“To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition.”

— Dr. Samuel Johnson

What do we think about the quote?

True?

False?

Is everything we do in life somehow tied to being happy at home?

Well- I guess that depends on what happy at home really means. And it needs to be what it means to you…as each person’s definition of happy is unique…

What makes your home a happy place?

Think about it for a minute: what do you need to be happy at home?

My must have list is something like this:

  1. An actual place to call home- walls, plumbing. electric, kitchen, bathroom, place to sit and place to sleep
  2. Food
  3. minimal fighting and arguing
  4. a feeling of safety
  5. a feeling of security
  6. health

Do I get these things via ambition?

Well, having money is a definite need.

Does ambition get you money?

I’m not sure if this goes hand in hand. I know plenty of people with jobs who lack ambition. I also know some people with ambition but no money. So I’m not sure about this one.

Does ambition get me the other things on my list?

Does ambition bring safety and security and a family that gets along?

No. I don’t think so.

Perhaps my definition of ambition is lacking. When I think ambition I think of doing well in school, a profession, or a pursuit such as being an Olympic skater…I think of ambition as having a goal, seeing something that you want, and just reaching out to grab it.

Is that what ambition really is?

Maybe ambition is making sure that your family has the necessary things like food, water and shelter.

Maybe ambition is seeking to create a quality of life where your home is a harmonious place, most of the time.

But enough about what I think: What do you think?

  1. What is your interpretation of the quote?
  2. What does “happy at home” mean to you?
  3. What does ambition mean to you?

Discuss

51 thoughts on “Happy=Home?

  1. I feel more balanced when I live in a space (home) that suits my needs. It doesn’t need to be fancy but I like it to be a certain way.

    Since I struggle with this daily I have some ambition to improve my situation but am limited by external factors to achieve exactly what I want. Also when you are part of a family unit, that plays a part in how you envision things. They have their own ideas and you are but a piece in the puzzle.

    In principle I agree with the quote.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I hadn’t thought of the cross ambitions, but you’re right…that’s a huge component of it. If people in a household have different goals how do you create harmony?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well they say dialogue and conversation is key. My young teens have recently decided that adult opinions are not particularly in line with theirs so not sure about harmony. But the dialogue must continue regardless.

        It’s a journey. Also, I love the word harmony.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My first thought about being happy at home was about being content with myself, being able to sit with myself, finding comfort in just being, without the distraction of the outside world. I suppose families add another level of meaning.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I hadn’t gotten completely through your post and I’m already thinking, “Well, that depends in part on how you view ambition” then I saw that you covered that, too. I view ambition as having goals and working towards them (which is pretty much the actual definition of the word). There are no other specific ties to it like education. Sure, things like education can be part of a person’s ambition, but it doesn’t have to be a part of every person’s ambition. I’m certain that lots of people wouldn’t consider me ambitious because the main thing that I’d always wanted out of life was to be a mom and that doesn’t have most traditional earmarks of ambition, but it is still a goal that I made the kinds of decisions that put me on the path to make that happen. As for the quote, initially, I really didn’t agree, but the more I thought about the definition of ambition, and in the context I’ve mentioned, then yes, I do. Because some people’s ambition doesn’t always look like what others would call ambition. Just like what makes one person happy may not be what brings another person happiness.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I’d say that is right. Also, to look at it in terms of other people, it opens the way to have a template to judge others (which is more often than not, negatively or comparatively). It really should be how it applies to you.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I am happy at home surrounded by my family even if there are spats, we have more than most as far as material things so I think all members of our household are happy in their own way, viewing the subject through different eyes. Ambition to me is striving to achieve something just out of reach.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Having periods of quiet makes for a happy home.

    I think some minimal level of ambition is necessary to have a happy home. I know a fiftyish couple that moved in with one of their elderly parents because they can’t afford any sort of housing because they won’t do what it takes to keep a job.

    So grateful to have my own modest home and not have to be dependent on others outside of my immediate family.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. To me the feeling of home is peace and happiness. The house I live in is not necessarily my home but where I live. It is awesome when a house feels like home and that happens with familiarity, peace within and happiness.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Home is my safe place – somewhere to go where I am fully accepted just as I am, warts and all. And that makes me feel happy and secure. Ambition is a tougher nut to crack. Ambition can be a good thing, the drive that helps push us to meet a challenge or a goal, but too often ambition (well maybe just in the overly ambitious) can lead to stepping on others in our climb up the ladder of “success”. So, as you can tell, I have mixed feelings about ambition. Does a happy home mean you have ambition? Hmmm it’s sort of like the chicken and egg scenario. If we are unhappy in our home situation can we even develop ambition to meet challenges and goals?

    Interesting quote!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I see home as meaning being internally happy with yourself or finding joy in your surroundings whatever your circumstances. I don’t take things so literally anymore.
    Since today is exactly one year since I had life saving surgery I see happiness quite differently.
    After going to weekly chemo treatments and spending 7 to 8 hours a day hooked up to horrendous chemicals in a bland sterile environment, I brought my “home” or my happiness with me. My own pillow, my favorite blanket, my iPad,a bag of my favorite snacks, etc. whatever gave me comfort. I also learned after spending time recovering in the hospital, that we human beings can get used to any surrounding in a day or two. We adapt. If we are hooked up to tubes, we adapt. We can create new normals, new ways to keep happy or feel fulfilled. People sang, danced, and prayed even in concentration camps. The happiest people find inner peace and happiness whenever and wherever they can find it.

    I have learned when in a situation you cannot change, then let your brain soar to new heights. Your inner self will find joy eventually. It truly will. IF you focus on what is positive. Even if it’s only for a moment.
    Happiness comes from within. A home feels inviting for sure. But if it were taken from you over night, does that mean you would never find happiness again? We need to be open and realistic about what we call home and what we identify as ambition. Happiness is within us. I think the less we look externally for it, the easier it is to identify it internally.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’ve hit on an excellent point. Your mind is capable of doing marvelous things. The right mindset can get you through anything. When you brought your “things” to chemo was brilliant. It gave you a source of strength and comfort that you needed to get through. We all need our talisman, whatever that may be. I know I have things on my desk that are just special to me. Congrats on the one year anniversary!!

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  9. I think I define “home” as wherever we are, like your home can be your body or your surroundings at the time. So, if that’s the case, then I think we should all have an ambition to be as happy as we can be in the moment, which will shape the way we see our homes.

    I hope this makes sense. I’m thinking of a more loosely defined sense of home.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Love it, LA. Hmmmm. Alright, here we go.

    1) I would write the quote like this, “To be happy in life, is the ultimate result of all ambition.” If you have a desire for, insert here whatever it is you want to create in your life, and the ambition to achieve it, you will probably be happy. If, that is, that thing you are looking to create lives within you, and not without you.
    2) Happiness is a product of perspective and internal work on the self. For me happy in life, happy everywhere, home included, which, of course, does not mean that I don’t get sad. A paradox, just like life.
    3) Ambition – grit, determination, a willingness to create and manifest your purpose in life.

    Wow, loved this one, LA. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love your comments! Completely agree that we have to figure out what individually and internally motivates us and this makes us happy. And yes, we have to want it, whether is be happiness, education or anything

      Liked by 1 person

  11. LA, Great questions! I remember the old quote that home is where you lay your hat. Not too many people wear hats anymore, I suppose. Then there’s Abraham Lincoln’s famous quote, “Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” So when you have several people living under one roof, it’s really about how happy each person is that contributes to the overall “health” or “happiness quotient” of the home. In particular, bad moods/attitudes are highly contagious. My son has frequent and intense meltdowns, which really affects how “happy” we are at different times at home. I’ve learned how to “grow (and thrive) where I’m planted” (thank you, Mary Englebreit!), and even though we’ve had a ton of hardship in our home, I’m a reasonably happy person. I’d say our home is reasonably happy, too, given our circumstances. I’d say when someone has a mental illness/disorder/etc. and you live with them, you learn to appreciate the good times, especially, because the stressful ones are just around the corner. So maybe in life, “happy home” is a generalization indicating that you share many happy moments together as a family. If you share many, maybe that’s what makes it a happy home for you. If you share fewer good moments and more intense, stressful, difficult moments, maybe less for some. For me, what makes a happy home is knowing that my loved ones and I are doing well-ish (doing our best) and that we feel comfortable and safe in our home. We can be ourselves and we know we have each others’ backs. So, yes, you have to have the right mindset; you have to have good strategies and knowledge in place; it needs to be a place where you get encouragement, pats on the back and a listening ear; and you have to have determination. In my case, I also rely much on Faith. I couldn’t do any of what I do without God above. Happiness, by the way, is the by-product of other things you are doing. Now I’ve said way too much. 🙂 Mona

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for excellent comments. As with everything, mindset is important. If you wake up and say that it’s going to be a bad day, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. The family dynamic has always been, and always will be hard.we need to learn to work on it!

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  12. I’ve never considered ambition to be correlated to a happy home. I may be ambitious but it has nothing to do with my happiness at home. I may not fully understand the import of this quote…

    Liked by 1 person

  13. To me, success is being comfortable with who we are and what we have. So I can see what the poem is saying, and with that interpretation, I agree with it! If it means to accumulate so much stuff that we live in a perfect house, then, I don’t agree… But I’m betting it refers more to the first. Hope so, anyway!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Geez, my husband is constantly pushing this one at me. See, I don’t find much to love about home. Couple that with my lifelong goal of doing something toward an ambition, and I’m really no Anne of Green Gables or Dorothy of Kansas. 😀

    Your question pertained to what WOULD make one feel at home, though; I think that would help. If I controlled more of what was around me, creating a homey home, I would feel better.

    Liked by 1 person

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