Happiness resides not in possessions and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.
I had breakfast recently with a friend I really appreciate. We got started talking about happiness when we discussed a mutual friends whose unhappiness often borders on despair. We wondered if our friend really knows what would make her happy. Sometimes we become so trapped in our existence that all we experience is discomfort and frustration leaving little time or space for real happiness.
I find it is not always easy to focus in on things within our reach that can provide us joy and contentment. It seems like we are often conditioned to believe that acquisition of things are the key to happiness or that pleasure lies on the meadow on the other side of the fence. It is almost as if we feel that someone else’s idea of happiness is what we should strive for when more often than not they are chasing their own hoped for happiness.
It took me a long time to outgrow my belief that much of happiness was embedded in things when in reality it was there for me all the time, it was in the people around me, the air I breathe, the goodness of others and so much more. Here are some excerpts from an article written by Justin Criner that I received recently from the publishers of the SelfGrowth blog that I find to be on target.
Everyone believes in happiness, but your beliefs may actually be false. Happiness has many false beliefs. I will outline some of the most prevalent so that you can see them in your life. Once you realize these are myths then you can begin to eliminate them, becoming happier.
Happiness is time based − Are you waiting for happiness to happen to you? Is there a future time that you will be happy? Will it be after you retire? When you get a new job? When you get married or perhaps divorced? Will it be the WEEKEND, or after 5:00pm today? Will it be when you are in a relationship, when you lose weight, make more money, or any other future event? People are waiting for happiness to happen to them. They battle against the bad things in life and they hope that eventually happiness will come. Happiness does not come in the future! Happiness is not time based. There is no amount of time that will create happiness. If you are thinking that at some point in the future you will become happy, this is a myth. You can be happy now, but you cannot be happy someday, for someday never comes. Happiness is not predicated on time. It happens only in the now.
Happiness is event based − If I asked you “what would make you happy” you might respond with some event. Something happening to you that would create happiness in your life. Events come and go, but they don’t bring happiness with them. Marriage, jobs, and vacations are all events, but will they really make you happy? Have you ever been unhappy in any of these? If you have, this proves that happiness comes from somewhere other than an event.
Happiness is related to “stuff” − Material things are nice. They make life more comfortable. They can be fun, but they don’t bring happiness. Now we probably all know this to some degree, but most of us still live our life as if it is true. You might say “money does not bring happiness” but deep down, in your core, you probably still feel that some degree of happiness comes from money. The truth is that if you are unhappy now, you will be unhappy when you have more stuff. When you have more stuff there will be more taxes, more bills, more insurance, more things breaking, more problems. Happiness and stuff are mutually exclusive. They are not related.
Happiness comes from external sources − You may have noticed that the first 3 myths are external “things.” They are things that are outside of you, or yourself. While external things can help you to achieve happiness, true happiness comes from inside. It’s true that a good relationship can seem to bring happiness, but first you must be happy inside. If you are an unhappy person then the good relationship will only carry you so far. Have you ever been with a good person and been unhappy? I know I have. I have had inner turmoil when in a great relationship. Even families can be a source of unhappiness. In other words, if the happiness is not first coming from inside of you, then you can’t receive it from external things. So you must have happiness internally. If you are looking for some external source to make you happy or to bring happiness in your life then you will never find it for any lasting amount of time.
Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it.
“How did you lose your job at the dress shop?” a woman asked her friend.
“Well, after trying on about 25 dresses, the customer said to me, ‘I think I’d look nicer in something flowing.’ And I suggested the Mississippi.”
Life is what happens to you while you’re making other plans.
The Baptist minister had been summoned to the bedside of a Presbyterian woman who was quite ill. As he went up the walk, he met the little daughter of the woman and said to her, “I’m very glad your mother remembered me in her illness. Is your minister out of town?”
“No,” answered the child. “He’s at home, but we thought it might be something contagious, and we didn’t want to expose him to it.”
Always remember you’re unique, just like everyone else.
“And you tell me several men proposed marriage to you,” said the husband.
“Yes, several,” the wife replied.
“Well I wish you had married the first fool who proposed.”
My wife is so immature, every time I take a bath, she comes in and sinks my little boats.
The applicant for life insurance was finding it difficult to fill out the application.
The salesman asked what the trouble was, and the man said that he couldn’t answer the question about the cause of death of his father.
The salesman wanted to know why. After some embarrassment the client explained that his father had been hanged.
The salesman pondered for a moment. “Just write: ‘Father was taking part in a public function when the platform gave way.'”
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
On their 50th wedding anniversary, a couple summed up the reason for their long and happy marriage.
The husband said, “I have tried never to be selfish. After all, there’s no I in the word marriage.”
The wife said, “For my part, I have never corrected my husband’s spelling.”
All happy people are grateful. Ungrateful people cannot be happy. We tend to think that being unhappy leads people to complain, but it’s truer to say that complaining leads to people becoming unhappy.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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