When have you been truly happy?

Today, I was happy. Yesterday I was happy. Tomorrow, I will probably be happy.

Happiness is a combination of genetics, circumstances and personal choices.

Indeed, one can argue that any one of these elements is crucial, but I believe that people are the embodiment of all 3. People, in my opinion, are a great determining factor in our happiness.

How does that work?

Every day when I walk through the door and see my wife smiling at me, I know I’m home. When my 3 year old son runs up and tells me how much he missed me during the day, I know I’m valued. When my 9 month old son smiles at me and reaches for me to pick him up, I know I’m loved. To me, success is about making my family proud. If I have done that, then I can say I’m happy.

I know that not everyone has the same family dynamics as me. That’s okay. There is no rule to say that genetic make-up is the only way to define “family” bonds.

I am convinced that our greatest source of happiness can be found within our own personal communities. What man has found joy in the loneliness of solitude? What woman has been so eager to share a personal victory with no-one?

Family

It is said that you don’t get to choose your family. While that is correct in the literal sense, relatives and family are not always the same. The bonds formed within our social worlds can (and often do) surpass those inherent with consanguinity. Blood does not always create family.

I challenge you to take an inventory of yourself and the relationships you have built. Look at the people you have surrounded yourself with and those you consider to be your “family.” Do they demonstrate some of the basic principles a strong family would like love, respect, forgiveness, encouragement, humility and altruism?

If not, start building a foundation of people who truly care for you. I promise you that when you have a family (literal or not) that truly loves and supports you – you can find real happiness. When love is present, there is beauty all around.

To uncover true happiness, find and surround yourself with people who love you. After all, as Robert A. Heinlein said: “Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” In a true family, we find happiness…in one another.

Shelly Kramer

Co-founder, V3*Broadsuite at V3*Broadsuite
Shelly Kramer is the Co-CEO of V3 Broadsuite, a marketing agency specializing in the digital space. A 20+ year marketing veteran, she's a brand strategist focused on delivering integrated marketing solutions and helping businesses leverage the web for growth and profitability. She's an expert at content strategy and execution and tying social media to business initiatives. Recognized by Forbes on a number of occasions, most recently as one of the Top 40 Social Selling Marketing Expertsand Top 50 Social Media Influencers, she's half marketer, half geek, with a propensity for numbers, producing results and a dash of quick repartee. Her blog has been recognized by Forbes as one of the Top 20 Best Marketing and Social Media Blogs and by PostRank as one of the Top 100 Most Engaging Social Media Blogs. Find her on LinkedIn, Google+ or Twitter.