unknown
We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another. Then we are frustrated that the kids aren’t old enough and we’ll be more content when they are.
After that, we’re frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage. We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, are able to go on a nice vacation, or when we retire.
The truth is, there’s no better time to be happy than right now. If not now, when? Your life will always be filled with challenges. It’s best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway. Happiness is the way. So, treasure every moment that you have and treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time with… and remember that time waits for no one. So, stop waiting

Time, like death, is the great equalizer. No matter how rich, beautiful, powerful or lowly we are, time ticks steadily away for all of us.  We can fritter it away with inaction or be present now to act on what matters to us.  Conditions don’t have to be ideal for life has ups and downs…  Be. Act. Live.  More below. 😉

“Most people ask for happiness on condition. Happiness can only be felt if you don’t set any condition.” ~ Arthur Rubinstein

Inspiration: Happiness Is Like A Butterfly...

“As I go through all kinds of feelings and experiences in my journey through life — delight, surprise, chagrin, dismay — I hold this question as a guiding light: “What do I really need right now to be happy?” What I come to over and over again is that only qualities as vast and deep as love, connection and kindness will really make me happy in any sort of enduring way.” Sharon Salzberg

Being 8 Years Old Again by: Author Unknown
I am hereby officially tendering my resignation as an adult. I have decided I would like to accept the responsibilities of an 8 year-old again.
I want to go to McDonald’s and think that it’s a four star restaurant.
I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make a sidewalk with rocks.
I want to think M&Ms are better than money because you can eat them.
I want to lie under a big oak tree and run a lemonade stand with my friends on a hot summer’s day.
I want to return to a time when life was simple. When all you knew were colors, multiplication tables, and nursery rhymes, but that didn’t bother you, because you didn’t know what you didn’t know and you didn’t care. All you knew was to be happy because you were blissfully unaware of all the things that should make you worried or upset.
I want to think the world is fair. That everyone is honest and good.
I want to believe that anything is possible.
I want to be oblivious to the complexities of life and be overly excited by the little things again.
I want to live simple again. I don’t want my day to consist of computer crashes, mountains of paperwork, depressing news, how to survive more days in the month than there is money in the bank, doctor bills, gossip, illness, and loss of loved ones.
I want to believe in the power of smiles, hugs, a kind word, truth, justice, peace, dreams, the imagination, mankind, and making angels in the snow.
So, here’s my checkbook and my car-keys, my credit card bills and my 401K statements. I am officially resigning from adulthood. And if you want to discuss this further, you’ll have to catch me first, cause… “Tag! You’re it.”

We can choose to reconnect with that happy place inside by going back to childhood pleasures, or embrace our adult self by surrendering our fears and follies to the ether; it’s all good.  Life will continue with its complications and confusions but we can let them go and shift our thinking. What about you? What are your thoughts? What adds to your happiness? What does the meaning of life mean to you?  What inspiring stories on happiness do you have/enjoy?  Do share! Thank you. 🙂

*Please bear with me as I catch up on your blogs and commenting… Thank you all for your patience! 🙂

Positive Motivation Tip:  The only mystery around happiness is why more people don’t embrace it within. Instead, we chase our tail looking for it outside.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos Siproeta epaphus, Monarch in MayCitrus Swallowtail, Australian Painted lady, via Wikipedia Stories via Inspirational Stories.

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

79 Comments leave one →
  1. 07/03/2012 12:14 am

    Thank you for a beautiful post!

    • 07/03/2012 12:14 am

      Thank you for your generous feedback Madhu! 🙂

  2. 07/03/2012 12:37 am

    Reblogged this on Milenanik3's Blog and commented:
    Amazing blog about motivation and inspiration..written by amazing soul

    • 07/03/2012 8:50 pm

      TY again for the re-blog. This was a last minute post substituted for another post that is still in the works. I’m glad you liked it. 🙂

  3. 07/03/2012 12:55 am

    All true…

  4. 07/03/2012 1:09 am

    There is always an alternative, we can look and find. But not always better than what we already have. An expression comes to mind,’ out of the frying pan into the fire’
    Lovely post thanks..;)

    • 07/03/2012 8:55 pm

      I couldn’t have said it better… the ass ended up in the fire, for sure. 🙂

  5. 07/03/2012 1:29 am

    I have realised over the years that, if you make a conscious effort to be happy, you can be happy. It’s a state of mind.

    • 07/03/2012 8:59 pm

      Yes, it is a state of mind, a choice, a habit and more. When we make a conscious effort, it is ridden with expectation and condition… the idea is to just go with the flow. TY! 🙂

  6. 07/03/2012 1:30 am

    Superb post – really reminds us of what is important. I think the monster in the room is ‘comparison’. We constantly compare another’s happiness to our own. That person is travelling and seeing places, this person is water skiing and having a great time – me, I’m stuck in a hot office with a deadline! When we allow ‘comparison’ to be our guide we will only find lack and misery. We must remember no matter how our life is someone else is comparing themselves with us and coming up short. Reconnect with gratitude each day – that’s a good place to start. Stu 🙂

    • 07/03/2012 9:03 pm

      Well said Stu! comparison leads to dissatisfaction. No matter what, there will always be someone doing more, being more, winning more. If we let go the comparisons and just focus on our game, it would help a lot. 🙂

  7. 07/03/2012 1:59 am

    Beautiful Butterfly collection you have here my friend
    excellent post 🙂

    • 07/03/2012 9:06 pm

      TY Jake! All from the wonderful Zemanta suggested Wikipedia photo files. 🙂

  8. 07/03/2012 3:09 am

    Thank you for the wonderful stories and quotes. You have started my day on a happy note!

  9. 07/03/2012 3:23 am

    happiness begins from me…. If I seek it else where then I have given control to those outside of me…The butterflies are beautiful and reflect your words on this subject! I have share this post on my FB profile…

    • 07/03/2012 9:12 pm

      TY Savira for the FB share! I was happy to find the butterfly photos and each one is special. happiness begins within. I agree… 🙂

  10. 07/03/2012 4:46 am

    I love this post! I remember the thoughts of “if only” or “when I” for so many years…biggest happiness stealers.
    I am happy and content most of every day!
    Love your pictures as always. You have a real talent of writing, finding stories, quotes & pictures and then putting it all together. Thank You!

    • 07/03/2012 9:15 pm

      TY for your kind words Shelly! This topic is one I explore often because it speaks to my own evolving understanding of the idea of happiness. I appreciate your feedback! 😉

  11. 07/03/2012 5:02 am


  12. 07/03/2012 6:14 am

    to sail in the water of happiness needs one experience before:
    to notice, that you’ve learned to resist …

  13. 07/03/2012 7:17 am


  14. 07/03/2012 8:23 am

    Your butterfly photos are incredible Elizabeth. You have such a great eye.

    • 07/03/2012 9:20 pm

      TY for your comment Barb! The photos are via Wikipedia and I gave credit at bottom of page… They are stunning and I wish I took them 🙂

  15. 07/03/2012 8:32 am

    Looking forward to see butterflies again. Just have to finish the winter first. Today it’s snowing, but I’m confident that the summer will return this year as well.

    • 07/03/2012 9:22 pm

      Same here… We’ve had many warm days so they might show earlier in these parts. 🙂

  16. Bree permalink
    07/03/2012 8:39 am

    Brilliant! And true!

  17. 07/03/2012 8:59 am

    It’s amazing how many color varieties Mother Nature comes up with when she paints her butterflies. Beautiful! 🙂

    • 07/03/2012 9:31 pm

      Mother Nature has the best palette! TY! 😉

  18. 07/03/2012 9:20 am

    Your first quote is true for many other things in life, as well!

    • 07/03/2012 9:32 pm

      True… I loved when I first read it… TY! 😉

  19. 07/03/2012 9:26 am

    You need a “print” button, Elizabeth! I want to read this again and again! The brief quote from Hafiz of Persia, wow! I think that is what I need to open each day reciting. My dear aunt, now no longer living but with me every day, told me just months before she died that all she cared about anymore was being more loving. I was a lot younger, and I loved her and the comment, but didn’t really GET it! I do as I get older…it is the distilling of all other desires and does bring happiness. You are such a positive and bright light! Debra

    • 07/03/2012 9:35 pm

      TY Debra! I learn from these exchanges too… Like you, it took some time for me to get it… We live, we learn. 😉 I love the Hafiz quote too.

  20. 07/03/2012 1:58 pm

    David Campbell, telling us on TV: Follow your bliss!
    I loved these TV programs.

    My father used to say: Everyoe should be able to live for his passions. But then my mother resented this. She thought it would make people irresponsible and lazy!

    Thank you for this post, Eliz, and also for the previous one. Talking to strangers works for me only sometimes. I remember a woman who started talking to me while waiting for a bus.. I knew she lived in the neighbourhood, but I had never talked to her before. After the meeting at the bus-stop we became good friends. She was fifteen years my senior.. She passed away a few years ago. Peter and I used to have long conversations with her. She used to say that we were on the same wavelength. That’s why we always had interesting conversations.

    • 07/03/2012 9:39 pm

      TY too! I’ve been following your journey on your blog and remember the friend… We never know if we are compatible or share some common history until we chat with others. 😉

  21. 07/03/2012 4:50 pm

    I like this…“Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder…”

    • 07/03/2012 9:39 pm

      I’m glad you liked the Thoreau quote… it spoke to me too. 😉

  22. 07/03/2012 5:49 pm

    Another great post. Your photos are beautiful and your words convey a message that makes us stop and think. I particularly like your first quote and think that it is accurate. The more we chase happiness, the more it eludes us. I think that happiness is like love, it finds us when we relax and become comfortable with who we are rather than always trying to be or get more. Thanks Elizabeth.

    • 07/03/2012 9:41 pm

      TY and I agree that when we are relaxed and not clawing for happiness, it comes to us in its own way… 🙂

  23. 07/03/2012 7:11 pm

    They key to my happiness is looking at the things I have. When I did, I realized how much blessed I am.

    • 07/03/2012 9:42 pm

      Amen and I do that every time a sad or anxious thought enters my head… Counting our blessings is important. TY! 🙂

  24. 07/03/2012 7:16 pm

    My goodness, this was a treat to read! I have seen the quote “happiness is the way” and agreed with it, actually shared it in Facebook I agree we need to be happy now, not one day, your stories illustrate this well. I will pass on this article to my s/o as he is exploring happiness and is working on a website that deals with this subject. 🙂

    • 07/03/2012 9:44 pm

      Great and I wish him much success. 😉 Delayed happiness is a big problem for many and I was glad yo find a story that addressed it… TY! 🙂

  25. 07/03/2012 7:21 pm

    I smiled at your comments about catching up with commenting in blogs as I am doing the same. I always feel concerned that my favorite writers may think I am ignoring them but I am not. 🙂

    • 07/03/2012 9:45 pm

      Same… and I’m always falling behind. TY. Phew! 🙂

  26. 07/03/2012 10:22 pm

    It made me happy just reading this. Great post.

    • 07/03/2012 10:52 pm

      TY Bongo! Do come back again and visit… 🙂

  27. 08/03/2012 12:35 am

    to tell the truth i didnt read the post was too captivated by the butterfly photos they are my fav and the beginning quote and there was an urge to let u kno will read your post now 😀

    • 08/03/2012 12:43 am

      TY for reading the post… I am catching up on blog readings/commenting too so I understand… 🙂

  28. 08/03/2012 12:38 am

    v nice post gr8 stories

  29. 08/03/2012 5:12 am

    Happiness will indeed come when it is least expected… Beautiful post on such a hard goal of life!

    • 10/03/2012 1:47 am

      TY and yes, it does come when we are not fighting for it. 🙂

  30. 08/03/2012 6:13 am

    This has to be one of my favorite of you posts! It’s the age old the grass is always greener but so much better stated! There are so many people that I would like to sit down right in front of me and watch their faces as I read this post to them! It took me a lotta, lotta years to get over myself and the drama to come to an understanding of this and yet you have a way of saying it that is so calm and centered and clear! I have to share this one on FB my friend. I wonder how many people will get the gift that understanding will bring them. xoxo

    • 10/03/2012 1:49 am

      Oh Karen you are an angel! TY for the feedback and you know, I learn as much from the posts too… Call it that inner dialogue I have to keep me centered when things go awry. TY! Your feedback is special to me… Love to the family… Hope your mom is doing better. 😉

  31. 08/03/2012 10:05 am

    This post on happiness is so inspirational… and so very true Elizabeth! “Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you…”

    • 10/03/2012 1:50 am

      TY for your feedback. I love that top quote too… It spoke to me. 😉

  32. 08/03/2012 10:17 am

    Happiness is simply what everyone wants in their life.
    Thank you for this inspiring post 🙂

    • 10/03/2012 1:51 am

      That is correct Nelson… We all want it and we all have access to it inside… TY! :-0

  33. 08/03/2012 11:05 am

    I make a conscious effort to live a Happy and Fulfilling Life!

  34. 08/03/2012 8:49 pm

    Tag . . . you’re it! Catch me if you can. 😉

    • 10/03/2012 1:52 am

      CuTe. 😆 I was surprised to read the last line of the poem but loved it… Tag you’re it… how wonderfully playful. TY! 🙂

  35. 09/03/2012 4:46 pm

    Reblogged this on mycreativevoice and commented:
    I was just reading about happiness today in a yoga journal. This post also made me smile. Enjoy !

    • 10/03/2012 1:53 am

      TY so much for the reblog. I will stop by your blog to thank you too.
      Appreciated! 🙂

  36. 15/03/2012 6:38 pm

    Love the Thoreau quote. Beautiful post, as usual, Elizabeth~

  37. 29/03/2012 5:30 pm

    Reblogged this on Starla's Chat.

  38. 29/03/2012 5:32 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this post. The Thoreau quote timeless. Also the butterfly pictures beautiful. I’m trying to figure out how to reblog this is my first time giving it a try not exactly sure how to go about it. :+)

  39. 29/03/2012 5:55 pm

    Thank You for the reblog. I’m surprised all I did was hit the reblog button and shazam it worked. Thank You.

  40. 30/03/2012 8:03 am

    Nice post. Somehow I’m reminded about Jim Heynen and his funny and poignant stories about boys and what troubles they get themselves into. That first butterfly photo is incredible.

    Henry David’s quote is my experience recovering from illness. A lesson learned, hoped not to be forgotten.

  41. 30/03/2012 12:37 pm

    Thanks, Starla. An interesting post… glad you reblogged it. One of my favorite comments was the first, from Thoreau.

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