Reminders: Happiness is a Choice
by Ardith Hoff
People say money is not the key to happiness, but if you have enough money surely you can have a key made. Not so! Money helps us feel somewhat more secure, but it does not guarantee happiness. Buying something we think we need or want might make us feel better temporarily, but the feeling does not last. Things have a way of losing their luster over time.
True happiness is more enduring. Even when life is not going well, a happy person is able to maintain a positive outlook. One of the hallmarks of a happy person becomes evident when situations are most difficult. We have all seen stories on TV featuring someone who has just lost all of their earthy possessions due to a disaster. People who can express their gratitude for still being alive see the blessings in knowing that things are replaceable, but lives are not.
One of the keys to happiness seems to rest on one’s ability to appreciate what he or she has and to express gratitude for it. The top recommendation from experts on achieving lasting happiness is to take time each day to count our blessings, and to practice gratitude for and contentment with what we have rather than looking to the future for some situation, thing or event that will bring us happiness.
In Philippians 4:11 the apostle Paul wrote: “I am not speaking of being in need, for I have learned that no matter what situation I am in, to be content.” The amazing thing is that Paul was in prison when he wrote that to his Christian followers in Philippi. What Paul had learned is that he could depend on God for whatever he needed. He knew that even when things are at their worst, there are blessings to be found. We just have to look for them. We really can choose happiness and find joy wherever we are. The only time you have is now. “This is a day that the Lord has made. Rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24