I lost the game of Happiness

Apparently, money CAN buy happiness. It costs $1.91.

My boyfriend and I were perusing through a local thrift store when we came across an old board game called “Happiness.”

Did we buy it? Well, friends, are tribbles trouble? Of course we bought it! What better way to spend the evening than playing a board game called “Happiness?” So, we brought it home and played it.

And I lost.

The object of the game was this: collect the keys to happiness and use them to build a ladder to climb to the rainbow of happiness.

 The keys to happiness? Those are:

Prosperity gospel much?
–Faith (atheists would hate this game)
–Money (told you money could buy happiness)
–Knowledge (ignorance is not as bliss as you thought)
–Love (sorry, singles)
–Friendship (your happiness IS depedent on others)
–Health (and they’re pretty strict on this one. Bad teeth? Sorry, back to start)
You also have to be one of the vampires from Twilight

In order to get to your rainbow happiness, you have to gain ALL of these keys. Happiness is pretty elusive. And your journey to gain these keys is not eactly easy. I had to go back to start a few times- once because my faith had doubt. Another time because I got jealous for my true love. So, I lost the game of Happiness. I failed to reach my rainbow. 

Now, obviously, Happiness is just a game. It doesn’t mean anything. It was probably made in the 70s, and the people who made it were probably on hallucinogenic mushrooms. I mean, just look at this game board:

But, losing the game (by the way, I just lost THE game if you know what I’m talking about) made me think. Sometimes, I act like life is a board game (well…it is, but you know what I mean). Sometimes I think that I have to achieve certain things in order to reach a state of happiness.

If I had more money then I would have to worry and I could just be…

Or if I lived closer to all my friends I’d be…

Maybe this relationship will make me…

Or if I could just get over my depression and be healthy then I’d be…

I need to get my doctorate or I’ll never be…

Or if I found the right church, that would really make me…


Happiness becomes an unachievable rainbow state of being. There are always rungs missing from the ladder. 

If happiness is a state that we have to climb to, if happiness can only be reached by gaining the right keys, then most of us will never get there.

Most of us will lose.

But I don’t think happiness is that at all. I don’t think happiness is a state of being. I think happiness is all around us. We don’t have to climb to it. We just have to notice it and appreciate it.

For me, happiness is holding a kitty.

Freddie Mercury’s voice.


And Tim Horton’s iced cappuccinos.

Or listening to a Gershwin piece or a Beach Boys’ song and hearing a chord with harmonies that send chills down my spine.

Solving a puzzle in The Legend of Zelda and hearing that little tune that plays when I do something right.

That moment when you realize two seemingly unrelated things are connected.

Or the worshipful feeling I get when I’m jumping on my couch playing air guitar to a Five Iron Frenzy song.

The smell of an old book.

The feeling of piano keys beneath my fingers.

Or just playing a ridiculous thrift store board game with someone I love.

Happiness is less like a rainbow and more like chocolate chips in the cookie that is life.

It’s there. It’s all around us. Sometimes in moments so little that we miss them because we’re too busy trying to climb to a rainbow of Happiness that we’ll never actually reach.

So, let’s stop looking for the keys to happiness. Let’s stop trying to climb to it. Instead, let’s look around us and realize that it’s everywhere.

Are you missing out on happiness because you’re too busy trying to find the keys to it? What are some of the little things in life that make you happy?

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  • lady tam

    I feel happier when my relationships are going really well. When I have great ppl I can rely on. When I don’t, or there is smthg is wrong with them, I feel severely…..unhappy.

    • people can be a great source of happiness…or unhappiness when things go wrong.

  • Enjoyed your post.

    I had this game as a child. I loved the colors and the cool spinners, but actually playing the game was pretty boring and disappointing.

    I recently ran across this game as an adult and played it with some friends. Try this variation: write actual hang ups on the hang up cards (use post it notes on the cards to keep them pristine.) For example: a money hang up might be “can’t balance my checkbook.” Each party does this. The cards are shuffled and dealt out. Doing this makes getting rid of your hang ups more interesting.