Have you noticed that some people seem to be happy not matter what problems have cropped up in their lives. And at the same time, there are people with seemingly everything going for them who can’t find joy in anything?
What is this thing called happiness? What does it mean to be happy? According to the dictionary, it is “feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.”
Are you content?
Some of us are waiting for everything in our lives to be perfect–the perfect job, perfect mate, perfect car, perfect house, money in the bank, and an abundance of people to share it with. And that would be nice. The problem with this mindset, however, is that there is nothing in this world that is perfect. We are all flawed. That perfect job comes with irritations. Mates are human and cannot be perfect 100% of the time. The perfect car sitting in your garage will begin to have problems.
If you are waiting for something on the outside to give you joy and happiness, you are going to be waiting for a long time. Having things go right every now and then can help, but if your happiness doesn’t begin with you, it will remain as elusive as the white unicorn.
People who always have a smile on their face and a kind greeting for others, who are happy overall with life, even with its ups and downs, have learned an important lesson.
You will not be happy until you learn to be grateful for what you already have.
You will find what you look for. If you concentrate on being ill, being unemployed, not making enough money, chronic pain, then that is what you will find. And the more you concentrate on it, the bigger the problem will grow.
But if you look for things in your life which are uplifting, which are blessings, you’ll find more things to be thankful for.
- Maybe you’d like a job that paid more. But you can be glad you have a job.
- Perhaps your health could be better. But you woke up this morning and have another day to be thankful for.
- Are you and your mate having difficulties? If you’re together, and both willing to stay that way, be thankful for your mate and the chance to work things out for a better, stronger future together.
There is a reason the scripture says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Phillippians 4:8)
This is the recipe for happiness. Wherever your mind is, that is what you will have. If all you can think about are the negatives in your life, that is all you will find.
If you focus your mind on those things around you which are good, beautiful, and uplifting, you will find more of the same.
Here is my challenge to you. Every day for the next week, write down 5 different positive things about the day, 5 different things for which you are grateful. It doesn’t matter how large or small a thing it is. Start with the small things if you wish, and work your way up.
Did you see a pretty little butterfly next to a puddle that gave you a moment of brightness? Be thankful.
Maybe you saw a songbird sitting on a fence preening in the sun. Smile and say thank you.
Did you have to opportunity to eat today? Find a penny in the parking lot? Give thanks.
Whenever you find you’re thinking about a negative, push it away and shift gears. Focus your thoughts on something uplifting. Refuse to allow the negatives a place to live in your mind.
Nurture the attitude of gratitude and see what the future brings.