There’s no hiding that life is pretty tough right now. But no matter how hard things get, one way or another, we all have to make it through to the next day. Even if we cannot see that far into the future at the moment. So how do we make it through the tough days? I’ve found that when you cannot control much in your life, it’s worth focusing on the small things that you can control. The small things, that however innocuous and insignificant, may bring a smile to your lips even for the shortest while.

Koreans have an expression called 소확행 (sohwakhaeng), which is a contraction of the words 소하지만 실한 복 (sosohajiman hwaksilhan haengbok). Directly translated it means a “small but certain happiness”. In other words, something in your daily life that is sure to make you feel happy at least for a moment. In my attempt to learn how to be truly happy again, I thought it best to start small, so for the past few days I’ve been paying attention to what is a small but certain happiness to me. Once identified, I have tried to include as many of them as possible into my daily routine. Here are a few examples of my sohwakhaeng:

  • The first sip of coffee in the morning
  • The excitement of new spring makeup
  • The calm and tranquility of taking a walk alone
  • The joy of reading a good book
  • Getting a hug from someone you love
  • The luxury of snoozing an extra 15 minutes in the morning
  • Recalling a happy memory
  • Crossing something off a to-do list
  • Treating myself to a piece of chocolate
  • Taking a long shower
  • Watching a tv show
  • That feeling when you try out a new recipe and it’s a success
  • Spending time doing something enjoyable
  • A coffee date with a friend
  • An unexpected text from someone who shows they’re thinking of you
  • The feeling of being alive after a tough workout
  • The way the air smells clean and fresh right after the rain

These things are indeed small, but each and every one of them give my mood a much-needed lift. What is your small but certain happiness? I’d love to hear from you in the comments. 오늘도 알찬 하루 돼~ Make every day count!


  1. My small happiness is the feeling of progress i get when understanding a conversation in Korean. I have not advanced enough to remark or be a part of the conversation yet, but It feels good to understand the main points and prove to myself that my studies are not wasted. Another happiness is when someone offers to do simple things “with you”. It warms my heart. “I need to go to the store today” “Oh! I will go with you!” just warms my heart immensely.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s