Have you noticed there are a lot of people talking about how to find happiness these days? Pastors, speakers, writers, bloggers, your friends? I’ve seen and heard it everywhere. Why? Because our soul craves it; because we need to hear it – desperately! Our lives are infiltrated daily, everywhere we look, with negativity.
If you are connected to technology AT ALL, you understand exactly what I’m talking about. Almost any form of news we tune into reports repetitiously on murders, shootings, racism, ugly politics, hate crimes, and overall – just the worst of the worst acts of human nature we can imagine. We hear these stories so often that to many, they are no longer shocking. It is important that we learn to keep positive and continue to pursue happiness even when surrounded by negativity.
Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
For many of us, we can become so accustomed to the massive amounts of heartbreaking negativity we see and hear that we can’t help but feel overwhelmed with the world in which we live. Could you imagine if it were the opposite?
Seriously – imagine for a moment if tomorrow the greater part of everything we experienced was good news – how would our day be different? How would our lives be different? What if we opened our laptops to news of people being healed, receiving promotions, giving and receiving kindness, experiencing increase, finding true love? I am not implying negative things wouldn’t still be happening because although I am optimist, I am also a realist. I’m simply asking you to imagine how different your attitude would be if you were exposed to nothing but positive?
You must admit, you would most likely approach every aspect of your day a little differently. You wouldn’t be able to help it.
Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present. -Jim Rohn
For most of us, it may not be practical to throw out our televisions, computers, phones and any other technology that connects us to what is happening in the world and in the news. What we can do, however, is be attentive about what information we feed our brain, and what input we allow in.
Abraham Lincoln said it best when he said:
“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
I believe Lincoln was not only a great leader and innovative thinker, but he had an amazing understanding of the human psyche. He was proof that what we feed ourselves, mentally, has a huge impact on the mental outcome.
Joel Osteen says it this way, “We cannot prepare for defeat and expect to have victory”.
Have you ever tested what you are telling yourself? I am referring to the self-talk you use as a part of your decision making process. Whether you are aware of it or not, you do this all the time! We use self-talk to stimulate a variety of emotions. Happiness, sadness, focus, anger, etc. Our minds are so powerful, yet they simply respond to what we put in them – the data input.
I remember a time not so long ago when I was facing a very tough time in my life. I was being forced to make decisions I didn’t want to make – hard decisions with great consequences – and I had to purposely choose happiness. It was not easy. It took effort, real effort. Intentional effort on a daily basis, sometimes on a moment by moment basis, but I was vigilant about feeding myself positive input.
I would say the following to myself as often as needed:
- Everything Happens for a Reason
- That Reason is leading me to where I’m supposed to be
- I am a Child of the Most High God
- I can do All THINGS through Christ Who Strengthens Me
- I am a VICTOR and not a victim
- I will not repay evil with evil, or insult with insult
- I forgive those who hurt me
- I choose HAPPINESS – today and everyday
- I am an awesome decision maker
- I am blessed and highly favored
- I am an overcomer
- I am a conqueror
- I LOVE all that is in my future
My faith and my intentional positive self-talk got me through my tough days. Some of these things didn’t necessarily feel true to me at the time. I felt defeated, weak and like my life was spinning out of control. But I wrote these positives down on note cards. I recorded myself saying them and kept the audio on my phone. And I posted a list of them in various places in my home, in books I was reading, and everywhere I could happen upon them easily when needed . I spoke them in faith. I could not escape the positive and I am confident this helped me land in the right place just a few months after I put this daily habit into effect.
If you are reading this and cannot relate to my personal examples of self-talk – create your own. Whatever makes you feel positive and happy, that’s what you need to use to motivate yourself!
Friends, many of my writings talk about my belief that life is too short not to live it fully. I also believe we should always pursue happiness. Too often we are reminded that life is too short. It’s one thing to read a great quote that reminds us to say I love you because it could be our last opportunity, but it is altogether, completely and totally different when we personally experience real-life being too short!
Please trust me when I say, “Pursue happiness because in the end it will be all that matters”.
My happiness includes my faith in God and I can’t imagine my life without Him.
What is your “happiness”?
What drives you?
What motivates you?
Whatever “it” is for you, find it, get it in your sights, and pursue it with passion!