1 Question, 36 Answers

I ask questions, a lot of questions. One of my professors makes fun of me (kindly…it has become a joke) because I always raise my hand and say, “I have a question!” instead of just stating my question. For some reason, I feel the need to declare that I am about to ask something. I do it so frequently that whenever I raise my hand (and I raise my hand extremely often), he just looks at me, impersonates my high-pitched voice and says, “I have a question”.

Outside of the classroom, I hold true to my curious mind. I enjoy getting different perspectives on a single topic. This may also be the reason why one of my favorite activities to do with my friends is questions (how original)! I have a list of approximately 447 questions on my laptop. Whenever we are having a lazy night in, I pull it out, they tell me a number, I find the question, ask it to them and everyone answers. A banana may or may not be used as a microphone.

Soooo I have a question! One question for multiple people. What makes you happy? A simple question but not so simple to answer on the spot. About 97% of the people I asked requested some time to think about this before giving me their final answer. I know, I know, I got carried away asking lots of people. I wanted to ask so many more but that could’ve easily reached triple digits and I didn’t want to decrease the chance of you reading every response.

Some of these respondees (because that needs to be a word) are my best friends, some I haven’t talked to in years and one I have yet to meet. Many are older than me and a few are younger. A couple wrote a novel and a handful wrote a sentence. The diversity made me happy as did finding what makes others happy! Whether you make it to the end of the list or not, I hope that you can answer the question for yourself and never go a day without forgetting it!


  1. “The sole fact that I am alive makes me happy. Realizing all of the things I am privileged with and avoiding focusing on the things I lack makes me have a greater appreciation for my life. Making other people happy and trying to give back is what makes me happiest. There is no greater feeling than knowing you can put a smile on someone else’s face :)”
  2. “When I heard the question “what makes you happy”, a lot of things raced through my mind. I thought about them all and tried to narrow them down. I took some more time to think about it and found the one thing that not only makes me happy, but also has the most meaning. What makes me happy is helping others and knowing that I’ve inspired someone or made them feel important. It’s important to make others feel important and if I can do that for others, I am content and happy.”
  3. “I would definitely say that obvious things like my friends, family, and college give me so much joy, but I also gain a lot of happiness from little things: warm chocolate chip cookies, rainbows after a storm, the smell of freshly cut grass, having my planner color-coordinated and all filled out for the week, breaking out my sandals and shorts for summer, cappuccino ice cream, and driving with the windows down. I love the little idiosyncrasies of everyday that make me smile.”
  4. “What makes me happy is knowing that life isn’t up to me. I’ll never be good enough and I’ll never “make it”. Yet, I have a Savior who has already conquered life for me, even amidst my many, many mistakes. It makes me happy to know that I am continually forgiven and unconditionally loved by the Creator of the universe.”
  5. “Meeting new people makes me happy. I’ve always wanted to experience the world, but I’ve realized it’s simply not possible to experience the whole world in a lifetime. Meeting, interacting and getting to know different people of different backgrounds with different life experiences shows me and helps me understand parts of the world and parts of life I would have never otherwise been able to “experience,” in a sense. Meeting new people helps me learn, grow, and appreciate and understand life better, and that makes me happy.”
  6. “Being with the people I love makes me happy!”
  7. “What makes me happy is my faith because I never felt truly happy in my life until I devoted my life to my faith and living for God. I also enjoy seeing others grow in their faith, nothing makes me happier than that.”
  8. “What makes me happy is good company and making other people happy. Seeing a smile lights up my day.”
  9. “Realizing how many blessings I have: my family, my friends, my health, my education. There are so many people who have so little, and obviously sometimes I want certain things in my own life like material things, or different opportunities like being able to travel to cool places, but then I take a step back and remember that I really have always had everything I need. And there are so many people who can’t and might never say that.”
  10. “Seeing others happy!”
  11. “Gosh that seems like an easy question but in some ways it’s really hard to answer!  If I made a list there would be too many things to name!  I guess that’s the beauty of the life God gave us there are so many wonderful things that can bring us happiness from the smallest of things to the biggest.  It really makes me happy to see other people happy.”
  12. “What makes me happy is waking up every morning to the beauty that is God’s creation, knowing that he has a plan for me.”
  13. “What makes me happy is making others happy and knowing that my life is helping others live a easier life while also making them smile a little more”
  14. “Happiness is contagious when the time comes, like seeing my mother smile, randomly getting flowers, or sleeping in on Saturdays, making chocolate chip cookies from scratch and listening to music too loud. It’s the feeling I get in my stomach when I’m going down the tallest roller coaster in the park or from laughing too hard with my best friends. It’s the comfort of sleeping in my own bed on soft sheets or putting on socks that just came out of the dryer, dressing up and feeling pretty for a night out with my friends, getting a phone call from old friends or the feeling after I finish the hardest workout of the week. The random compliments people give me occasionally and doing acts of kindness  for others. My happiness is held in the positive mindset I have for my future.”
  15. “What makes me happy is doing the things I love with the people I love in order to grow in a closer relationship with them and with Jesus Christ”
  16. “Unexpected sunshine and driving with the windows down on summer nights makes me happy”
  17. “God! Snickers lol, being with friends and family, dancing, singing, sunshine…that’s all I got right now lol”
  18. “The things is life that make me happy are being with family and friends who really care about me and make me laugh. I am happiest when I am helping others and making someone’s day a little brighter just doing little things that mean a lot.”
  19. “It’s actually pretty easy.  But there are really so many things.  Here goes…Spending time and having fun with family and friends.  It doesn’t matter what we do.  Just the time hanging out with them and making the most of the time we are given together  And creating new friendships.  It’s all about personal relationships.  And puppies, and babies, and dolphins.  I’m sure there’s more but those are what popped into my head.”
  20. “Hmmm I’d have to say what really makes me happy is traveling and visiting new places! I really like to experience and see different cities and also meet new people and learn about different cultures. Also if ya need something a little simpler I guess listening to music and being outdoors, spending time with friends and family!”
  21. “I think what makes me happy is spending time with friends and creating memories.  Through some different situations I realized that life is short and that although having things is nice the people around you are truly what matter.”
  22. “The thing that makes me happy is seeing someone I love with a big, happy smile on their face because they are proud of themselves. This includes my entire family and special friends.”
  23. “To this all inclusive question, my mind spins with directions to turn in response.  Moments that have brought me temporary contentment, such as family reunions, surprise birthday celebrations with genuine friends,  receiving a truly fulfilling compliment by a complete stranger,  endless tummy-rumbling laughter while exchanging  the most ridiculous humor at a sleepover…  The list  goes on.  While I could reminisce for  hours about the countless moments where I have been made happy, I find it more easily contained in the over generalized- yet precisely summed up conclusion that I am made HAppy by my interaction with, and appreciation of, others. But, something I have come to find in my life ( which while short, has been blessed with moments of deep happiness) is that while the term “happy” is used to define a temporary state, the vast collection of such moments has been the foundation of my long lasting, permanent joy. I find myself Happy both because of the people I have chosen to spend  my life experiences with and Because of the people  who have been placed in my life.  I believe that while these moments are often separated by different groups of people, surroundings and events, ultimately the fact that I myself am apart of each one and have achieved happiness through them, Has allowed me to find a greater joy as a result. And, as is the most important conclusion, I believe such a sense of permanent joy is God’s intention for every soul he has created.  I am happy to have found this inner joy as a result of God’s precisely intentional gift of  humanity. “
  24. “What makes me happy is succeeding after failing, achieving after trying for a long time, laughing, the little things in life and love- for others and for my passions.”
  25. “What makes me happy is working with people with autism!”
  26. “What makes me happy: My loving/supportive husband, Puppies, A really clean house, The smell of a new car with leather seats, Windows-open weather; fresh air in general, Being near water/boating, The smell of BBQ on a grill/ campfire smell too, A cozy cabin up north with a fire (in the winter), Children;Their pure hearts and innocence. (Plus, they are hilarious.), Time spent with friends and family, Fresh cut flowers. Esp. Peonies, The way my hair smell right out of the shower if I use a really good smelling shampoo, Gardening/Growing my own organic vegetables, Sunsets over the ocean (esp on the west coast), Sunrises at the lake, My job and Mornings in general; a fresh start to do whatever you want to with. Oh and weddings. I love weddings. Weddings make me happy :)”
  27. “What makes me happy is my faith. I know it sounds kinda cliche but that’s the source of all my happiness. Knowing that no matter what I do or how many mistakes I make, I’ll always be loved by an infinite God, that just fills me with a lasting happiness that I’ve never found anywhere else.”
  28. “Spending time with friends and family makes me happy. There is nothing better than having fun and being around the people you really care about and the people that really care about you. I’m sure some people would say that monetary wealth would make them happy. To be rich in friendship is much better and will truly make me or someone happy over money any day.”
  29. “I Feel: Weird, Lonely, Joyful, Depressed, Sad, Strong, Independent, Soft, Weak, Giggly, Wild, Angry, Jealous, Supported, Ignored, Wrong, Right, Empty, Full, Head-over-heels, Smart, Hardworking, Untalented, Loved. Getting to experience all of these things makes me happy. I am blessed to be able to feel. I get to take a deep breath and feel everything. And everything is more than just good or bad. And that makes me happy.”
  30. “I am the happiest when I’m doing things I enjoy with the people I love; exploring, especially in nature; and reflecting on all the great experiences and people that God had blessed me with!”
  31. “People make me happy and having conversations with people make me the happiest. I love seeing my friends happy, seeing others do what they love and watching personal growth.. For example, I love watching my friends dance/cheer or perform on stage or at a game because of the freeing they get on stage it’s like magic and I can relate to that magic.”
  32. “Things that make me happy: sleeping in, fresh cups of coffee, catching up with old friends, warm summer days, traveling to new places, spending time with family, going on service trips and warm chocolate chip cookies.”
  33. “It makes me happy when I see my children helping and suporting each other. To know that they are there for each other long after my life here on earth is over is comforting. Lets see Notre football victories makes me happy and smiling faces at Notre Dame Academy makes me happy!!!! Thats about it!!!”
  34. “I’m happiest when I’m teaching and helping others.”
  35. “A lot of things make me happy and happiness is what makes the world go round. But the reason graduation was so hard for me was because st. Francis makes me so happy. I don’t know what it specifically is but when I see anyone from my Knight family, I am just full of joy. The way they genuinely care about me and will be there for me no matter what!”
  36. “My answer would be family, friends and icecream”
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