Create your own happiness


We live in a media-centric society, which means that we see the following messages multiple times per day: Happiness comes from purchasing, Happiness comes from consuming, Happiness comes from having new things. Rather than letting people tell us how to be happy, we need to learn how to create our own happiness.

Because we are all different, how you create your own happiness is different than how I create mine. We need to honour how others create their own happiness.

For example, Baby T1.0 creates his own happiness by doing a lot of silly things. He can spend hours playing Duplo and laughing at things that he built. He can sing to himself and have a silly dance party at the same time. The world is a happy place to him.

Recently Mrs. T was out and both the kids were sleeping. I was working on a spreadsheet while blasting Mer de Noms by A Perfect Circle on my headsets. I was at a happy place.

The fallacy of buying and consuming

Turn on TV or open up a magazine and we will find commercials and ads everywhere. Thanks to these commercials and ads, we have been taught from a very young age that buying things will bring happiness. So we mindlessly buy things believing and hoping that they will bring us happiness.

Take a look at all the seasonal holidays - Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Why is there so much emphasis on buying seasonal gifts for yourself and to give them to your love ones?

Stressed or depressed? Head to your nearest shopping mall and get some retail therapy.

Have a mid-life crisis? Buy yourself a luxury sports car.

Unfortunately buying and consuming things often result in more purchases and consumption. Buying and consuming a $10 item today may bring you extreme happiness. Next week you need to buy and consume a $30 item to bring the same amount of happiness. Next month you need to buy and consume a $75 item to bring that same amount of happiness. This results in a never ending cycle.

Create your own happiness

There are so much more to life than the endless buying and consumption cycle. We can all break away from relying on materialistic happiness - we need to find and create happiness from within.

How do you do that? It involves finding something that you love doing and ask yourself - do these choices make me a happier person? 

For me here are a few things that bring happiness to me:

  • A walk on a sunny day
  • Being covered in sweat from a great outdoor activity


  • Being on top of a pointy peak

mt. gandalf

  • Hugs from Mrs. T and the kids
  • Taking pictures with my camera

torii gate

portrait 7

portrait 9

portrait 6

  • Spending time with my family over a nice meal and having great conversations
  • Cooking and making food together with Mrs. T



  • Listening to songs from my favourite bands - Tool, A Perfect Circle, Radiohead, Pearl Jam, etc.

  • Having a deep thoughtful conversation with someone, bonus point if it's related to personal finance or financial independence
  • Researching the next dividend stock to purchase

When I find and create my own happiness rather than relying on others and materialistic things, I am at a better and happier place. It has taken me a while to realize this but I'm glad that I finally have such realization a few years ago.I am grateful to be on the quest for financial independence and joyful life with my life long partner Mrs. T. Without her I wouldn't be who I am today. I feel blessed and loved. Today 34 years ago took my first breathe. I have faced many challenges and done many adventures since then and I very much look forward to what's ahead for me in the future.

Dear readers how do you creates happiness?

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  • Reply
    Mr. Tako @ Mr. Tako Escapes
    September 26, 2016 at 8:38 am

    Too true Tawcan!

    Lots of things can make me happy, but in general it's going to be my kids, and building things.

    BTW: You take really nice pictures!

    • Reply
      September 27, 2016 at 11:02 am

      Thanks Mr. Tako. Spending with your kids and building things are great ways to bring happiness. Great that you've found these two happiness contributors.

  • Reply
    The Green Swan
    September 26, 2016 at 10:39 am

    I echo Mr. Tako, nice photos! That's great you have found the things that bring you happiness in life. Some of the things I find bring me the most job are traveling or other activities with my friends and family like hunting, camping, skiing, going to sport events, etc. The other thing I like is reading and learning new things which can be fulfilled by being a library member.

    • Reply
      September 27, 2016 at 11:03 am

      Thanks The Green Swan. I love reading and learning new things. Spending quality time with the family certainly brings happiness.

  • Reply
    September 26, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Agreed! There are so many things you can do without excessive spendings. I spent an entire day at a coffee shop for $4 and I get the enjoy scenery and mountains, while working on my online store. I could have spent $50 at Mandarin Oriental , but I'd be pissed off after that

    • Reply
      September 27, 2016 at 11:04 am

      Great realization Pon. Often there are alternatives to bring the same amount of happiness than spending lots of money.

  • Reply
    Ten Factorial Rocks
    September 26, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    Great post there Tawcan. The best things in life are free. We only have to appreciate them, which we often don't and take them for granted. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Reply
      September 27, 2016 at 11:05 am

      Hi Ten Factorial Rocks,

      Indeed that many things in life are free and will bring you the most happiness.

  • Reply
    Dividends Down Under
    September 26, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    I can feel the love and happiness in this one Tawcan. Really nice post, and I completely agree.

    Sometimes the best things in life are free, not because they're free, but because of who we do them with. Our spouse makes us the best us, and feel really complete.

    Advertisers do a wonderful job of making us want things we don't actually want (let alone need).


    • Reply
      September 27, 2016 at 11:06 am

      Agree that advertisers do a wonderful job to get us to buy things that we don't need. That's why consumerism is so powerful. The faster we realize that buying doesn't equal happiness, the better we'll be off.

  • Reply
    September 26, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    Fantastic pictures. You have a gift.

    Some of the things that bring me pure happiness are reading books, swimming in the ocean and spending time with my family. With a library close by all three of these activities are free and I get a ton of enjoyment out of them.

    • Reply
      September 27, 2016 at 11:07 am

      Thanks mustardseedmoney. I enjoy reading books too. If you're getting books from libraries, that's an excellent free way to create your own happiness.

  • Reply
    September 26, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    Very, very true! Some of the most memorable things didn't cost me a lot of money. Or no money at all. Some of the most expensive things I have done, fell really flat.
    Especially the pictures in the mountains look like you had a lot of fun. I hope I can do more of that when we move closer to the mountains in retirement to go hiking and skiing more often. More often than we can afford (time-wise) right now. OK, maybe not the thing with the rope and helmet, that looks kind of dangerous. Not sure what Mrs. ERN would think about that! 🙂

    • Reply
      September 27, 2016 at 11:08 am

      Some of my found memories indeed didn't cost any money. It's about the fun time I had with friends and family. Rock climbing can be pretty safe if you do it right.

  • Reply
    September 26, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    I think the little things matters the most.
    For me its exactly this moment when i am outdoor doing some activities. Mountaineering, kajak, mountainbiken etc.

    nice post!

    best regards from Austria!

    • Reply
      September 27, 2016 at 11:09 am

      Thanks easydividend. When I spend time in the mountains I'm at a happy place too.

  • Reply
    Team CF
    September 27, 2016 at 12:05 am

    Happy 34th birthday (or am I reading this wrong?).

    As for the "Have a mid-life crisis? Buy yourself a luxury sports car.", what's wrong with that 😉

    • Reply
      September 27, 2016 at 11:10 am

      Thanks Team CF, funny you're the only one that said happy birthday so far. Thanks. Makes wonder do people actually read my posts lol. 🙂

      If the luxury sports car is a need rather than a want, then maybe nothing wrong with that. :p

  • Reply
    September 27, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Love to the Perfect Circle and Tool shoutouts!

    • Reply
      September 27, 2016 at 11:10 am

      Two of the best bands ever! 🙂

  • Reply
    Done by Forty
    September 27, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Yeah, buying more stuff is crumby at creating happiness, generally. It's amazing how effective the marketing is though. I fall for it all the time: wanting to buy gifts for my family as an expression of love, wanting to get toys for my dogs, toys for myself. Frugal as we are, we're in no way immune.

    • Reply
      September 27, 2016 at 11:11 am

      That's why people in marketing are making the big bucks. 🙂

  • Reply
    September 27, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    Happy Birthday!

    It is very clear to me that you've thought a lot about creating your own happiness! And I must say, you take beautiful photographs! Congratulations!

    I'm 2 days and several years older than you... As the Ray Conniff song says, "happiness is different things to different people". I find that, as I get older, my priorities shift and I treasure experiences with my loved ones much more than some new, shiny "stuff".

    Thanks for a great article!

    • Reply
      September 29, 2016 at 9:07 am

      Thanks FerdiS for your bday wish and compliment. I love what you stated from Ray Conniff.

  • Reply
    More Dividends
    September 27, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    Those are some great ways that you have found to bring you happiness. For me I enjoy learning new things and reading. I also like making music. Really anytime I am able to create or build something brings me happiness.

    This is a great post Tawcan which has evoked a sense of gratitude in me. I guess I often forget that I choose to do these things because they bring me joy and happiness. Thanks for sharing this post!

    • Reply
      September 29, 2016 at 9:08 am

      Learning new things and reading are great ways to create your own happiness. 🙂

  • Reply
    Finance Solver
    September 29, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    I really enjoy taking a walk on a sunny day. With the start of fall, I have a feeling that it's going to be a lot rarer to be able to do so but the weather and the environment is something that I truly enjoy soaking up.

    I try to create my own happiness by not caring about the negatives that I don't control and focusing on the positives have come my way. I'm grateful for every little thing that's happening to me and try to brush off the negatives. Some days, that's pretty hard to do but most days, lots of negative things aren't really worth reacting to so it's easy!

    • Reply
      October 3, 2016 at 1:02 pm

      Taking a walk on a sunny day is great but I also like to take a walk on a cold day too. 🙂

      Not caring about the negatives that you can't control is a big key to being happy.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    September 30, 2016 at 7:07 am

    Great post! So many people equate buying things to happiness and while you might get an initial surge of happiness from the purchase, it's often temporary. Buying consumer products is just buying false and temporary happiness. Spending time with my wife and little ones...yea that's where I find my happiness and it doesn't cost a thing.

    • Reply
      October 3, 2016 at 1:03 pm

      You're so right, happiness from purchasing is temporary. The happiness I talked about is really more like joy.

  • Reply
    October 2, 2016 at 11:36 am

    A nice set of pics. Models, scenery... a versatile photographer.

    It is true that happiness does not comes from things you own or have. IT are the experiences, fulfilment, feeling connected that makes me happy.

    • Reply
      October 5, 2016 at 3:28 pm

      Thanks ambertreeleaves.

  • Reply
    Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank
    October 9, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    Nice perspective, Taw. I am now picking the best sources of happiness. Good photos, by the way. What photo editor did you use for these?

    • Reply
      October 9, 2016 at 7:42 pm

      Thanks Jayson, I use Lightroom and Photoshop for editing pictures.

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