With thanks to Nina Brown on Facebook
I think most people want to be happy; they are just not quite sure how to get there from their present location. Many people honestly believe that happiness is a lucky bounce; a sunny disposition or favorable circumstances but I disagree. Happiness is a choice. Here are my observations on the topic that have been formed by watching happy people for decades.
- Focus on what you have and not on what you don’t. Unhappy people are unthankful people. The practice of counting your blessings is a great start. Get out a legal pad and write down all the good things in your life. Often unhappiness sneaks in when we lose sight of all the good things in our life and become focused on one or two difficult things.
- Question the sources of your expectations. Most unhappy people want things they don’t have…and they want them bad. Are these expectations realistic? Who is selling them to you?
- Be Generous Study after study has come to the same conclusion. Selfish people are miserable. Happy people give of their time and resources to a cause greater than themselves.
- Remember happiness is not a destination. The happiest people I know are those least conscious of their own happiness. Happiness is learning to enjoy the ride, not reaching your destination.
- If you don’t like your life, change it Take control of your own life. Do want to learn to play the piano? Take lessons! Do you regret not getting a college degree? Get one. Do you want to improve your spiritual life? Start going to church. There is really no one holding you back but you.
- Slow down You just can’t smell the roses at a full sprint! If you, like me, are a workaholic type, build time into your Outlook to do nothing. Get a hobby. Enjoy your friends and family. Happy people have learned how to occasionally chill.
- Realize there are no shortcuts – Getting your education, working hard, putting in the hours, pursuing your dreams, saving and giving are always in style.
- Stop feeling entitled No one owes you anything. Just assume you are not going to get any help – that you will receive no inheritance and that no one is going to give you a break. Now go make your life happen! If anything else comes (and it probably will), it is all bonus!
- Think significance. Significance is achieved by leaving the world better than you found it. People who feel their lives really matter are the happiest people of all! 10. Forgive – Forgiving those who have hurt you, breaks their power over you. Forgiving yourself for your failures, frees you for future success. Ask God to forgive you. Ask those you have hurt to forgive you. Make restitution where you can. Move on.
- A great attitude is a choice, not a disposition. We can control our feelings or we can be controlled by them. Happy people CHOOSE to have great attitudes.
- Speak life when you speak, choose words that uplift, encourage and bring positive energy into every situation. People who speak life are like human air fresheners.
Written by Rev. Shane L. Bishop