I’ll bet you’ve never known anyone who’s said they just want to be unhappy. At the other extreme though, it’s not uncommon to hear the lament of someone just wanting to be happy. Perhaps, you’ve either said or thought it. I believe people long for happiness, but can’t find it, because they don’t know where to look for it.
Happiness, though, is not difficult to find. Let’s discover where it is.
Happiness is not Materialism
I want this or that is a favorite phrase of toddlers, and for some people it’s a favorite phrase for as long as they live. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for happiness through materialism you’re probably not going to find it, because cravings never cease. If, for example, you reach your monetary goal the happiness seldom lasts. When you’ve become accustomed to the lifestyle, that income level affords you, it no longer makes you happy. Then, you need more money because if you only had this or that, you’d be happy. Unfortunately, it’s a never ending cycle and happiness never comes
Happiness, based on materialism may lead to jealousy. If others in your sphere of influence have more than you do, it’s natural to contrast what they have to what you have. Then, you decide what you have is not enough and you want more. Suddenly, you’re no longer think you’re happy, with what you have.
A side issue of striving to be happy, through materialism, can be relationships. If you’re obsessed with obtaining material things, it may lead to not taking time to develop and maintain relationships, that need developing and maintaining. As a result, you find yourself alone, and discover you can’t develop a relationship with the coldness of materialism. Once again, happiness is not in your grasp.
Happiness is in You
I believe happiness is contentment. Not contentment because you have everything you want, but contentment with what you have. The attitude of “what you could do if” (fill in the blank) is detrimental to contentment and happiness. While the attitude of “what you can do because” (fill in the blank) leads to contentment and happiness.
Yes, the path to happiness is not what you possess, but what you can do. You aren’t how much you have in the bank, but how much you have in your heart. Happiness is the way your child or grandchild looks at you, after you’ve read to them. Happiness is the way your spouse responds, after you’ve complimented or told them they’re appreciated. Happiness is a thank you from a neighbor, when you help them with a chore, or for no reason bake them a pie. God created in you, and gave you the means to serve others, and that’s where happiness is found.
When you try to find happiness serving yourself, you find lust and selfishness. If you want to be happy, sit down and take stock of what you can do for those you have contact with. Start with your family and work out, and when an opportunity presents itself, be spontaneous and follow your inclinations. If you do, not only will you find happiness but you’ll realize just how much you really have, and how content you are with it.