Tuesday, 25 November 2014


“It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.” - Charles Spurgeon

Poetry Jam this week asks participants to: “…write a ‘how-to’ poem. The tone and intention of your poem are yours. What you write can be serious or lighthearted, genuinely helpful or even intentionally misleading.”

Here is my contribution:

How to be Happy

You start each day being thankful

For what you have,
No matter how meagre, or how inconsequential.
You offer up your gratitude
As if you were grateful for a treasure trove.

You keep yourself occupied,

In that which must be done,
No matter if it be work, a chore, or even a pastime.
You are gainfully employed as if your life depended on it,
As if you were performing the most momentous task.

You eat your meals, slowly,

With measure and moderation,
No matter how much is spread before you.
You eat only that which will just sate your hunger, and no more,
And feel as though you have partaken of a banquet.

You love with all your heart,

And let those around you feel wanted, needed,
Even if they do not reciprocate your affections.
You give of yourself liberally,
And feel your stores of good humour replenished endlessly.

You accept that which is offered you,

Willingly, gratefully, with deep appreciation,
For many will give you freely what they can ill-afford to give.
You accept lovingly, humbly,
And feel as though you have earnt heaven;
For truly you have, and you shall then be happy.


  1. Gratitude + gainful occupation + moderation + love + charity + acceptance + humility = HAPPINESS. I'd agree with that. Beautifully said, as usual, Nicholas!

  2. This is a wise and uplifting description of how to be happy........loved it.

  3. Delightful read. Well penned!
    Enjoyed reading this :)

  4. Such wisdom in your words - a poem to live by and beautifully written.

  5. beautiful, wise and full of heart....

  6. Very wise advice, Nick! I do think if we would all live according to these precepts we would know happiness daily. I like each stanza and its message, but am struck by the last one. Yes, to accept what others give us...and feel as if we earned heaven...indeed we should!

  7. Nicholas,

    I am replyinh here to a comment you placed at my poem http://mypoeticparlance.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/being-oneself.html Being Oneself I have tried to find an email address in order to reply fully, but could not find one. I have joined you to Google Circles. Your comment was absolutely accurate and required my response...My father did urrter those very deep words to me at age 11 years. It destroyed me forever and marked who I am today. In Northern Ireland, there was an educational system of Academic Selection at age 11. That determined your academic pathway in life, effectively. Together with the onset of The Troubles in that country, I was undermined at an age, which impacted greatly. No parental support, from there-on-in..Thank you for 'seeing,' through my words at that poem. Much appreciated. I shall leave a comment about your 'How To,' poem, later today. Eileen

  8. This is so true, Nick. We definitely need to be more aware of the good we have and are given every day. Gratefulness is one of the major keys to happiness.

  9. Thank you for writing such an uplifting and helpful poem. Gratitude is so important, but you covered every other aspect that creates happiness. May you be happy, may you always follow your own prescription, and I'll try too.

  10. You make a good point, Nicholas. Finding happiness is often more by design and effort (and probably realistic introspection) than simply wishing it were so. I thought that you did a wonderful job of crafting a how-to poem that didn't read like a list. (I gave up and took the prompt in another direction, all together, so I know it was not an easy thing to pull off.) Well done.

  11. i have to work on the eating slowly; gosh i'm such a gulp

    much love...

  12. Finding happiness within is all about appreciating what one has... I love the way you have made a 'how to' poem out of the simple, much-ignored path to happiness!

  13. happiness is a state of mind, feel content with what you have to be happy , a well written post

    Dear Weaver

  14. Nicholas,

    A most comprehensive collection of the gifts in life, which most of us can enjoy. Even the love which may not always reciprocated quite as much as hoped for!!! Some of us are simply made to give, perhaps a little more than we receive.A fine consideration of the prompt.


  15. This reminded me of the older ones in my family who were like this.It seemed to me as a child they were treated like doormats and I resolved not to be like that. I don't think they were that happy but they were absolutely wonderful human beings and I wish I had been more aware of that at the time. These realisations come too late. Good poem Nicholas.

  16. Loving and giving without any expectations or requirements from the other person...the only true way to be happy.

  17. nice wisdom in this...eating slow allows time to appreciate it but also to appreciate those that you are eating it with....doing what needs to be done with passion allows time as well for the things that dont, but are equally important...

  18. Beautiful way of being and remaining happy. Loved the poem! :)

  19. Very nice thoughts presented beautifully. I especially like the lines "And let those around you feel wanted, needed,
    Even if they do not reciprocate your affections."
    We keep on showering love without any conditions. :)