~Wise Words from John Lennon’s Mother~

John Lennon

John Lennon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I saw a quote on another *blog this morning and just had to have it on mine. I absolutely love it and it is the essence of all I believe in. John Lennon’s mother was truly a wise woman, and he was truly a wise man for taking her at her word.

He said: “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”  

It seems that we are forever striving for this illusive thing called happiness. It is not a trivial pursuit or it would not be in the American Declaration of Independence. It says that along with life and liberty, the pursuit of happiness is an inalienable right. If that doesn’t make it important, I don’t know what would–we need something like that in Canada’s Constitution (maybe we do–I will have to look into this.)

Yesterday my post was a bit self-serving—I was feeling sorry for myself, and not looking beyond a minor transgression. Today is a new day. Today I am going to grow up and be what John Lennon said he wanted to be when he grew up: Happy.

I know it does not happen just because I want it to happen (or does it?) but it is a much better way to live than the alternative. Stuff happens, I know this—but I have decided to start to be Pollyanna-ish. If you reread her books, you will find that she was not so much an optimist as a pragmatist—the girl was really pretty logical. And it is only logical to me to want to be happy.

This post is as much for me as it is for you. We all need to pursue this thing called happiness, as much as we pursue success, money, careers, and whatever else we desire.

My definition of happiness takes in the usual suspects: joy, contentment, and pleasure. But even when those things seem to be missing, I look forward to the next time “something unexpectedly pleasant happens”. It is these times that make our rather haphazard roller coaster ride on this terra firma we call earth, worthwhile.

I am ready to be happy—how about you?



Published in: on October 11, 2012 at 2:24 pm  Comments (50)  
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50 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Lovely post!

    • thank you denise –

  2. I agree completely. I have found that if you search out and take the time to recognize the small things that make you happy, they add up. Thanks for sharing your new goal.

  3. John Lennon also wrote the lyric “life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” I find this is like a compass I go back to whenever I get caught up in those “other plans.”

    • I do too – it makes you pause and catch up doesn’t it?

  4. Very nice post… I am seeking happiness… it is taking much longer than expected. But, so it goes, so it goes. The journey continues.

    • you have to find it in unexpected places sometimes–I wish it was not so elusive

      • You… and all of us….


        Happy Thanksgiving.

  5. Some days I don’t realize how blessed I am But then something happens that makes me realize that I am not only blessed, but I am also resonably happy.

    • we just have to be open to those things–and reasonably happy is so much better than the alternative

  6. Lennon’s mother was very smart, how lucky he was to have grown up with a mother like that, I can see why he turned out as he did. I love his comment in school. Adults can learn so much from what children say to them as they are coming from such an innocent place. We enjoy the comments a child makes, and laugh at their innocence, but do we ever stop to think through what they believe?

    As for happiness being in our Declaration of Independence, it’s just words to most citizens. People are struggling so much the vast majority have forgotten to look for happiness in the little things. Life is more about the complaints than it is about the joys. Maybe everyone needs a reminder to stop and appreciate the good, happy moments.

    • I think we do need that reminder, and the reminder to listen to kids –they are wise and we do not pay attention sometimes

  7. It’s never a bad thing to be reminded to try to be happy.

    • like we do not have to be grinning idiots–but neither should we always find the clouds grey with no silver lining ( I am trying my best here to promote happiness)

      • And you’re doing an excellent job, LouAnn—thank you!

  8. Now there’s a positive attitude!! I try to be happy as much as possible because life is just too short, but we all have good days and bad days :). I also throw in a good measure of craziness too LOL.

    • craziness goes well with my definition of happiness!

  9. I’ve always liked that quote, wise words.

    • they really are

  10. One of my favorite stories about John Lennon.

    • mine too

  11. I’ve never heard but it’s great. I think when you land your happiness, many other good things in life follow.

    • I think you could be right

  12. The difference between happiness and joy is that happiness is fleeting…bit joy is the reward for survival. It stays because you know you’ve gone through hell for it. I wish you happiness, but even more I wish you joy! 🙂

    • joy sounds like a very good thing–I wish you joy too

  13. I love that quote!
    That’s what I strive for too.

    • me too – we shall just strive away

  14. Canada is one of the happiest nations on earth, ranked 5th I think. With all that positive Canadian energy, you are happiness surrounded!

    • well that is good news — we don’t need it in our constitution — we seem to be living it

  15. Lou Ann, our great minds are thinking alike. I am working on a post about happiness and you beat me to the punch! Now I’m not happy anymore!! (just kidding). But I love the John Lennon quote — thank you for that and I think we all want that elusive “happiness.” Trying to define just what that is and how we get it, is a whole different matter, huh?

    • I cannot wait for your take on it – you always have great insights with a touch of humour

  16. I remember someone once saying to me, “Happiness is overrated” (or maybe it was a quote from some movie) and though my first reaction was to be annoyed, I genuinely felt bad for that person that they thought so. Perhaps the “ways to find happiness” that we often read about in cheesy magazines are overrated but true happiness is never that. Thanks for such a positive reminder to….. well, stay positive! 😉

    • it is certainly something we have to work at every day – does not come naturally for some reason

  17. Timely post as I have been thinking about this a lot too!

    • what is the use without smidgens of happiness?

  18. I could use a shot of happiness right now! I hope you got yours!

    • happiness is hard work sometimes

  19. Beautiful sentiments. I’m always in pursuit of happiness — and usually find it. 🙂

  20. Your post stopped me in my tracks. Check out the post I did on the same quote!


    We are of like mind! However, after I posted the quote, I found out John didn’t say it. Rats.

    • well that is crappy

      • I know. I was bummed too. It still is a great quote and words to live by.

      • true but disheartenly

  21. I love that quote! What a cool story. Very awesome even if John Lennon didn’t “really” say it … you never know he could have said it … the Internet is full of all kinds of facts and fiction. I might have to post this story/quote on the fridge. 🙂

    • it is a good saying, no matter who said it or made it up

  22. I think happiness is so elusive. Up, down. I’m aiming for simply staying in the moment whatever that moment is…and knowing that moment will pass. (Well, at least…that’s what I’m trying to do. Still a work in progress).

    • I find staying in the moment helpful as it grounds me and instead of practicing denial (which was my way) I now live through it to get to the other side

  23. Thank you a lot for sharing this with all of us you actually realize what you’re talking about! Bookmarked. Please also visit my website =). We will have a link change agreement between us

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