Have you ever seen those people that always appear to be happy? They look like they don’t have a care in the world. Envy just comes boiling up inside. If only your life was as carefree as theirs, but your life is anything but carefree, right? What we don’t always realize is that everyone has challenges and trials. No one gets through this life on easy street. Understanding what happiness is and how we can learn to control our own happiness should be everyone’s goal.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”
Happiness is an attitude of the mind. It is an optimism, contentment and a feeling that life is good. It is the warm glow of the heart at peace with itself. It is how we feel when we are living in harmony with high ideals. Basically our happiness or misery depends on what we think and do.
“We create our own happiness.” That statement brought back memories to the early 1980s when Don William’s song “Lord, I hope this day is good” was popular and I was going through one of those tough times we all have. As I was preparing breakfast for our family, that song played on the radio and afterward I bowed my head and prayed, “Lord, Please make my day good.” I really wasn’t expecting an answer but I got one anyway, “It is up to you to make your day good.”
Up until then, I hadn’t really thought about it being my own responsibility to make my day good. My happiness was in my own hands, but how?
While pondering and studying about how I could control my happiness, these are some of the things I learned:
The secret of happiness is not in what we have, but in what we are.
What a person has is often dependent on others, but what that person is depends only on themselves.
Living the standards we believe in will bring us happiness.
We are happy when we are in control of our physical appetites. Habits are a form of bondage.
Work beings happiness. We can see the results of our efforts.
Good health brings happiness.
The beauty of nature brings us joy when we stop to appreciate it.
Being the best we can and striving to be better brings happiness. This includes being honest with everyone.
Friends bring happiness, but we must be one to have one.
Faith is the foundation of everything, including happiness. Develop it.
“There is one thing that should be remembered as we go down the highway of life, namely, that we have the privilege of being happy. I say ‘privilege’ because happiness comes from living up to the best within us. If we do that, even if we fail in reaching our goal, we can feel content.” (David O. McKay)
As my youngest son was going through a tough time in his life he repeatedly listened to Bobby McFerrin’s song, “Don’t worry, be happy” You can hear it here. It was a crutch he used. Find your own crutch as you increase your level of happiness step by step, one day at a time. Each one of us can learn to be happier as we strive to be the best we can each day.