Now I’m sure someone’s saying, “Hold on a minute, you’re telling me that if I lose my job, or if I lose money in the stock market, or if I find out I’m sick and may not have many years left; I can choose to be happy about it”?
Happy about the situation, no; happy in spite of, yes.
I think most of us misunderstand happiness like we misunderstand joy and peace. Happiness, joy and peace are states of mind, not emotions. We derive emotions from events in life that we label happy, joyful and peaceful; but in their purest form, they are states of mind.
It might help to look at it like this, happy is an emotion, happiness is a state of mind. You may not be happy that you lost your job, but you can still be a happy and optimistic person because life is good.
I like how Groucho Marx put it, “Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.”
I also really like a quote by Helen Keller that goes, “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”
That statement is so true. When something bad happens to us, like the loss of a job or finding out we’re ill; Instead of taking stock of what we have, or all the other good things in our life, we focus on what’s not right. We might have a couple hundred pluses, but we focus on the one or two negatives.
We have to change our mind set on what happiness really is if we want to have a lifetime of it. It’s a glass half full gratitude attitude.
Or another way to put it is what Frederick Keonig said, “We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”
If we can only be happy when we have everything we want or need, and everything in life is flowing just right, we will spend most of our lives not very happy.
“The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.”~~ James Oppenheim
It really boils down to the things we focus on. If we put most of our focus on the bad, the sad, the difficult, and the disappointments; our outlook on life will be jaded.
Abraham Lincoln really hit the nail on the head when he said, “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
God inspired some amazing advice in Philippians 4:8 that should really help us, 8 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy meditate on these things”.
That was written in a time of great persecution of Christians.
I hope these thoughts will help you or someone you care about to choose happiness, and a more fulfilling way of life.
Let me know what you think!
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