The older we get, the greater the sense of urgency we feel to find ourselves “happy”. No matter how we define it, it is happiness that is the end all and be all of life!
So, what I’ve learned as I wade into my fifties is that there are 4 consistent and fundamental factors that will probably explain why you’re unhappy and I’ve realized that even though immediate and short term happiness has its place, it is these same factors that help to determine your potential for long term and meaningful happiness, which is the foundation on which we build whole and healthy lives.
1. How You Feel:
When you feel good both mentally and physically, you’re better able to focus your attention on other important aspects of your life.
You’re better able to trust your decisions and create a strong and rational foundation on which to build and plan out a life that makes you happy for the long term.
But when you don’t feel good even for a short time or are overly stressed or depressed, it can bring everything to a halt. Feeling better becomes your primary focus and rightly so and until you do, planning and recognizing opportunities for long term happiness is unlikely to be your priority.
So simply put, use common sense measures to always take care of yourself, if not, your long term happiness will have to wait!
2. How You Look:
So, not all of us have the luxury of being drop dead gorgeous but lucky for us being beautiful is not a prerequisite for happiness.
When we find ourselves unhealthily preoccupied with some aspect of how we look, we can get distracted and miss important opportunities that could lead to long term happiness.
Understand that it is important to take needed measures to look and feel our best but beauty, no matter how it comes will fade. And it’s also important to note that beautiful and healthy are not always synonymous.
You will be better off investing your time, energy and resources in doing those things that ensure your good health and find the time to nurture activities and relationships that build your confidence, courage and self-esteem. Because unlike beauty, these things will stay with you always and are required tools for building happiness!
3. Who You Love:
They say you can’t help who you fall in love with but think you can and you should!
Falling in love takes time. It takes time to really get to know someone and decide if this person meets all of your necessary mate requirements. But in this era of social media, online dating, facebook love, etc., before you know it, we’re in love and married with children!
And when it all falls apart and odds are it will, you now have to undo all the emotional, legal, and monetary knots to get out of it! At this point, you’ll just want to get through the day without losing your mind and real long term happiness will feel like far too much to ask for.
So go slow, be prayerful, conscious, intentional with love. Remember that who you love can either solidify your happiness or be the greatest road block to it than you could ever imagine!
4. What You Believe:
Hopeful, faithful, prayerful, encouraged, confident, optimistic, positive…the extent to which we possess these qualities helps to determine whether we believe either the best or the worst will happen for us.
If we believe that we’ll be ok or that we can do a thing, it increases the chances that we probably will. If we believe that regardless of how things appear to be today, they will be better tomorrow, we‘ll have reason to remain happy and hopeful.
On the other hand, if we are consistently doubtful, discouraged, cynical, apprehensive, etc. then why even try?! This mindset makes the possibility of any type of happiness, long term or otherwise highly unlikely.
To strengthen your spirit of belief, do your very best to prepare yourself for what you’re setting out to do, work hard, be prayerful, kind and most importantly, grateful.
Living in this mental and spiritual mindset will not only help to manifest your goals, but it will lay the foundation for happiness that will last you a life time!
Time for Prayer & Gratefulness
Father, thank you for the light, thank you for this small glimpse of hope and happiness.
Allow it to grow so strong and bright that its former self is forgotten and unrecognized. Allow me to forever be worthy, aware and generous with this gift of happiness.
In Your Name…Amen!