Tag Archives: happiness

Happy ?

Happy“Happy people don’t have the best of everything. They make the best of everything.” Anonymous

“It does not matter how long you are spending on the earth, how much money you have gathered or how much attention you have received. It is the amount of positive vibration you have radiated in life that matters,” Amit Ray

What does it mean to be happy? If you asked a million people their answers would likely be different. Happy means to be pleased joyful cheerful blissful exultant ecstatic delighted and content. I know the number of people I talk with within a week and they have numerous adjectives to describe their moods and few would mention ecstatic lives. The adjectives used perhaps are more like tired, upset, discouraged, stressed-out, fearful, over-worked, sad, anxious and over-burdened take your pick.

It makes one wonder what happened to living and meaning within our lives. How did we reach the road where we are in a dilemma bout which way to  choose. All the roads appear to lead to unhappiness. We almost take it for granted that it is normal to be unhappy but is it? Sometimes it is difficult to find one decent occurrence throughout our day that made our life worthwhile. I want to ask where did the world go wrong?

We all have problems and events to deal with and that we can all accept for the most part. But why is it most of us if not all of us feel so burdened to the point of being exhausted and ready to give up? If we rated our days as good bad or indifferent perhaps we might see a lot of bad or indifferent kinds of days. I believe this is very sad and anything but happy.

I wonder if we focus too much on what needs to be done, what is missing and what is wrong? I never saw anybody at work come in smiling and saying wow my life is so happy and things are great and my spouse and kids are so awesome! Most people unfortunately come to work complaining about every little thing that went wrong at the breakfast table. Those listening politely slip away thinking their own problems are more difficult than their co-workers complaints.

I must admit that these folks send our brains down the road of finding similar problems in our own lives. We contemplate a worse day and unhappy moments in time. Sometimes those who stay and listen to the employee’s grumbles wait their turn to best the protester with their own tale of woe. It definitely starts off a competition and a marathon about who has the most grievances. Who wants to be the winner of that competition?

Bosses complain about workers who are slackers not bothering to ever be interested in their home lives. Spouses criticize their significant others not having any mercy about other circumstances and divorced people grieve the deadbeat parents who never send alimony. Workers  resent being overlooked during promotion time and parents hate teachers who assume too much about the home environment and the lack of whatever. Teachers lament the uninvolved parents, daughters-in-law detest the whining controlling and complaining mothers-in-law, while the mothers-in-law can’t understand the gossip behind her back about the things she said except the words were twisted and changed as well as the perceived actions. Most of the issues appear to be untrue from the view of most people yet all of the words and actions of others are constantly being reviewed and analyzed for the worst.

Parents stop seeing their kids as cute and fuzzy when they are out of the baby stage and basically getting into mischief. Most parents are already looking forward to the time the kids will be grown up. They don’t realize how much time they have wished away. Nobody seems to be happy yet there is a lot to discover and enjoy about life and the people in it. I wonder if it has to do with our attitudes and the way we see ourselves and others. Obviously we pay attention to faults over virtues, complaining times over joyful ones, and we focus on what is wrong but never what is right.

Perhaps so much attention given to the negative has trained all of us to focus on that instead of the positive. Honestly  we can be thankful we are  not hungry, cold or without someone or something to love. That may sound corny but it is taken for granted. At a young age we are taught to be and do the best. Maybe we leave no room to have breathing space to grow. It is expected that we succeed the first time and accomplish so much in a certain time frame. It genuinely leads many to give up because the goal  appears to be so far away.

No wonder we are always so discouraged. If we were suppose to clean the yard, fix a fence and change a tire on the car then anything less almost allows a spouse to feel no need to say thank you for doing that. A woman who tends to the kids while her husband does the jobs and manages to get in some laundry but not able to cook a big meal may believe she has failed somehow and didn’t get everything done that she should have. I know we are getting into goals here but technically we are also understanding the tremendous burdens we have set up for ourselves. Where is the time to appreciate anything including our own worth?

I don’t believe anyone is as bad nor as good as others speak about. Kids are not horrible and unlovable. How is it we give nobody any leeway and we receive no latitude for ourselves? Let’s face it most people change the way something was said or done. Words denote one thing but the tone can so totally change the words for the better or the worse. Taken out of context anything can be made to sound better or horrible. The fact is we never know how anyone chooses to interpret what we say or do so that leaves us all vulnerable.

Until we stop thinking that we are only as good or strong or capable as the products we produce or tasks we complete we will be disappointed with ourselves and others for their completions. We will also keep missing the goodness surrounding us and the positive facing us every day. I bet most of us go to bed contented if we completed some huge task we had set our minds to do days weeks or months ago. We take pride in that and feel so relieved and happy. I am not so sure it is happiness as much as a sense of “I did it.” So what are we left with? We only have peace when we complete something for the house or workplace?

Being able to understand the many ways we can find peace and contentment brings us an escape route from our problems and draws attention away from how many times we failed or how long it took us to complete. We don’t always mention a task done or get praised for it with our own blessing, because we feel it took us too long to do. For sure if we stopped seeing the work the complaints the obstacles and the time it takes to get to the job perhaps we would enjoy the daily things we do see and enjoy.

If the basement must wait so what. If we spent the day walking and investigating with our kids we likely produced more than if we painted the room. At a future date in time the memory of a beautiful spring day looking at birds and insects and rocks will remind us of an awesome experience and put a smile on our faces. The day spent painting will not be remembered any more than the day we cleaned the house. Of course the house needs cleaning but to focus on that rather than the more important things places us at the mercy of pressure stress and an unhappy mood.

We can get up and choose to be happy the first thing in the morning. We can put the complaints to the back of the mind and focus on the gorgeous day. Even rain is wonderful because it fills a bird bath and feeds the flowers and bounces off our noses and makes us smile. Kids splash through puddles because they know how to bring on those smiles. As adults we have forgotten. We fill our minds with thoughts about our work list and inconsequential things that sometimes don’t matter. How we treat our kids and spend time with them is more important than how well we cleaned up or fixed their room.

Every day can be joyful and pleasant even if it comes with a few glitches. It still brings a tremendous amount of good things if we uncover the blanket of have to do’s. Look for the good in every day and focus on the happy funny words and actions. Remember to compliment others for the tiniest things they do for you and that includes your spouse and kids. It would serve all of us to stop seeing what we lack and what we didn’t do and notice those important unnoticed things we do manage to accomplish.

“Life has a positive and negative side. Happy people ignore the negative side. A smile a day keeps trouble at bay. The mind’s health depends on what it feeds on. Avoid thoughts and conversations that kill your soul.” Bangambiki Habyarimana

“This we can all bear witness to, living as we do plagued by unrelenting anxiety. It becomes more and more imperative that the life of the spirit be avowed as the only firm basis upon which to establish happiness and peace.” Dalai Lama

 

 

Living With Despair Or Hope

Living With Despair Or Hope“Oft hope is born when all is forlorn.”     J.R.R. Tolkien

“She wondered that hope was so much harder then despair.”     Patricia Briggs

“Losing your life is not the worst thing that can happen. The worst thing is to lose your reason for living.”     Jo Nesbo

“The difference between hope and despair is a different way of telling stories from the same facts.”     Alain de Botton

How many of us are fearful at every turn. I would guess that most of us worry constantly. We fear so many things that we don’t even count or connect them anymore. Our anxiety level increases along with the stress. What we don’t see is the numerous diseases we encounter because of the pressure of our burdens. We may be able to walk through fire to help someone, especially our families, but facing the issues of daily life may bring us to our knees. I heard someone say that there would always be prayer in schools, because there would always be tests.

The wonder of why we succumb to life’s strain is not especially hard to understand.  Facing problems head on is not the preference for most of us.  We perhaps prefer to think about it when we are forced. Perhaps  that is for the best in certain respects. Life does appear to wear us all down to the point of making us feel defeated.

Maybe we ought to reflect on what life means, and what goals we have set. Perhaps we doom ourselves by trying to gain the same items as everyone else, or have a  certain amount of money. Most of us take pride in the achievements of our kids. The honor falls on us so we think. Taking a deeper look in what we believe, and search for, may produce surprising answers. Continue reading

Ordinary Might Be Extraordinary

Ordinary Might Be Extraordinary“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”    Desmond Tutu

“There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.”    Leo Tolstoy

“Everybody’s got the seam of goodness in them, Kit,” said Grandpa. “Just a matter of whether it can be found and brought out into the light.”    David Almond

I spend a lot of time talking about comparisons, jealousy and competition. The truth is just when I think I have discovered where it mostly originates,  I find new areas of initiations. It is true that parents, grandparents and most people, compare constantly without thought. We hear about he tallest child, best athlete, intelligent or pretty girl, and more common discussions.

I wonder why we can’t seem to control our measurements. It would be horrible if we went to work everyday and listened to others talk about the best worker, smartest computer programmer, or other items we might consider. If neighbors commented on the lawns, houses, apartments or anything else that perhaps is measurable, we would avoid encounters with such individuals. Continue reading

Voice Transformation

Voice Transformation“Anybody can become angry — that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way — that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”    Aristotle

“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.”    Ambrose Bierce

“The best fighter is never angry.”    Lao Tzu

“It is wise to direct your anger towards problems — not people; to focus your energies on answers — not excuses.”    William Arthur Ward

I was listening to a young friend talking the other day and couldn’t help but smile. His voice which normally had an air of youthful authority, was suddenly direct even and just a tiny bit faster than normal. Of course he had an important message to give so I could see why his words were swift.

What surprised me was how different he sounded. You could hear his maturity in his speech. There was no need for his usual pushy and aggressive attitude. His voice had changed to a deliberate straightforward mode. I smiled just recalling how just a few years had passed and he had definitely matured.

It made me understand how our tone, loudness, tempo, infractions, emphasized letters, drawled words and pitch made any sentence more than a sentence. It was as if it told our thoughts, age dilemma fear and mood. I believe that is why computers and technology in general will never replace the human voice. Somehow feelings, emotions attitudes and thoughts go into our every monologue and spoken interaction. We can’t hide our emotions.

Children know immediately when parents are angry about anything. The stern clipped sentences that range a bit louder than normal,  at least at the beginning of the episode, tell the kids to scatter. Dad or mom is searching for something or upset about anything and they don’t want to be the unwilling victims of a parents’ foul mood. Continue reading

Finding Truth

What We Do Know“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, “I used everything you gave me.” ~Erma Bombeck

“Each man must look to himself to teach him the meaning of life. It is not something discovered: it is something molded.”    Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“A great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up.”    Albert Schweitzer

I’m sure we have all heard the phrase, ‘What you don’t know won’t hurt you.’ Of course there are many ways to look at that. If we don’t know we are ill then it might hurt us. We could debate this for hours, but I believe that what we haven’t stopped to consider, will affect us in profound ways.

We are not far removed from the squirrels, birds  and other animals we study as they search for  food, mates, homes and security. I laugh at  the birds visiting my feeder, as they fight to gain access to the food. One morning I remember saying out loud, “There is enough food why are they fighting instead of waiting?” Of course at that moment, I realized they were behaving  just the same as people.

From the time we are born, our parents strive to get us into the best schools they can afford. The search begins to enhance our chances, and our lives. We don’t question what does enhancement mean. We are told the  bigger house, fancier car and multiple material  gains are equivalent to success. Not having any other options or opinions available, we carry the myth forward, and work hard to gain more of everything. Few  of us stop  to consider why. Perhaps the questioning might lead us to question, what we don’t know and are not told. Continue reading

Discouragement

Discouragement“Never say that you can’t do something, or that something seems impossible, or that something can’t be done, no matter how discouraging or harrowing it may be; human beings are limited only by what we allow ourselves to be limited by: our own minds. We are each the masters of our own reality; when we become self-aware to this: absolutely anything in the world is possible.”     Mike Norton

“Never let someone who draws a line and say you can’t cross it intimidate you. Don’t be discouraged when someone says you can’t do it. You might have been the only one sent to do it.”     Israelmore Ayivor

“Belief is truth held in the mind; Faith is a fire in the heart.”    Unknown

“The christian life is not a constant high. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes and say oh God forgive me or help me.”    Billy Graham

It is getting closer to that time of year when everyone begins thinking about what is wrong in their lives. It is the holiday season, the time of year we quantify our happiness by how our gains measure up against another s. The spouse is in jeopardy and the kids though we love them, can be disappointing. We wonder if we created the mess or if the chaos simply arrives around the holidays. We spruce ourselves up and have faith we’ll get through it without too many obstacles. How sad to have to ‘get through’ some enjoyable times.

All I can say is if you begin the holiday season convinced it is  going to be hurtful and depressing, then most likely it will be. The thing is we search for what we believe is there. So if you have faith it will be a disaster then you will eventually find it in people’s attitudes with you or with the many issues that evolve from being together with family.

In order to have a good time one must go into it with the approach that I will have a great time regardless of any pessimistic people. You have to embrace the good that you see and attempt to understand the bad. If you come to terms with the injuries others have cause you, you become aware of why it happens. This provides the option of laying it to rest. You see it isn’t always about us although we most definitely believe it is. The alternative is to find blame in us.

People’s thoughts and feelings influence their every mood. The trouble is sometimes we already have our reasons and mindset before we even come up against any oppositions. If we are attending aunt Deirdra’s dinner and start thinking about what a horrible cook she is and how loudly she talks and how many comments she makes to everyone, then we already have a negative outlook for the occasion. We plan to have a bad day.

As much as we deny it we might be sabotaging our own good time. Recall something about the dinner you like even if it is the bread, rolls or desert. contemplate the guest list and plan on sitting beside some people you like. Switch the game plan and instead of remaining quiet and frowning and pouting, offer a compliment about the meal, table setting or decorations. Maybe aunt Deirdre puts effort into creating an atmosphere of welcome and nobody takes notice. Perhaps she will be pleased with the compliment and settle down to a more pleasant tone of voice.

So many times we blame others for our own foul mood yet  never comprehend our degree of fault. After any gathering we go home and review the entire evening and make constant judgements. We can recall spoken words, gestures slights insults and other negative issues that occurred. Including myself, I don’t  understand why we don’t remember the kindness and gentle retorts and laughter from that day. It just has to do with our focus and where we are placing our concentration. Picking apart the day for the rotten pieces is pessimistic. Why not cherish the good laugh.

Anybody who is already assuming a certain outcome will likely receive that end. We have created our own reality. If we want to get along with others we have to search for those things in them that we like and or admire. That will create a happier environment. How simple it is yet not very often acted upon. I suppose when we asses the issue others can’t measure up to us, our friends or family. We must find fault. Reflecting on it long enough would make one laugh at the silliness of it. Jealousy, competition and calculations rear their ugly heads again. Trouble is we are the losers before we play the game.

If we poison our thoughts, expect the worst, and shut our senses down then no light of pleasure and good will is able to enter. Later, upon contemplation, we really must blame ourselves. Baiting our opponent and causing disagreements is our offense. We can’t lose our way as we travel through a myriad of roads and challenges. We can’t spend so much time observing others and their gains. The happy person is the one who depends the least on what he has. Even when we love we must not hold tightly and hang on. We should be thankful for the love received and be aware that it is a treasure bestowed but not acquired to be kept restricted.

If love is kept a prisoner in a box  then it will become infected and die. If it is allowed to freely travel it will encompass many others and will grow to unlimited heights. Fear is the crippling culprit. We all fear releasing what we love, worrying it won’t come back and we will lose it. Hence we can understand why mothers-in-law fear daughters-in-law and why daughters-in-law have so much anxiety over mothers-in-law, why siblings fight with siblings, and why friends separate their friends because they  worry about the loss to another worthier person so they believe.

If we are anxious about attending a family even or hosting one, we must consider the fact that others might be fearing the event as much as we are. If we let go of the preconceived notions we have which most likely have a bit of truth and a bit of embellishment we just might release a lot of unnecessary troubles. I would hate to face some judgement calls on myself. So unless you are without any blame transform your irrational attitudes and remember what is really important and meaningful about your life.

If you  enjoy drama then you will create it with negative emotions entering the happy environment. Perhaps you will win and manifest the worst holiday gathering ever. Is that your mission, to make others unhappy and destroy everyone’s good time? If you want instead to just have a happy moment of peace and serenity transformation is in order. Set your thoughts on the amount of people in your life that you are happy about. There is no need to rate them into classes. They all serve a purpose and we find as we travel through life many times our appraisal of them  changes. It makes no difference,  because it is all about love and love has no measurement and no conditions it simply loves. We can love more than one person and we wont’ deplete the love but increase it.

Perhaps we need to believe in our own worth. We are lovable. We have meaning as does our lives. We probably are the maker of our own troubles or triumphs. So I suppose it is time we made a solid effort to promise ourselves we will have happy holiday times. Let go of grudges and you release mounds of stress. Hang on to it and you are bound so tightly nothing will penetrate. Love without chaining it and you will find so much more of love out there than you ever thought was possible.

“Depression begins with disappointment. When disappointment festers in our soul, it leads to discouragement.”    Joyce Meyer

“I think a big test we all face in life on a regular basis is that discouragement test. Life’s not always fair, but I believe if you keep doing the right thing, God will get you to where you are.”   Joel Osteen

“Not only is our love for our children sometimes tinged with annoyance, discouragement, and disappointment, the same is true for the love our children feel for us.”    Bruno Bettelheim

“Nobody else can make us discouraged; it is a choice that we alone make when facing disappointments.”  Dr. Charles Stanley

“(Discouragement) Can be temporary–or it can destroy our life. The choice is ours. If we refuse to deal with discouragement head-on, we are opening the door for it to completely dominate our life.”      Dr. Charles Stanley

Details Of Life

Details Of Life“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”    Friedrich Nietzsche

“A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.”    Saint Basil

How many of us have tunnel vision? It is simple to do and often happens. Maybe it occurs due to our earnest desire to get things done. We don’t want to waste time so we search for the quick meaning in any given situation.  If one runs towards an injured person, and misses the  dangerous gas permeating a room, you are both in trouble. The same is true in life.

Sometimes we think we know what the purpose is, and then we run crazily towards goals that are so unimportant. We forget about those details, which are the fabric of our lives. The details tell the story. How our story pans out, depends on what we consider most important. I know how many times I think about what I have to get done. I consider these items important enough to attend to first. I figure that when I fulfill them, then I will get to those other items, I enjoy and value most. The controversy always starts,  when I run out of time, before attending to the jobs I love to do.

At times I admonish myself for not stopping, before I am totally exhausted, and unable to give anything more to the family. Of course they mean the most to me, yet they come in last on my list. I look at it this way. They will understand and still love me, even if I disappoint them time after time. On the other hand, my boss or friend, may not be so forgiving. I don’t think about the hurt I have caused my family, nor the disappointment. Continue reading