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Olajumoke Awosemo: What is Your Happiness Mantra?



Everyone on this earth deserves to be happy at all times. The reality of life is that happiness is not as common as air or rain- available to all and at all times. Happiness is self-created; happiness is a choice. However, many people look for happiness in the wrong places- wealth, relationships, career, friends etc. Believe it or not, these things in themselves do not provide happiness. Many of us still feel disengaged in our daily lives, often looking for something more that can’t be found in a job, a salary, material items, or other relationships. In fact, we often overlook one of the most powerful sources happiness – ourselves!

Growing up in a boarding school with some rich kids, I had assumed that happiness was coming from a wealthy family and being brought four sets of ‘provs’ with all types of assorted biscuits every visiting day. How I often admired the girls that resumed later than the rest of us before they had just flown back to the country from ‘abroad’. Going on to University, happiness again represented having a suitcase filled with clothes and a body to compliment the clothes (some of us looked just too skinny to look great in anything). Being happy looked like having a 400L club boy as a boyfriend and of course cruising a sleek car around campus.

Maturity finally taught me that happiness is not about your family or where you come from, it’s not about what you have or don’t have. Infact, you can’t will happiness. Like anything else worthy, it takes effort. Happiness is a choice that is made and consciously worked towards everyday till it becomes a ritual. Happiness is not a fleeting sentiment. It’s a deep-rooted state of mind that can’t be shaken or destroyed by a single circumstance. Happiness isn’t like water in a well, getting lower as you use it up or conversely tapping cheerful moments to replenish the bucket to its brim.

Happiness also has nothing to do with what part of the world you have come from. I used to work on the same team with a very bitter ‘oyibo’ lady; another person’s happiness becomes a source of deep sorrow for her. She often grumbles when anyone is laughing, asking why they are so happy. I knew she must have gone through some very difficult times in her life but there is no one cure for unhappiness, no panacea…it is a self made decision. She may need a trip down to the most remote part of Africa to witness genuine happiness from people who have been through the worst scenarios imaginable.

Happiness is something I aspire to live by on a daily basis, and I decided to ask some of the people in my life for their perspective on how they maintain happiness in theirs. Here are the different mantras that we live by, starting with mine.

“A lot of things can make me happy in the moment, but I’m truly happiest is when I’m spending time with my family. Family means the world to me.

A friend said to me that ‘She is happiest when she has things to look forward to. She has been like that since she was young and always find comfort in knowing there are little moments to be excited about each day’

A colleague said ‘It’s easy to look at Instagram photos and assume everyone has a perfect life — all sunny afternoons and brownies with a bit of sea salt. So when you’re stuck at work, or feeling like a hot mess, or dealing with crying kids, or struggling with big life questions, or grief, or doubt, you can feel like something is wrong with you. But! Nothing is! Everyone goes through big ups and downs, and it’s actually a good thing’

My cousin says that her happiness mantra is to LET IT GO! Because she has the tendency to majorly obsess over things.

My husband thinks he finds true happiness not by earning something, but by giving; whether it’s spending quality time with family, or providing help to a close friend, the act of giving to others is what creates true happiness.

What is your happiness mantra?

Photo Credit: Dreamstime |  Frizzantine 

Olajumoke Awosemo is an HR Professional, a Personal Shopper and a Self-Developed writer. Her interest in writing focuses mainly on relationships, marriage and related issues but sometimes touches on other current issues. She is a wife, a mother and jointly manages a relationship blog with her husband at She also runs her personal shopper business at"


  1. Niola

    October 21, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Being in a state of peace and fellowship with God gives me true happiness
    Family comes next
    Being blessed to be able to be a blessing to others

    After all my spirikoko now to the worldly things
    I love love travelling, my dream is that I will make money retire early and just be globetrotting, not to shop o but to just be sleeping and relaxing

  2. beauty

    October 21, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    I get happy by filling up my mind with positive thoughts especially I feel some kind of saddening thoughts…

  3. kcz

    October 21, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    pls BN i have articles to share also cos am a freelance writer. how do i go about it?

  4. deni

    October 21, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Self accomplishments make me happy, but I don’t aim towards happiness, but rather contentment and a peace that passes all understanding in whatever situation I find myself in.

  5. Kk

    October 21, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    @niola you are so so me me! I am an aspiring globetrotter..

  6. Tosin

    October 21, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    great question.
    say i need food and get food, i don’t let that joy and gratitude pass me by. it is not trivial to have rice when you need it. imagine to now have meat on top!
    i am just sha happy.

    • Monitoring.

      October 21, 2015 at 11:19 pm

      Tosin keep up the good work, you may be anonymous but your comments are mostly light hearted and fun. Well done.

  7. Timothy

    October 21, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    I agree with you. Happyness is not a destination but a journey. Something that is consciously worked on till it becomes a way of life. Does not mean you wont have “down” times but it helps to put those things in perspective and try to just make d best of a bad situation (i am living with a life long ailment)

    For me, i am happy most of the times cos i life by that cliche mantra “life is short”, so i try not to “sweat it” too much. I realise i am happy most times cos i try to be at peace with myself even when life gets complicated. I find extra joy when i travel, which i do once in a year and alone most of the time, journeying thru nice places in Europe.

    But like you said, my happyness aint attached to those things, i just learn to live each striving to be at peace with God and man, i am contended whilst at d same time working to better my lot and being a better person and hoping that i continue to find the strenght to live with my ailment.

  8. kristin

    October 21, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    My happiness mantra is to not come and go and kill myself and die away. I do my best possible and leave the rest in the hands of God. No matter how bad the situation is, it could get way worse. So I try to be thankful. I count my blessings. E hugs to you Timothy. The joy of the Lord is ur strength

  9. Abim

    October 22, 2015 at 9:39 am

    In the past two years, my happiness has come from having the strength to detox negative-thinking people out of my life. People that are always waiting for my other shoe to drop, that are always cynical, sarcastic, and thinking it’s the only humor that exists. People that always pour sand in my garri, and that of others, then discuss it among themselves as if it is something they accomplished (they all know eachother; they are a family).

    I realised that sometimes happiness comes from remembering what you had before you met certain people, and striving to keep that, because it was a beautiful thing, you were just not aware of how ugly the world could be (or certain minds could be). Now that you’ve subconsciously let it rub off on you, you are just happy using all your strength to revert to the old you. I am happy to be strong enough to do so because one of said people is my husband. I am trying to help him see how negative he has been, and how it has affected our relationship for the worse. Of course because I am not Mother Teresa, I am staying away from his family, because three to four toxic people is too much for little old me. I still see them but those visits are very short and sweet (they also smoke, way to kill my happy breathing).


    October 22, 2015 at 11:55 am

    In giving…

  11. Tosin

    October 22, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    awww. Thank You.

    and hugs everyone.

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