Happiness or the search for happiness is something that we have all heard sometime or another. “They lived happily ever after”, “whatever floats your boat “, “do what makes you happy” , “strive for happiness.” These are all things that have been taught to us if you were born after 1970. Some may be because those before that time had gone through some perilous times like the depression, world wars, Vietnam to name a few. Those men and women didn’t want us to face all those things and fought to give us the ability to chase our dreams and some continue to do so even today. Although freedoms and things can contribute to our happiness I am here to tell you if you are looking at happiness as a result of some thing or an event I am afraid to tell you your happiness will be short-lived. Happiness is not a result. It is not something that happens because of a certain thing. It is a choice.
This is something I had to learn in my life through many years of trial and error. King Solomon of Ecclesiastes (the wisest and richest man who ever lived by God’s standards) said I literally have had everything and it always turns up void and empty. That is kind of a downer but I’m here to tell you that once happiness is discovered you will soon see that is so much easier than just getting everything you want first to achieve happiness. I am excited to pass this on to you but first let me relay a few events of my own experiences to show you my conclusion.
I can remember when I first became aware of my state of happiness. I was in third grade and a group of my friends had acquired a super cool pen which had a highlighter on the back side. I wanted one very badly because how cool is that. Write and highlight your book without changing pens. Was it wrong to want this pen. No. What made it wrong was deciding that I could not be happy until I had one. When I acquired one it was a super short-lived high. I then wanted the next thing. This soon became an epidemic for me. Fourth grade it was the latest Tommy Hilfiger shirts and air Jordan shoes. I hopped from one thing to the next. Later it was sports cars, ladies and jet skis, weightlifting or the next modification to these things. I will be happy only if….. The major problem is I felt I could have anything I wanted if I just worked hard enough and I severely put myself into an unhappy state because satisfaction would never be met. I was focusing only on myself and others around me were left starving for my connection and contribution I could offer them. You see the pattern? I truly believed happiness was a result. Happiness is a state and not a result. Have you ever heard someone say that you must choose to be happy? This is absolute truth.
First of all as you heard me say before happiness is a state. What is a state you ask? It is just simply being. You are in the state of happiness. You don’t do happiness or be happiness you just are. Do you see? Happiness is most definitely a choice. Regardless of the situations you are in it is a choice to be happy. I often think about Paul and Silas in jail (Acts 16:16-40). These guys were in prison being persecuted for their faith yet they sang all night praises to God. Pretty awesome! They didn’t allow a circumstance destroy their state of happiness.
Ok so why is happiness so important? Because it always brings more happiness. If you are in a negative state like depression, anger, bitterness or resentment it will only bring more of this in your life. It is truly simple. Decide first thing in the morning that your state will remain happy regardless of the circumstances and you will be surprised of the outcome. The interesting thing about being in the state of happiness is it will cause you to think happy thoughts and have happy actions. You just thought you had friends before. People will literally be attracted to you, and the best part will be they will be like-minded people. This will bring a new result in your life. You see happiness isn’t the result. First it is the choice to be happy then it is the state of being happy then the happy results will be enjoyed.
So is this always easy. Not at first, but what outcome would you rather have? As happiness is attracted to your life it will get easier. Let the knowing of the outcome be what drives you to push through and see your world change right before your eyes.