Happiness. Can You Choose It?

I had a discussion with a friend regarding someone he knew. He made the statement that he felt that someone he knows would be happier if she had had a sex change.

Now this blog post is not about the merits of having a sex change . This is about whether or not you can choose to be happy or is it something that just happens to you.

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Happiness Defined.

Webster’s says happiness is enjoying pleasure from the gratification of appetites or desires. 

Oxford says happiness is feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.

When I think about the times in my life when I was happy, some examples come to mind.

  • when I gave my life to Jesus Christ
  • my wedding day and the birth of my children
  • when my Dad told me he was proud of me
  • when I did well on an exam
  • my first kiss.
  • my second kiss.
  • a nice paycheck
  • scoring a goal in soccer

We can all think back to those happy moments in our lives and because of the experiences we have had, we know what makes us happy and we also know what makes others happy.

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  • my wife enjoys walks and long drives.
  • one of my daughters is happy when shopping while the other is happy when cooking or baking
  • my son likes playing computer games
  • one friend is happy spending time with his daughters and another when playing or talking sports.

These are moments of happiness. They are interspersed between times of sadness, anger, fear, anxiety, etc, that happen in this journey called life.

A Life of Happiness

We’re not talking about moments of happiness here. In those moments, our reactions are somewhat automatic. We don’t think ‘I scored a goal. I’m going to be happy now.’ or ‘I’m eating peach melba. I’m going to be happy.’  You just become happy.

We’re also not talking about someone who may be suffering from depression or may have a mental illness. Medication or counselling may be required and I am certainly not qualified to speak on that.

What we’re discussing here is part of the Oxford dictionary definition that I will repeat below.

Happiness is feeling or showing contentment.

In the Bible, Paul writes, ‘……I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.’  (Phil 4:11). Another way of saying this is,’…I have learned to do away with every complaint whatever the circumstances.’

In this, you have a choice. It is up to you whether or not you are going to do away with every complaint. Every complaint. It isn’t easy. There are things that affect us every day that we can complain about. You know what they are. And every single one of us does it. We all complain.

There is a good article here about why. I suggest you read it to gain some insight with some steps to stop complaining.

Learn to be happy.

“Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” is a well-known phrase in the United States Declaration of Independence. Strictly speaking, I don’t believe that happiness is something you should pursue. Happiness comes upon you when you do certain things and ultimately happiness is something you choose.

You can choose it. It just takes a decision.

  1. Decide to stop complaining.
  2. Be more of an optimist, focussing on the good.
  3. Share special moments with loved ones, family and friends.
  4. Be grateful every day. Count your blessings. You woke up on the right side of the sod.
  5. Jesus Christ makes me happy.

 What makes you happy? Tell me in the comments.

 

5 thoughts on “Happiness. Can You Choose It?

  1. Under my skin? Sex changes, a time in our lives when we have become too politically correct, our misunderstandings of what is right and wrong thus leading us to legalising drugs, sex changes and same sex couples. This is Canada we are supposed to have the right to speak our minds.

    1. I plan to write a post about letting people speak even if we disagree with them. How can we know if someone is a bigot or a racist if we shut them up. For now, let’s keep comments on point.

  2. I’ve come to learn that happiness is not about how much money or stuff you have, it’s being content in the things and people you surround yourself with. It took a long time, but I can say I am truly happy at this point of my life, but it took a failed marriage , 3 job losses and lots of trial and errors with people for me to realize this. I love the time I spend with my children, friends and the silence.

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