Small But Certain Happiness

Sunday, July 14, 2019

It was through a Youtube video that I learned of the term "Small But Certain Happiness".

I then searched on Google to find out where exactly it came from. It turns out the first mention of it was from Haruki Murakami's essay: "Afternoon in the Islets of Langerhans". I can't find a copy online however, and I don't know if it was translated into English, but the idea is appealing to me.

I must be a year late or something, but I think it was back in 2018 when this became a thing with Koreans. Oh well, I think it applies anytime, anywhere, and with anyone. The idea is basically finding true happiness in our daily mundane activities.

I want to share with you my own list of things, experiences, and situations in my daily life lately that bring me Small but Certain Happiness. I will describe it in the best way I know how. I hope dear reader you can imagine it with me.

  • Waking up before my 5:30AM alarm, is a small certain happiness. For some, they might say I'm crazy, but I like waking up early. I like the small moments before the room is flooded by sunlight. 
  • In my daily commute going to my office, I get down at the first bus stop. From there, it would take me around 10-15 minutes to walk to my office building. Often on my way there, I witness the busy streets, and I join the crowd of office workers walking to their offices as well. What gives me happiness is when I enter my building: upon opening the doors, I feel the sudden cold breeze from the inside and it feels so refreshing to breathe in real air and not smoke from the streets. All of a sudden the noise from the outside world is muted and I'm inside a safe space.
  • From time to time if I'm lucky, when I'm able to get out of the office by 5PM, I brisk walk towards the van terminal to get home. There are times when there are no lines, and the van arrives fast. My certain happiness comes when I get home by 6PM. I wish this was my reality, but it only happens when the universe is kind. 
  • I listen to music while I work. What I do usually is to check out my Discover Weekly playlist for Spotify's recommendations, and I think they base it on the songs I've liked and been listening to. Certain happiness for me is when I'm listening to the playlist and at first nothing strikes me as worth listening to until.... maybe the 4th or 5th song, it becomes some kind of Eureka Moment! for me, when I realize that I'm listening to a good song. It's like, a hidden gem. It instantly lightens up my day.
  • While it's nice to have my own desk in the office, I sometimes would prefer working in an open space. My certain happiness can be whenever I move to the pantry to do my work. It's close to the food so I can get food whenever I want, and I'm near the windows, where I can get some warmth.
  • On weekends, my happiness is laundry. I know for others it's a chore, or something they'd rather not do, or put off for later, but it's almost always the first thing I do when the weekend rolls around. It's satisfying for me to clean my closet and wash my clothes. It's like, I'm shedding skin. I'm putting behind the worries and the victories of the week that has just passed, and now I'm welcoming a new one. 
  • And on Sundays, I still wake up at 5:30AM. The only day I get to sleep in is on Saturday, but most of the time I still wake up early anyway because that's just how my body works. I attend the first service in church, so I wake up early and do my make up. This time around it's an extensive routine, and I take my time with my eyeshadow palette. I enjoy it.
  • Small but Certain Happiness is also right now; it's a rainy Sunday afternoon and I'm writing this. Writing has always been, and will always be, my certain happiness.


Sharing with you the instrumental for Standing Egg's song of the same title, Small But Certain Happiness : - )


I truly appreciate how there were dear readers who left songs on my previous entry. Thank you! :") I love it when people share things with me and I discover new things.

Dear reader, I hope you're well, and stay safe.



  1. Oh!! I was so excited when I saw your post, because I know this phrase too! I learned it from the Standing Egg song that you linked. It randomly showed up on my Youtube recommendations, and I've kept note of the phrase ever since. It seems like the phrase was made up by Murakami? Because if you look at the kanji, it literally uses the characters for "small", "certain", and "happiness". So maybe it's something Murakami came up with then caught on? Haha. I agree that the idea behind it is great though :)

    1. Ohhh I love Standing Egg! It was my study music before back in college. :) Yeah, I was delighted to learn it came from Murakami. Wish I could read an English translation of his essay!! I definitely love this idea. Simple, yet a strikingly important truth.

  2. OMG! as i was reading through, i feel like you are a hundred percent putting a week in my life into words more than i can ever do! i work as a corporate accountant and we pretty much have the same routine, at least, very close to. this might be the first time i'm dropping a comment here, but i've had your blog's url bookmarked in my browser for a little while now. i cannot remember how i discovered your blog, though. anyway, i am so happy i was able to drop by today. thanks a lot for reminding me of these "small but certain happiness."

    and oohh, i love the instrumental music! it's currently playing in the background as i am typing this.

    sincerely, riz //

    1. Mariz, thank you so much for dropping by and writing to me. :") I truly appreciate it. I'm thankful as well that you enjoyed reading this entry, and that it resonates with you. It's nice to know as well that our days are quite similar! Sometimes it really does take an amount of effort to make the most out of the little things in our daily lives, but always so worth it. May we always find our small but certain happiness, however small it may seem! I'm glad you like the song as well.

      I've followed you on Bloglovin', and I'm definitely looking forward to more of your writings. Have a great day! ♡♡♡