There is no doubt that life can be challenging at times for all of us. Our attitude in relation to the circumstances [whatever they are] can have us thinking either victory or defeat, hope or despair, happiness or sadness, confidence or low self esteem, and faith or fear.
The bottom line, it’s a choice as to what the state of mind is – my choice and your choice that is! Positive or negative!
And contrary to what some may think, it really has nothing to do with our ethnic background, political affiliation or socioeconomic level.
What can be agreed upon is that our basic need and want are very much the same even if it is that we are faced with harsh circumstances.
Research shows that we all want love, success and hope for a bright future, more money, fulfillment, acceptance and validation but above all we want happiness. True, isn’t it? But how easy is that to achieve?
“Remember happiness doesn’t depend upon who you are or what you have; it depends solely on what you think.” ~ Dale Breckenridge Carnegie
In Pursuit of Happiness
Although our basic need is for happiness, the truth is we often seek for it in the wrong places and even from the wrong people. There is a tendency to look for quick fixes and substitutes that only leave us feeling more unhappy.
Alcoholics and drug addicts think that happiness will come if they take that one last drink or the last sniff. Some go after material things making hefty purchases on gadgets and gigs simply because they believe their need for happiness will be met.
Many of us we build friendship and relationships with certain persons in search of happiness, yet it seems so elusive.
We often think to ourselves could it be achieved through our next goal? We even wonder will more money do it? Will having a new promotion and a new job title settle the matter of finding true happiness?
Will a new boyfriend or girlfriend be the one to bring happiness and make that person feel better about himself or herself?
It’s all in the pursuit of happiness.
LEARN MORE ABOUT: My Top 12 Best Keep Secrets of What Makes Me Happy
What is happiness?
Wikipedia, defines happiness as a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.
Carlin Flora in an article on Psychology Today agrees with neuroscientists, behavioral economists and other leading experts that the most useful definition of happiness “is more like satisfied or content than “happy” in its strict bursting-with-glee sense.”
She thinks that it is about living a life that is meaningful, making use of our gifts and our time, engaging life and living it with thought and purpose. She further concluded that maximum result in achieving happiness can come about when we feel part of a community and when we exercise grace in confronting disturbances and crises.
What does the bible say about being happy?
Interestingly, I discovered in my research that the Hebrew word in the Old Testament for happy is esher and in the New Testament the Greek word for it is makarios. The translation for both words are blessed or that person feels happy, is experiencing happiness and specifically is enjoying the bliss of heaven while here on earth.
Beyond that though, the bible continually encourages us to live and be happy regardless of our circumstances. Here is some of what it says:
- “Happy are the people whose God is the Lord.” ~ Psalm 144:15; Proverbs 16:20
- “Happy are thy men, happy are those thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom.”~ 1 Kings 10:8
- “Blessed [happy] are you Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord? He is your shield and helper and your glorious sword. Your enemies will cower before you, and you will tread on their heights.” ~ Deuteronomy 33:29 NIV
- Happy is the man who obeys God and keeps His commands ~ Psalms 128:1; 1 Kings 10:8; 2 Chronicles 9:7
- Happy is the one who is corrected by God, so do not despise His discipline. It is proof that you are his son or daughter. ~ Job 5:17 NIV
- Happy is he who loves God more than power, money, prestige or the praise of men!
“I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good things as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in his toil – this is God’s gift to man.” ~ Ecclesiastes 3: 12-13
More Secrets to Achieving Happiness
Regardless of the circumstances that you are facing right now, happiness is a decision. Life is what it is. Things will happen beyond what you anticipated or it’s out of your control. The road will not always be easy but still it is important to remember our inheritance is to be happy always. So to bring happiness back into your life, here are a few more secrets
1.) Love yourself
Begin to love yourself like no one else on this earth can or ever will, and that your whole life depends on it. If you don’t love yourself, you cannot expect it from someone else.
It all starts with knowing and appreciating the depth of God’s love and then loving Him with your whole heart. Taking this first step helps you to love and accept who you are and be proud of everything that you do, even your mistakes.
Loving yourself will keep you from lowering your standards to that of others just to please them. It helps you to remain optimistic and it makes you feel good about life in general.
2.) Know your worth
I recently read an InstaQuote that said, “when you learn how much you are worth, you will stop giving people hand outs.” We hear this all the time too that so and so is worth millions of dollars. But the truth is a man’s life or his worth, even if he is wealthy isn’t determined by his possessions. (Luke 12:15)
It’s based on a relationship with God and whether or not you are living the way in which He has established or is obeying His commands.
3.) Live on purpose
When you know your purpose in life and is fulfilling it, you are among the happiest people here on earth. It means you have a willing heart, mind and spirit to learn, to stretch and grow from your experiences even when it involves discomfort. It also means that you are acting on life, not just taking it in.
4.) Become filled with hope + [Hope Song video here]
There will be times in life that the future looks bleak but the hope that we must have and should all desire is not something that can be had in the world and things of this world. No doubt it will be offered through things and people but they never quite keep their promise.
We must live in hope knowing that the greatest hope in the life of the faith believer is that of eternal life. God has great plans for us to give us a lavish future and hope for good and not evil.
“A lesson for all of us is that for every loss, there is victory, for every sadness there is joy, and when you think you’ve lost everything, there is hope.” ~ Geraldine Solan
5.) Live according to your values
It does not matter how much you have achieved in life thus far, if you are not living according to your values, you will not be happy.
True that some do not have values or even know what they are and so if you are one who do not, start thinking about what core principles or standards of behavior and your judgement of what is to you important in life. Steve Pavlina compiled a list of over 400 values on his blog that you can read about here. Once you understand what your personal values are, they will help you to live an authentic, happy life.
6) Know your coping style and embrace it
Two people with identical circumstances can end up dealing with it in vastly different ways and have totally different levels of happiness. It is also true that not everyone can put on a happy face when they are experiencing troubling or annoying circumstances.
The way that we handle our emotions will differ from person to person and to think that it is even possible to accept the one-size fits all approach is something that is misleading or misguided.
It is therefore important for each one to learn his or her natural coping style and furthermore, to embrace it.
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Was this post helpful? Do you agree that happiness is a decision? Do you believe that happiness is relative to trust? What are some of your best kept secrets to happiness? Share your thoughts in the comment form below.
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