How to be happy!


Everybody’s living for the weekend!  Have you ever wondered why we are all so happy when it’s Friday?  (TGIF)  When I think of Friday I think of driving home and then having two days to do whatever I want!  Whether I have fun plans like going tailgating or not-so-fun plans like painting a basement, I still look forward to those days with great anticipation.  Have you ever wondered why that is?  It can’t just be that we are off work because sometimes the weekend work is harder than the weekday work.  In fact, sometimes the fun that accompanies a weekend requires a couple of days to recover from (smile).  Hey, maybe that’s why people don’t like Mondays?  So, there must be more to feeling happy than not having to “go” to work.  And logically it must be more than being able to do whatever we want because no-one seems to be saying TGIME (thank God it’s Monday evening)! 

When you get right down to it, it all circles back to our thoughts.  In essence, we decide to be happy and we decide to be unhappy.  We decide on Friday afternoon to be happy because we anticipate that somehow not having to get up for work the next day is a “happiness” factor.  It really doesn’t matter if we have to get up anyway and do six hours worth of yard work, because doggone it, that is six hours of something “I” decided to do!  Happiness is always based upon external factors.  Something happens “to us” that appears positive and we decide right then and there that now we are happy.  It can’t be the circumstance itself because happy circumstances vary with every individual.  For instance, the words, “Guess what, I’m pregnant!” can be a source of great joy or great anguish depending upon who says what to whom!  For some happiness is a little quiet time to read and relax.  For others happiness is careening down a mountain at light speed on a snowboard.  My favorite philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, put it this way:

“A political victory, a rise of rents, the recovery of your sick or return of your absent friend, or some other favorable event raises your spirits, and you think that good days are preparing for you.  Do not believe it.  Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.” 

Do not believe it!  In the final analysis, what brings you happiness (or that peace that comes when the worry subsides) is yourself!  In your own heart and mind you can decide to be happy no matter what the circumstances may bring your way.  Circumstances are all around us and some seem to point towards the good and some point towards the bad.  But do they really?  Could it be that the circumstances are elusive and constantly in a state of flux?  Is it possible that some circumstances have been designed to actually falsely lead us in a certain direction rather than indicate the place we already occupy?  For most it seems just as Emerson described it.  The circumstance beckons and from its majestic position we follow, deciding in that moment to be happy or sad.  So, why not decide to be happy no matter what the appearance?  What if your success or the accomplishment of your dream depended upon just one more day of keeping your head in the right place?  You might never know if you always bow your head the moment adversity seems to appear.   Surely, given the short span of a life, it makes more sense to live out our days in happiness.  What if we find ourselves in some scenario that challenges us or causes us pain?  Well then, we owe it to ourselves to believe for the way over that challenge or the way out of that pain.  To acquiesce or resign ourselves, to simply accept it because others said we have to, is categorically insane.  We are not required to accept anything that steals away our precious life, no matter the credentials or expertise of the one that declared it! 

Our great God has designed this life to be lived to the fullest!  He is the Originator of joy, the Author of happiness, the Great Aid in overcoming.  Thus the only true way to tap into that happiness is to tap into the Source of that happiness.  Since God is Spirit, there must be something tangible we can absorb into us, something different than what we have known in the past, something alive and life-giving.  Emerson knew this and conveniently noted it in his next sentence (following the quote above):

“Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.”

Your job, my job, is to learn those principles that were written down and preserved to give us life.  And, in following those principles we have access to all of the happiness life was intended to bring.  Learn God’s Word and believe God’s Word.  Resolve yourself to never again allow apparent negative circumstances to define your happiness quotient.  Decide right now to be happy.  It doesn’t matter if it’s Monday or Friday. 

TGIT (thank God it’s today!)

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