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Author and Harvard-trained researcher Shawn Achor says that happiness is “the joy we feel striving for our potential.” We encourage our children to do things they enjoy. Our encouragement to them is an effort to ensure they are happy as they strive toward their potential. However, when we examine our own need for happiness and enjoyment, we sometimes feel a void and so we often turn to things and stuff to fill this need. Let me suggest that you allow the things of the Lord to fill your void in life. If you do, you will experience an inner peace that leads to happiness.

Happiness is not easily achieved. It requires you to have some positive emotional experiences in your life, such as getting married or the birth of a beautiful baby. Adopting a pet, enjoying a much-needed vacation or experiencing your child graduating from an institution are great experiences that will inspire happiness and enjoyment. Create your own list of things that make you happy and give you enjoyment!

On the other hand, there are life experiences that contribute to the opposite of being happy. For example, if you wake up every morning with negative thoughts on your mind from past experiences, you most likely are not going to be happy.

Many people struggle with finding happiness in their lives and for a variety of reasons:

  • A job you do not enjoy. Nothing can be more disheartening and frustrating than dreading going to work. Examine the reasons you dislike your job. You might discover that it is not the job that’s causing your unhappiness.
  • A turbulent relationship is not in the recipe for a joyful life. Most broken relationships are not beyond repair. Having a close relationship with God is the first step to reviving any relationship. So be ready to forgive.
  • Indebtedness can be a frightening and very unhappy experience. If each day you wonder how to survive financially while driving a bank-financed car on gasoline purchased with a credit card to go to a department store to open another charge account so that you can purchase furniture on an installment plan to fill your house that’s mortgaged for 30 years, you are not going to be a happy person and you definitely will not have a joyful life. You might feel good during the transactions, but the end results will lead to misery.

Bear this in mind, a person who is frequently experiencing positive emotions such as joy and pride, and infrequent negative emotions, such as sadness, anxiety and anger, will experience a happier and joyful life. Being happy is that feeling that comes over you when you know life is good and you can’t help but smile. So, be happy and enjoy life, and Never Give Up! Never Give Up! Never Give Up!

By Chaplain Ghosten

chaplain@lhp.net