Sunday 5 October 2008

Soar straight to happiness

What makes Aussies happy?

Well I am guessing the very same things that make people all over the world happy.

According to the 2008 Australian Happiness Index, rest, relaxation and entertainment topped the list for both men and women in the index, with quality time with your partner also making the top four for each sex.

But that's where the similarities end.

Australian men are happiest when they are having sex or surfing the net, but women prefer to get their endorphins racing by caring for their families, having meals with friends and petting their pooches.

So what’s that bird got to do with any of this?

Well I think birds can teach us a lot about ourselves.

The photo above (by Andy Rouse) is of an Osprey in flight.

You may notice that the bird is carrying a twig.

He is carrying it back to his female.

Every time the male offers the female a twig, she mates with him.

Now look at the intensity in that bird's face. He's like a man on a mission.

He knows he is heading straight for happiness.

And I guess his female, if she had any sense, is lying back with a cocktail in hand, watching the four walls of their home being renovated around her thinking about which new fish recipe she might try for dinner with friends.

Wonder what kind of pets birds have?

And what's the betting that these little Osprey urban dwellers chose that utility pole to build their home because they, like us, know that “you can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much bandwidth.”

See, we are so alike. I jest.

Maybe happiness comes from the simple things in life. And it's no more complex than that.

Maybe, I could be a whole lot happier; perhaps I just need to find a man who brings me twigs (um after reading Gran's comment on this post mmm, I meant a man who ......., oh I think I'll leave it before I make it worse, give me some puffs of that asthma inhaler Gran (Gran Speaks).

Do you agree with the Happiness Index? What makes you happy?

Have a great Sunday!


  1. Well Lilly it's never worked for me. Every time I offer a girl a twig instead of a flower I get slapped. I am telling you it only works for birds, the feathered ones that is. Happy to send you some twigs and we could see how you feel though. Anything to make a girl happy. Funny.

  2. Lilly, most of the American men I have ever met are happiest when having sex or surfing the net.

    Many American men are great at bringing the twigs home, but some men also offer twigs to other women, before they come home to their wives.

    So--when you think of it, many American men are expert decorators!

    I need to stop. I took too many puffs from my asthma inhaler, I think :)

  3. Lilly there is one correction here many men and women (if you look at the Google search words) multiskill when it comes to what makes them happy - they have 'sex and surf' at the same time. Now I want you to do a post on this because I would love to see what you do with it. Suddenly the Barbara Striesand (spelling??) song comes to mind, 'You dont bring me twigs anymore...' I guess even birds have their quiet times, he he. Do you think he just gets lazy and parks himself on the couch in front of the tele for hours on end when he runs out of steam? Are they faithful these birds? Personally I like the female spiders who mate with their partners then eat them, hope they do that after they get the males to refurbish the web. I sound very sexist and certainly do not mean to be but when you look at nature....we could be doing it wrong us humans.

  4. All joking aside, Chocolate makes me happy. And being kind. And helping someone in need. And knowing true things. And having clear skin. And developing a talent. And being with loved ones. And making it though a challenge. And travel. And Nutella...which just means you have whole levels of happiness just waiting to be discovered if you can find yourself a jar of the stuff.

    I guess I don't agree with the survey results.

  5. If only I had known/thought about the twig thing years ago Lilly. I'd have recognised the signs and likely avoided two failed marriages!
    June in Oz

  6. @ Stefan - ha ha - that's funny. Well I think the test is this, if you give a girl twigs and she is happy then she is the one for you!

    @ Gran - oh my gosh, I think I need some of what you are having (just the medication not the asthma though). You are so funny. Yes, I think men are the same everywhere, bless them. And they would say we are the same too. Where would we be without them and they us?

    @ Magee - yes I read some research about what different people in different States in Australia were looking for on Google. I think I am either past all that or just don't get it- just cannot see how a computer replaces a real live person. Each to their own as long as its between consenting adults and people are honest.

    @ Blue - Do you know I am going to buy myself a botttle of Nutella just to give it a go because if it may add to my happiness then I am all for it. I so love your list of what makes you happy. There was one that stuck out for me though. It was, 'and knowing true things'. The truth and honesty are everything. Because when we live authentically there are no shadows. Love what you said!!!! I think we may come for a similar place.

    @ June - There is nothing more painful is there and do you know the best bit is that you have these incredible writing skills to express what you have learnt from your experiences and influence others. I know exactly what you mean. I wish I had learnt more about red flags in relationships earlier on in life. Thats what life is all about I guess learning the lessons we need. And the thing is all of us go through different experiences but none of us is exempt from pain. Who knows who is out there bearing twigs June. LOL. We will be on the lookput moreso now!! Thanks for dropping by. I bet its been super hot where you are.

  7. Hi Lilly,often wondered why my house was always full of twigs.

    A quote from Buddhist scholar Shantideva "All the happiness there is in this world arises from wishing others to be happy. All the suffering there is in this world arises from wishing ourselves to be happy. "

  8. @ Barbara, yes somehow I think from the sounds of it your partner is the right kind of man. And I love that quote. It's so true - love it. Thank you for sharing that.

  9. What makes me happy, Lilly? I'll tell you: stumbling out of bed at 4or 5 every morning to find a lovely comment from my dear friend in Australia on my latest blog post! That's what makes me happy every time.

  10. Oh yes, I'm sure the survey isn't far wrong. What it doesn't mention is that studies of garden birds have shown that, whilst the male is off gathering twigs, the female often sneaks off to "enjoy herself" with a more exciting (if less efficient twig collector) bit on the side in the next door gargen. What's good for the gander is good for the goose too, eh? It appears that, males and females are not so very different after all ;)

  11. PS: Linked to your blog in my top post this morning!
    Enjoy, friend.

  12. Lilly - The thing about "twig gathering", I have found, is that even if your mate doesn't need any more twigs she still appreciates it when you bring her a twig for no particular reason.

    Of course, that could mean that some birds only bring the twigs because they, like those in the survey you mentioned, are happiest when having sex and they think bringing a new twig will result in more sex. Dirty little birds!

  13. @ Jlo - you are up early my friend. What a sweet thing to say. I am always keen to check out your latest pics for the day. I shall be over to answer your question tomorrow - late here now because of daylight savings.

    @ cw666 - yes, that definitely is a better proposition. I am an old fashioned girl that's why I love Magpies (except when they try and swoop) they are monogamous and raise a their little ones in a family unit. Gosh imagine if I wrote a book - the love life of birds - oh, now that is sad!

  14. @ Matt - ok you have put a whole new spin on it. I think half of them do the first thing and the other half the next. You should have been a psychologist. Then again I fear I am thinking about the lives of critters too much for my own good. I need to leave animals alone for a while. For some reason the inane makes me laugh particularly when there is much in the world to make us a little upset. I will get serious over the next week..

  15. Thanks for your comments on my blog. Please stop for a visit anytime. I love company. I can just about say "ditto" to everything Gran wrote in her comment and like June Saville, I wish I had known about those twigs years ago! Chocolate is one of my favorite things, being with family, traveling, and just life in general makes me happy.

  16. I was just reading this morning that birds are just like humans, with basic needs for food, water and shelter. All this twig talk is hilarious! And I love this happiness topic.

  17. Hi Lilly,
    It would be wonderful if we were not so materialistic and could just accept whatever was offered to us as a gesture of love without thinking of the cost and why they should consider giving us such a gift.

    I have always accepted anything my child cared to give me with love and appreciation so long as he thought enough of me to give it to me. When it comes to men we tend to think the more they spend the more they love us, but that's not always true.

    I appreciate those thoughtful twigs more than I would the rose actually, even though they are beautiful, but without the vine then where would the rose be?

  18. I just need to add that I have met some of the sweetest, kindest, truest men also!

  19. Lilly
    North Coast NSW weather:
    Yesterday 22°C
    Wind: N at 24 km/h
    Humidity: 64%
    Today: 28 degrees is forecast - the hottest for months.
    Blue skies and low humidity is fine Lilly. It's the moist heat we all hate.
    Yesterday was idyllic and I wandered around the Eco Village with my kids enjoying the startling colours and the kangaroos.
    June, also in Oz

  20. That osprey looks kind of like he's surfing. Cool!

    What makes me happy???

    - the first sign of spring
    - the smell of lilacs
    - my childrens laughter
    - a cool beer on a hot day ... preferably on a boat in the middle of the lake
    - a killer rollercoaster
    - the album The Joshua Tree
    - my husband's shower dance

    The list could go on and on and on and on and on.......

  21. @ Judy - I enjoyed visiting your blog and thanks for stopping by mine.

    @ Jude - I so loved what you wrote - 'It would be wonderful if we were not so materialistic and could just accept whatever was offered to us as a gesture of love without thinking of the cost and why they should consider giving us such a gift.' So true and worth thinking about moreseo. Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

    @ June - sounds perfect weather indeed. I lived in Coffs for a whiel and it rained for 4 months straight once - on that humidity - I know what you mean. Enjoy our beautiful weather (although it must be pretty good all year round there)!! Down south it gets cold - like today - a shocker!!

    @ Tami - sounds like you have lots to be happy about - love the things that make you happy. I so love the Joshua Tree too!

  22. No! No twigs for me! I need chocolates and red roses, even when I married for 18 years! :)

  23. I've had my share of twigs.. I guess the dream of finding "the one" and building a life together will never perrish, but now I'm more realistic and know that this is possible only in fiction. Happiness for me would be a house in the woods, two healthy children and lots of animals. Sounds more like peace and quiet translated into happiness. You were right: it's the simple things that we long for.

  24. @ Eastcoastlife - oh that is sweet and I am sure you do lovely things for him too. Expect a picture of your chocolates on your photohunts one day lol!

    @ Rocksnowhite - sometimes we have to learn the heard way that it's the simple things that are the most satisfying. I hope your writing will continue making you happy too. You have a wonderful talent!

  25. That is cute! I never thought of it like that but for the most part you are right. I enjoy everything they listed except petting the pooches. They are to hyper and drive me nuts so my husband does that.

  26. It's true we can try and deny it but what's the point guys. They got us good!

  27. The things that make me happy are
    my daugher, my son, my dog and my friends, now not necessarly in that order. Oh the other thing would be chocolate. So I guess I am a lot like the birds, the simple things are what make my world spin.

  28. What makes ME happy?! What makes me happy is making others happy. They say you can't please everybody, but I'm giving it my best shot!

  29. Hi Lilly ~ I loved the first I thought it was two birds sitting side by side (I'm a blind old dingbat) but then I saw.

    Well..It would seem that I have the tastes of an Aussie female, as my greatest joy is a meal out with (or without) friends.

    Still I must pick up some tips, so I'm collecting twigs and jars of Nutella

    (later I'll wash it off with a quick shower dance)

    Now look at the intensity in that bird's face. He's like a man on a mission.

    "He knows he is heading straight for happiness."

    :) :) :)


  30. As a sidebar, I linked to you on my blog. Check it out if you're so inclined. It's one of those silly "6 Facts about me" links. If you're into If not...fine too.

  31. Hmmm. Men with twigs. I've been going about this all wrong...

    What makes me happy? Writing, getting comments from around the world, a good Bloody Mary, being useful, and generally having a good time. I don't need to be happy necessarily, but I do need to be content.


    p.s. Nutella. Yes. Just discovered it a couple years ago. WOW.

  32. well Lilly..
    I've always wanted to come back as a kookaburra in my next life so this post sums it up for me...
    I believe my Dad is a kookaburra too :)
    thanks for the great post about my comp...
    I'll be adding a mini blogroll of entrants and announcing the judge this week as well :)
    I'm off to subscribe to your blog..
    have a happy day :)

  33. Hi Lilly, first , thanks for stopping to commenton my blog on my feature day.

    What makes me happy is having some peace and quiet. With my girls, P&Q is very rare and treasured.

  34. Lilly - I just wanted to point out - not that it needed pointing out - that these types of posts that you do seem to get great feedback and responses. I think you have discovered a little secret about people all over the world..we all really do care about silly and fun things, especially pertaining to God's innocent creatures.

    Also of note, there seem to be more comments from men to this particular post...perhaps the online version of "the presenting of twigs"? hee-hee

  35. Existing evokes happiness within me. To be aware of where I am right now, to sense implications of what I think and how I feel, is all about realizing I have choices. I decide to feel happy or not. I choose to sense humour in every situation, even when I found myself walking to the post during sudden rain and hail storm while I carried a large box. It was a great day to have plastic garbage bags stuffed in my pockets for just such a happening!

  36. Who would of thunk it that the male birds are like some of those men. HUM!!!!! Well not my hubby anyway he handed twigs to the wrong women before he met me. Luckily it WAS JUST ONE!!! oh well eventually they learn from their mistakes right?? ** So your daughters name is spelt just like mine??** NEATO MESQUITO

  37. Hahah he's definitely on a mission.
    I think helping somebody feel better is what would make me happier and maybe eating chocolates without getting pimples ...oh and yeah eating ice cream without getting fat?

    Is that possible....that's all I want! Simple right;)

    I agree with Jlo - It always brings a smile on my face when I see your comments on my post;)

  38. The funny thing about poll's, like what I'm sure the 2008 Australian Happiness Index is based on. The results depend entirely on the questions asked.

    I am happiest while sitting at home with my family, enjoying a good meal, and perhaps reading a good novel. Second to that writing, and third would have to be work, feeling useful or like I have contributed something to society.

    Great post, I'm emailing it to Kel, she'll love it.

  39. @ Nina - thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment - know what you mean about the pooches!

    @ The Mind of a Mom - that is a great list of things and people that make you happy. I agree, the simpler the better.

    @ Mr Bill - are you Mr Perfect? Your lucky family!! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    @ Soulmerlin - you like a meal out because you do not live at home much of the time. You must tell us about your dining experiences on the road sometime. And I will think its a guarantee that the Nutella and twigs will work a charm. I have to go and try this Nutella out once and for all. I hate to miss out on a good thing!

    @ Tami - I still have the 6 facts post to do so I will probably do it on the weekend if thats ok - thanks for linking to me.

    @ Pearl - another one who likes Nutella - I am definitely missing out. Yes good point - the difference between contentment and happiness.

    @ Kim - Kookaburra's are lovely it is true - thanks for dropping by and your art is truly wonderful. What do you think of Richard Larter - do you know his work?

    @ Dee - peace and quiet is truly wonderful its true - thanks for dropping by.

    @ Matt - you are so funny - who knows what works or doesnt - I have this fascination for animals lately - just the bizarre facts about them you understand...thanks for your support from Day 1.

    @ Liara - that is a truly wonderful comment. I have visited your blog and will be back again - great resources and wonderful information!

    @ Jordann - thanks for dropping by - I love your name for obvious reasons - how common a name is it over there for females?

    @ Jade - yes on a mission - that's one serious little face that bird has, he he. I want what you want - why is that not possible in this day and age, surely!!!

    @ Eric - I think what you said about 'the feeling useful' aspect is particularly important to everyone no matter their sex and age. And the great thing for you is you can keep writing forever well, until your sight holds out. Wouldnt it be wonderful to be an author. You can be anywhere in the world writing, no restrictions on time, place or whatever. Send this post to Kel and see if she agrees. Thanks for dropping by I don't know how you get the time but I always appreciate your comments. Thank you.

  40. Ah yes to be an author for real. A dream of such magnitude, but it is my dream yes. weather it will ever happen remains to be seen.

    Yes feeling like we have made a contribution is just about as important as feeling like we belong.

    Some times I don't know where the time goes. I guess time is relative.

    I did send it to Kel, she's been having computer problems, and real busy at work. she's about to leave for China on a new assignment.

  41. Put simply: Enough time, energy, health and money to enjoy doing the things I love (including reading, watching movies, traveling, and generally being out and about).

  42. @ Eric - well keep the dream alive because you ahve the skills and I guess every time you press the publish button on myour blog you are publishing your work anyway!

    @ ytsl - that is a good list and form reading your blog you are getting to do all those things!

  43. Hey there Lilly Gal . . . Eric did send me a link, and I did enjoy reading through this post and the many comments to it. I read it out load to my tall, dark, and handsome hubby, and he said it put him in mind of that famous/infamous classic movie line by Mae West: "Is that a twig in your pocket? Or or you happy to see me? *wink*

  44. Kel - thanks for reading and comenting. I missed reading your comments on Eric's blog and asked him the other day where you were - did he say China or am I imagining this. I love the Mae West line - she came out with some pearls that woman! And what's this about a tall dark handsome husband? Do they really exist? You are making us desperate women jealous!! But good for you I say! Appreciate your comment.


Thanks for your comments.