11 Women, 11 Meanings Of Happiness

Smile with face, smile with mind, and good energy will come to you…
Even smile in your liver.

Ketut from Eat, Pray, Love

Happy. One word, five letters, a bajillion meanings.

What is happiness? Wealth? A successful career? A fulfilling career? A stroll in the park? A cup of coffee? Hanging with friends? Being in love? Being with yourself? Baking cupcakes? Travelling? Being at home with your family? Writing? Yoga? Flowers? A bowl of uni?

The list goes on and on because happiness means different things to every single person. Heck, it means different things to the same person at different times of the day and of her life.

But one thing is for sure: “Happy” is not a destination. Some call it elusive. But we think that it’s a choice, a decision, a state of mind, a state of being. As the Dalai Lama says: “Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” If it’s a piece of chocolate that’s going to make you happy right now, it takes action from you to go to the supermarket and buy yourself that piece of happiness. If you’re in an

uninspiring job or a toxic relationship, you have the choice to make your exit from an undesirable situation so you can finally enter into a happier place, a happier life.

It’s International Women’s Day today. Which is special. Here at WoW, we celebrate women and their stories, their triumphs despite (and sometimes because of) their vulnerabilities and failures, every day. But today, this month, the whole world and, surely, our social media will be lighting up with applause and kind, supportive words and gestures for every individual amazing woman we know, love and aspire to be. So, if there’s such a thing as a good time to take control of your happiness, make it happen today while we’re all rooting for you. Nothing big and scary. Just take one baby step. Then another. And another.

Here, take inspiration from these 11 WoW Women, who have, over the last few years, shared with us what their happiness is.

01/ Kristina Karlsson

Founder, Kikki. K

Sometimes it’s the little things in life that can bring us the most happiness — something as simple as enjoying a cup of tea from your favourite set (something which I love to do every morning), or spending time in one of your favourite cafés or restaurants, and writing Thank You cards to friends or loved ones. It’s important to enjoy the little things in life, because one day we might look back and realise they were the big things.”

02/ Rachel Lim

Co-founder of Love, Bonito

Happiness is knowing, accepting and embracing who you are.”

03/ Crystal Wagar

Lawyer & Wife of Former US Ambassador to Singapore

As you go through your life journey, make sure that you’re nourished and satisfied by whatever it is that you’re doing. If you’re baking cakes, then hopefully you are the best baker you can be, and that it satisfies you because then you will go about your day being happy — and that means you’re successful. For me, success means having and owning my identity, having a successful business/law practice, and having meaning in my life. If I can pull off all those things and be happy, that is success.”

04/ Katherina-Olivia Lacey

Founder, Quincus

Happiness is a gift. I try to enjoy every moment and soak it all in because I know that if I don’t remember the happy times, when life gets hard, I will regret it and miss it.”

05/ Jasmine Sim

Model & Actress

My happy place is somewhere between my bedroom and a bar (49% extrovert, 51% introvert, haha!).”

06/ Chris Evert

Tennis Legend/18-time Grand Slam Champion

I have three sons. I think just the fact that they’re doing okay, that they’re healthy and not having big problems — that makes me happy. Being around them makes me happy. Being at peace with myself makes me happy. Whenever I feel down, I think, ‘what the heck do I have to be down about?’ Then I start to think about things I’m grateful for. I mean, I have a wonderful life… I have a wonderful family, I have it all, you know? I can take care of myself financially, and really, I have a lot of love surrounding me. I think that at the end of the day, it’s all just about being grateful.”

07/ Janice Wong

Culinary Artist & Founder, 2am: dessertbar

What makes me happy is making chocolates. It’s really nice and zen to be doing that.”

08/ Lucinda Law

Botanical artist and founder of within.sg

I’ve always followed my instincts to be surrounded by what I love to do and those impulses to create. I taught myself to paint in watercolour when a book called Magic and Medicine of Plants by Reader’s Digest arrived in my house when I was 18. I looked at the botanical illustrations of the plants and had a thought that maybe I can paint them in watercolour — which I had learned in secondary school— without knowing that there is a rich history and heritage in botanical illustrations. Internet was something very new at the time. And I remembered thinking that I would be very happy if I could create botanical illustrations one day. So I became a bedroom painter for about two years, during which time I thought, how very lovely if I could paint orchids and plants for a living when I grew up.”

09/ Hanli Hoefer

MTV VJ & Model

Spend time in the nude more often, laugh at yourself when you can, roll your eyes at yourself when you’re being ridiculous, go buy yourself those sexy pair of heels you’ve been eyeing, and learn to let go of the things you can’t control.”

10/ Viola Tan

Co-founder of Love, Bonito

Happiness is being able to love, and to be loved in return. Remember, if you tie your happiness to another person’s appraisal of you, you’ll never be happy.”

11/ Tracy Phillips

Director, Ppurpose

I believe in balance, so it’s important for me to make time for reflection and introspection… I make sure that I don’t get caught up in the daily grind and checklists. This can take different forms, from kicking off the day with some exercise to taking long walks in nature on the weekends. Regular massages, making time to go dancing, and eating well are other ways I stay happy.”



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