What You Really Want in Order to Be Happy: How to Be Happy
I was posed the question the other day, “What do you want out of life?” I really thought hard about this because at first I wanted to say a house, success, more money, and be a good influence. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I just want to be happy. I think I’ll be happy if I have a house, or if I’m more successful. Which, these are all great things to strive for, but, when we really think about it honestly, all any of us want out of life is happiness. JOY! Real Joy! We want to be happy and we want our kids and our families to be happy.
Whether we think that money or success or nicer things bring us that happiness, our ultimate goal is to be happy. But, those things can not bring us the greatest, lasting happiness, or joy. They might bring some temporary joy, but at the end of the day we can often be left feeling confused, frustrated, or alone.
So, how do we achieve this level of happiness or joy? What is it that brings happiness in our lives?
9 Ways to be Happy
1. Being Content in the Now
If we are constantly thinking “I’ll be happy when ______________”, we will never be happy. You will always be thinking about what’s next? What will be the next thing I have to reach? There will still be hardships and struggles once you hit that “one thing” you think will make you happy. I’ve thought “I’ll be happy when I have my own house, or when we’re making X amount of money”. This isn’t true, I’m sure I’ll find something to be sad about then too. Learning to be content in your situation now is so hard, but if you can get there, you’ll be so much happier.
2. Learning to Find Joy in the Little Things
Unfortunately, life isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. But there are moments of rainbows and there are days of sunshine. Learning to enjoy those moments when they come, and then holding on to them in times of hardship, make us happy. Sometimes we are waiting for life to knock us off our feet, or for the day when life is a breeze. Unfortunately, that’s never going to happen. Once we accept that life will never be a breeze, but it will have amazing moments.
Life is just like an old time rail journey…delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride – Gordon B. Hinckley
3. Being Happy In Spite of Adversity
The real trick to life is learning to be happy even though we have adversity. I think you do this by following #2. You take the good times as they come and use those to get you through the hard times. It is not dwelling on the negative and telling yourself you have the right to be sad because you have this, this, and that going on in life. It’s realizing that everyone is struggling, so we need to be there for others, which in turn makes us happy. Choosing to see the positive.
4. Trust in God’s Will
I struggle with this often, and don’t know when I’ll learn to trust God. He has never let me down before, but I still doubt him. Trusting in God’s will is being able to know that no matter what happens, it’ll all work out because we’re in His hands. That he has our best interest at heart, and wants what’s best for us. Sometimes he shows his love by molding us through trials and adversity, to make us a better person and provide greater opportunities. Opportunities that we would have not had otherwise. The Lord can do great things in our lives, if we let him.
5. Being Okay With Who You Are
Being okay with being you, but also being willing to improve. Being confident enough in your abilities, image, and personality to be okay with who you are and where you’re at in life, but also humble enough to know you have flaws and weaknesses that you can improve on. Having this quality will change your life because then you aren’t focusing on why me? Or I’m fat, or I’m not good enough, but instead our mindset is Who can I help? What can I do to change the world for the better?
6. Hopeful for the Future
Instead of worrying about the future or what might be, you’re hopeful in the opportunities ahead and the good things that can and will happen. I waste too much time thinking about what might or could happen. This gets me absolutely nowhere and half the time the thing I thought would happen, doesn’t! Don’t get caught up in the what ifs, but instead the why nots? Why not you!?
7. Being Grateful
Be grateful every day. Have an attitude of gratitude. Learning to be grateful for what we have means we aren’t being jealous of others, focusing on the things we don’t have, or constantly thinking about ourselves and what we want and need. Try being grateful and hateful at the same time, it doesn’t work. Be grateful and happiness will follow.
8. Allowing Yourself to be Happy
Don’t sell yourself short. You deserve to be happy. You deserve all those things you wish upon your children, or spouse or family. You have to let yourself be happy. “Don’t worry, Be Happy.”
9. Serving Others
True Joy comes in the service of others. I think P.T. Barnum said it best:
The noblest art is that of making others happy
This is true. True happiness comes when we put ourselves aside to help those around us. And a lot of times we think that this has to be some grand gesture. While those are great, it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the only way to serve. A smile, a compliment, love, saying hi, serving in our families, our spouse, our kids, a simple act of kindness goes a long way. Try to think of one person every day that you could serve. Maybe that’s even just a text or a phone call to an old friend.
What we really want in order to be happy is to be content with where we are, but have hope for the future. Be okay with who we are and that it’s okay to have flaws. To trust God’s will, to serve others and allow ourselves to be happy. I haven’t mastered a single one of these, but I strive to work on them every day and I envy the person who lives their life this way because I believe they are truly happy.