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What makes us happy?
What gets us out of bed in the mornings and drives and energises us to do all we can to make a difference in any one day? Ingrid Bergman said,
“Happiness is good health and a bad memory.”
George Burns wrote: “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family . . . in another city!”
And Oscar Wilde stated: “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go!”
According to Dianne Hales, “Genetics, as research on 4,000 sets of twins has demonstrated, accounts for about 50% of your happiness quotient. Life circumstances account for only about 10%; the other 40% will depend on what you do to make yourself happy!” So, we can do something about our happiness . . . well, at least 40% of it!
A writer by the name of W. Feather provides us some advice: “Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it.” Helen Keller declared: “When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.”
Dale Carnegie suggests happiness will emerge as we invest in a work-focus: “Throw yourself into some work you believe in with all your heart, live for it, die for it, and you will find happiness that you thought could never be yours."
John Rutledge suggests happiness will be ours as we live through the experience of others: “One of the sanest, surest and most generous joys of life comes from being happy over the good fortune of others.” Others correctly assert that happiness will be found in God: “It is a great truth, wonderful as it is undeniable, that all our happiness – temporal, spiritual and eternal, consists in one thing; namely, in resigning ourselves to God, and in leaving ourselves with Him, to do with us and in us just as He pleases” (Anonymous). This ‘resigning’ in God, however, doesn’t mean we do nothing! Jesus said, “Give unto others, and it shall be given unto you!” That’s a happiness statement! Our hearts sing when we serve. Reaching out to others provides a sense of joy and meaning that is unavailable from any other source.
The Psalms record one of David’s wishes for his people: “But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful” Psalm 68:3.
May joy and happiness be yours today, but don’t search for happiness – just seek out someone who needs your love and care and lift their spirits, and happiness will sneak up on you!!