Happiness

Hi friends!  It’s been a while since I last posted.  Life has been busy!  It seems like there is always somewhere to go, something to do, and someone to see!  I love that I have a lot of different things going on in my life.  Lately, though, it feels like I’ve been swallowed up in the going, doing and seeing.

This is a familiar place for me to be.  It is the path of least resistance. I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to why it is so easy to over commit my time, let some of my priorities slide in deference to things that are maybe urgent but much less important in the big-picture perspective, and why I allow myself to settle in certain areas of my life.

Yes.  Deep thoughts, one and all.

I’ve come to no great conclusions…yet.  I did stumble upon this video about 5 simple steps to happiness that I liked.

Steve Harvey is always good for a giggle.  I don’t know much about Bishop T.D.Jakes, but I like this take on happiness.  Essentially I agree with his points.

  1. Own your happiness.  Be responsible for doing those things that bring joy into your own heart–independent of what you have or what others do.
  2. Challenge your own story.  I agree that we all walk around repeating these stories we tell ourselves (and often anyone who will listen) about who we are, what happened to us, or what we want to do with our lives.  In many cases, these stories are less than ideal and we frequently we use those stories to hold us down.  STOP IT! (I’m speaking mostly to myself here….mostly.)  We write the script.  We can change the story.
  3. Enjoy the journey.  Too often I find myself sitting on the wrong side of the statement, I’ll be happy when…  I’ll be happy happy when my car is paid off, or I have a date with Mr. Wonderful, or when I loose 200 pounds.  Be happy now!  Celebrate now!  BE PRESENT!  Life is good!  Even with a car payment.  Even if you spend every Friday night without a Mr. Wonderful.  Even if you weigh 300 pounds.  Enjoy your life! You are ENOUGH right here. Right now.
  4. Make relationships count.  I must confess that I think I’m pretty good at this one.  Relationships have always been and will always be important to me.  But that doesn’t mean I get a pass on this one.  I especially like that he talks about several different relationships.  Having a good relationship with the Savior is of utmost importance.  I can make some improvements there.  I also like that he points out that you have to have a good relationship with yourself.  I believe he said something along the lines of, “If you don’t like yourself, I probably won’t like you.”  This one rings particularly true to me lately.  I’ve had some friends that are struggling with finding their own happiness.  It is apparent in almost every conversation we have.  While I’m grateful for the trust they place in me by allowing me to see them when they are struggling, I have to say that relationships with people who are always down on themselves is very waring. Luckily, in my group of friends we are rarely all at that same place at the same time so it is easy to bare one another up.  When I struggle with people, I’m going to remember that he said, “You are no more than the relationships you surround yourself with.  Make sure they are good ones!”
  5. Balance work with play.  Why does this one seem so hard sometimes?  I think it applies not only to work but to things like money management and even trying to lose weight.  it is important to allow ourselves the room in all areas of our life to balance out the work with the play, balance out the bills with the play money, balance out the chores with the time spent with friends. We are complex people. I think of that famous line from Dirty Dancing, “Noone puts Baby in a corner.”  How often do we put ourselves in the corner by giving things like work, debt, and diet more of our time than is needed to keep things balanced?  Something to think about.

It just so happens that I did an exercise this week with a group where we had to define the work “Happiness.”  It was interesting to see what the others defined happiness.  I’d love to hear your perspective.  What makes you happy?  Do you have any tips or tricks that bring joy into your life?  Please share!

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