Friday, February 28, 2014

"Are You Happy?"

Your happiness is a gift because it literally brings out the best in you.

Robert Holden
The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.

M. Scott Peck
Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.

Henry David Thoreau

“Are you happy?” 
My Muse asked me this today and I was surprised by the question.  I haven’t thought much about it lately, which means I probably am.  I think about my unhappiness, but I rarely think about my happiness.  This may be because happiness is a natural state of being.  I think we are meant to be happy.  I think happiness is the truth.  I don’t have all the answers and I may not even have any original thinking on the subject, but here are my thoughts:
·      Everyone from Aristotle to Solomon to Mark Twain to a slough of contemporary writers and thinkers say that happiness is what all of us want.
·      I agree with those who say that happiness should not be a goal, but a result. 
·      In the book The Princess Bride by William Goldman, a woman lost her beauty because she focused on it too much.  I think happiness is like this.
·      Happiness is often based on circumstances, but it doesn’t have to be.
·      There are differing levels of happiness, from quiet contentment to  being in a good mood to elation to inexpressible joy.  I have experienced all of these.
·      Despite what someone once told me, I believe God does care about my happiness.  However, He is usually more concerned with long-term than short-term happiness.
·      Despite what someone once believed about me, happiness, true happiness, is not selfish.
·      Money does make me happy, but it doesn’t solve all my problems.  That takes wisdom.
·      I am happy to be with those I love and I am happy to be alone.  That makes me very fortunate. 
·      Happiness relaxes me, but sadness sometimes focuses me.  Fear does neither and that’s why I dislike fear so much.
·      Some of my happiest moments involved working towards a Purpose.
·      Some of my happiest moments involved serving others.
·      Some of my happiest moments involved being with my Muse or with others I love.
·      Some of my happiest moments involved being alone and taking care of myself.
·      Happiness is easier if I’m fed, hydrated and rested.
·      If I can’t be happy in most situations, I find that I can’t be happy in any situation.
·      Happiness is both a science and an art.   There are things I can do to create it, but often it is a surprise.
·      Happiness is a discipline.
·      False happiness is worse than genuine sadness.
·      Having no problems does not guarantee happiness.  Having problems does not guarantee unhappiness.
·      Gratitude is a gateway to happiness.
·      Purpose is a gateway to happiness.
·      Love is a gateway to happiness.
·      Having a concrete goal and working towards it is almost a guarantee for happiness.
·      Right now it’s raining and I’m writing and I’m very, very happy.  The only thing that would make me happier is if God or my Muse were physically here.
·      I’m happy to Get Started and to Keep Going.  I will be happy to do so again soon.