Be Happy! It’s easier said than done, right? The truth is: Happiness is not really all that far off for most folks, if you just know where to look and what steps to take. I have seen people that the world would say: “They have everything going for them!”, and yet in spite of all their good fortune, they were miserable. And I’ve seen others that the world would ask: “How in the world can they keep going on?”, and yet despite their cataclysmic struggles, they seem to be some of the happiest people in the world. While it’s true that circumstances do have the ability to make happiness easier or more difficult to obtain, they are not the determining factor.
Scientist have invested a lot of money and spent a lot of time investigating how to obtain happiness and while they have made a lot of amazing discoveries, there still is no magic pill that can make it your reality. I too, have spent a great deal of my life chasing after happiness. There were times that I thought this or that relationship with just the right person would do the trick, but it doesn’t take you too long to realize that most everyone else is on the same journey as you. I have often fell into the trap that certain possessions, a bigger house, newer car, trendier clothes might be the fix, but they all just ended up leaving me hungry for more. I even thought that degrees, titles and prestige might do the trick, only to find that papers stack up, trophies and plaques get old, memories fade and still leave you empty and searching.
We spend most of our lives having our ego fed by the lie of all lies: The lie that says I am what I possess, what I do or what I think other people think of me. This lie causes us to chase after an elusive foe that will never be caught, but that will often get us caught up in messes that take us away from, rather than closer to the happiness we are searching for.
Now, let me state for the record that I am not an authority on happiness. I am simply one individual on a journey that has discovered a lot of what will not work and a handful of things that seem to be taking me in a more positive direction. I want to share just a few of those thoughts as we get ready to dive into 2020:
1.) To Find Happiness, Stop Looking Outside And Start Looking Inside! Most of us fill our schedules with so much activity that we have very little time for solitude, stillness and quiet time, which allows us to go within and do the “thought” work necessary to truly figure out what happiness is for us. If we don’t fill our schedules, then many of us, simply don’t take the time to pray, meditate and contemplate what is really important in life. This inability to make time for “INWARD WORK” robs us of the opportunity to take on and take out the negative thoughts that this world is continually bombarding us with. If we are not intentional about taking time to think, pray, journal and do inward work, then we will most likely never experience the happiness that we were created for and that was created for us.
2.) Take Time To Take A Breath! This may sound a little crazy, but breath is a very important part of life. The fact that we breathe in and breathe out without even thinking about it, is an amazing reality of our lives. Breath matters. Take time to think about your breathing. Acknowledge the miracle of breath coming into and out of your body. This reminds you that there is more to this life than just you. You have a Creator, Who created you as an amazing spiritual being that gets to experience this human life. When this thought really begins to take root in your life and thinking, you can’t help but to live life at a higher level and this contributes to helping you get into just the right place to experience the happiness you were created for.
3.) Practice Gratitude All Day, Everyday In Anyway You Can! I have found that an attitude of gratitude is the single quickest way to get myself adjusted and headed in the right direction. While there are many things that are not working the way I want them to, there are many things that are working better than I could dream or imagine. Often in my life I have focused on what I didn’t like, giving it all the power to call the shots in my life and missed out on all that I had to like, love and appreciate that I should have been empowering to take me in the positive direction I so desperately needed. To help me stay on the right track here are a couple of disciplines I practice on a daily basis: First thing in the morning, I say: “Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!” as my way of acknowledging I am not alone in this universe, that I have been created on purpose for a purpose and that I am grateful to my Maker for blessing me with another day. At some point during the day, I also take time to write down in my journal at least three things I am grateful for. I encouergage you to find ways to meaningfully express your gratitude, it really is a life changer.
Happiness is really not that far off and it is obtainable in your life, just start on the inside and work your way out and you will find happiness, if it doesn’t find you first!