What is happiness? Really. Seems everyone wants it but what is it really? I define it as the absence of negative emotions. That means if I am not lonely, sad, frustrated, anxious, jealous, angry or afraid than I am happy. So how does one get there? Well it seems the people that are most worried about being happy, those out there chasing it and trying to find it are the most miserable people in the world.
People that are busy doing what is in front of them – working, cooking, cleaning, washing laundry, mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, reading a book, going to church, etc. tend to be the most content and happy people in the world. If they are asked if they are happy, they tend to shrug their shoulders and say something like, “Yea, I suppose so.” They live in the moment. Sure, they think about the future to a degree. They make plans to pay bills, have a retirement account, etc. but they don’t let their thoughts about tomorrow consume them. Nor do they fret the past. They forgive themselves for their own mistakes and forgive others for theirs. They live life one day at a time and live and let live. These tools for happiness are found in the Sermon on the Mount recorded in Matthew chapters 5 to 7.
I have found five basic elements to a happy life. These are not necessarily in order of importance. 1. Have good relationships with friends and family. 2. Have a clean conscience. 3. Help others in need. 4. Have a spiritual relationship with God. 5. Be able to provide for ones basic needs of food, clothing and shelter. One doesn’t need to have a big screen TV, fancy car, exotic vacations or any such thing. There have been happy people as long as the world has been in existence. Those living in ancient societies didn’t need cell phones, pizza, air conditioning or cable TV to be happy. They did, however, have the five basic elements I have suggested here.
The problem with chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is that the rainbow keeps moving and there really isn’t a pot of gold there.