In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. (Proverbs 16:9 NIV)
“You have proven Yourself
in my life in times past…
I am unaware of any of these
facets in my being just now.
Even Your love seems questionable.
I accept what I have learned
in times past,
not what I am experiencing
at this moment,
and I say
with trembling heart, ravaged emotions,
and confused mind
I trust Your wisdom,
asking You only to manifest
Your love to me in
some way. “
“There are two types of people in the world: those who choose to be happy, and those who choose to be unhappy. Contrary to popular belief, happiness doesn’t come from fame, fortune, other people, or material possessions. Rather, it comes from within. The richest person in the world could be miserable while a homeless person could be right outside, smiling and content with their life. Happy people are happy because they make themselves happy. They maintain a positive outlook on life and remain at peace with themselves.
The question is: how do they do that?
It’s quite simple. Happy people have good habits that enhance their lives. They do things differently. Ask any happy person, and they will tell you that they …
1. Don’t hold grudges.
Happy people understand that it’s better to forgive and forget than to let their negative feelings crowd out their positive feelings. Holding a grudge has a lot of detrimental effects on your wellbeing, including increased depression, anxiety, and stress. Why let anyone who has wronged you have power over you? If you let go of all your grudges, you’ll gain a clear conscience and enough energy to enjoy the good things in life.
2. Treat everyone with kindness.
Did you know that it has been scientifically proven that being kind makes you happier? Every time you perform a selfless act, your brain produces serotonin, a hormone that eases tension and lifts your spirits. Not only that, but treating people with love, dignity, and respect also allows you to build stronger relationships.
3. See problems as challenges.
The word “problem” is never part of a happy person’s vocabulary. A problem is viewed as a drawback, a struggle, or an unstable situation while a challenge is viewed as something positive like an opportunity, a task, or a dare. Whenever you face an obstacle, try looking at it as a challenge.
4. Express gratitude for what they already have.
There’s a popular saying that goes something like this: “The happiest people don’t have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.” You will have a deeper sense of contentment if you count your blessings instead of yearning for what you don’t have.
5. Dream big.
People who get into the habit of dreaming big are more likely to accomplish their goals than those who don’t. If you dare to dream big, your mind will put itself in a focused and positive state.
6. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Happy people ask themselves, “Will this problem matter a year from now?” They understand that life’s too short to get worked up over trivial situations. Letting things roll off your back will definitely put you at ease to enjoy the more important things in life.
7. Speak well of others.
Being nice feels better than being mean. As fun as gossiping is, it usually leaves you feeling guilty and resentful. Saying nice things about other people encourages you to think positive, non-judgmental thoughts.
8. Never make excuses.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” Happy people don’t make excuses or blame others for their own failures in life. Instead, they own up to their mistakes and, by doing so, they proactively try to change for the better.
9. Get absorbed into the present.
Happy people don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future. They savor the present. They let themselves get immersed in whatever they’re doing at the moment. Stop and smell the roses.
10. Wake up at the same time every morning.
Have you noticed that a lot of successful people tend to be early risers? Waking up at the same time every morning stabilizes your circadian rhythm, increases productivity, and puts you in a calm and centered state.
11. Avoid social comparison.
Everyone works at his own pace, so why compare yourself to others? If you think you’re better than someone else, you gain an unhealthy sense of superiority. If you think someone else is better than you, you end up feeling bad about yourself. You’ll be happier if you focus on your own progress and praise others on theirs.
12. Choose friends wisely.
Misery loves company. That’s why it’s important to surround yourself with optimistic people who will encourage you to achieve your goals. The more positive energy you have around you, the better you will feel about yourself.
13. Never seek approval from others.
Happy people don’t care what others think of them. They follow their own hearts without letting naysayers discourage them. They understand that it’s impossible to please everyone. Listen to what people have to say, but never seek anyone’s approval but your own.
14. Take the time to listen.
Talk less; listen more. Listening keeps your mind open to others’ wisdoms and outlooks on the world. The more intensely you listen, the quieter your mind gets, and the more content you feel.
15. Nurture social relationships.
A lonely person is a miserable person. Happy people understand how important it is to have strong, healthy relationships. Always take the time to see and talk to your family, friends, or significant other.
Meditating silences your mind and helps you find inner peace. You don’t have to be a zen master to pull it off. Happy people know how to silence their minds anywhere and anytime they need to calm their nerves.
17. Eat well.
Junk food makes you sluggish, and it’s difficult to be happy when you’re in that kind of state. Everything you eat directly affects your body’s ability to produce hormones, which will dictate your moods, energy, and mental focus. Be sure to eat foods that will keep your mind and body in good shape.
Studies have shown that exercise raises happiness levels just as much as Zoloft does. Exercising also boosts your self-esteem and gives you a higher sense of self-accomplishment.
19. Live minimally.
Happy people rarely keep clutter around the house because they know that extra belongings weigh them down and make them feel overwhelmed and stressed out. Some studies have concluded that Europeans are a lot happier than Americans are, which is interesting because they live in smaller homes, drive simpler cars, and own fewer items.
20. Tell the truth.
Lying stresses you out, corrodes your self-esteem, and makes you unlikeable. The truth will set you free. Being honest improves your mental health and builds others’ trust in you. Always be truthful, and never apologize for it.
21. Establish personal control.
Happy people have the ability to choose their own destinies. They don’t let others tell them how they should live their lives. Being in complete control of one’s own life brings positive feelings and a great sense of self-worth.
22. Accept what cannot be changed.
Once you accept the fact that life is not fair, you’ll be more at peace with yourself. Instead of obsessing over how unfair life is, just focus on what you can control and change it for the better.”
- My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years. Any separation from you will be painful: remember that before you get me.
- Give me time to understand what you want of me.
- Place your trust in me- it is crucial to my well being.
- Do not be angry at me for long, and do not lock me up as punishment.
- You have your work, your entertainment,and your friends. I only have you.
“It was small plane with one seat on the left and two on the right. And we’re ready to take off. The left prop kicks into action ….
“Wow!” He turned to share this magnificent event with someone-but there wasn’t anyone there to hear his “Wow!” No one was watching with him. The others were wrapped in their saran wrap, safely locked into their moving windows.
Oh well …. Then he picked up his new backpack and fingered it lovingly, opening every pocket there was to open. Oh, he was so proud of that pack! I can imagine him choosing those garish colors-black and purple. Kids!
Where is he going? Back to his mom’s place to start school? It’s about that time of year.
Or maybe he’s just been to Granma’s for the summer. That’s a nice thought … I’ll hang onto that one. But I wonder. He has on a new shirt, new jeans, new running shoes, new white socks (and new underwear in all probability). Fresh haircut. Scrubbed. Everything that could be done to prepare him for the coming experience had been done. Everything to make a good impression when he emerges from his silver cocoon. Hi. Please love me. I’m all nice and clean.
He’s looking down at nothing now. The miracle of the turning prop is over. The newness of his backpack has been explored.
What a cute kid-stubby nose-long, curly eyelashes.
Lord, please let him have a dad and a mom who love him. Let his life be happy. There are so many “wows” to come. Please, may he have someone to share them with.
The priest is slightly overweight. I wonder if he’s proud of his clerical collar? What were his dreams when he was a little boy? Does his collar protect him from the females in his parish? How many walls has he built? Would he let me go behind those walls and talk to him? I doubt it. He doesn’t have any smile wrinkles, in fact, he looks very unhappy. Is he lonely? Does he regret the decisions that he’s made-decisions that isolate him from his world?
The leggy, willowy blonde is still reading her book. She has isolated herself, living vicariously in another world, oblivious to the mixed emotions stirring in the cabin. Could we endure the sound if all of the emotional pain in this small space were to suddenly be heard? I feel it. It’s hitting me and my emotions are going up.
Our flight attendant is African American and is very pretty. Her pearl earrings contrast beautifully with her dark skin. Are her parents proud of her accomplishment? Is she secure in her job? What would it be like to be the only white person-a woman at that-in a cabin with everyone else black. She’s probably used to it. I think I’d be very insecure.
The young man in the seat just up from mine … slightly built, thinning hair (I’ll bet he hates that!), expressive eyes but hard to read because of his super thick glasses. What kind of nicknames has he put in a box and tied with nylon cords? Oh, the world can be so cruel ….
What fun it has been to watch that young couple! They waved good-bye at least six times during the sixty foot walk from the terminal to the small prop plane, only he didn’t just wave, he would salute! That wasn’t sufficient. When he got to the top step he turned and threw both arms up in a gesture of farewell and before his disappearing act into the plane he took one more curtain call. He turned, clasped his hands together and nodded his head to the ones left behind at the gate. Surely that’s it! Nope. Just one more appearance-throwing his hand out with the “all’s well” thumb’s up sign! So demonstrative! How he must love and respect the people he’s leaving.
I don’t have any answers, Lord, I only have surface observations and a lot of questions.
It’s so difficult for me to comprehend that You know each of these people intimately. You could answer all of my queries, couldn’t You? What would happen if our plane were to develop problems? Who would be led to take charge? Would we all take care of each other if we were forced into emergency decisions? Would there be anyone who would call on the name of the Lord as we went down?
Life is so very fragile. I want to love, to reach out and touch. I’d like to hug that little boy, have lunch with the leggy blond, and be on the receiving end of all of the great good-byes. You know every one of them, Lord, and I don’t need to plead with you to be merciful to them. You love them-more than they could ever imagine-and You watch them all the time …”
“Where there is a human need, the artist is not far behind the answer. Painters respond to the eye’s desire for beauty. Architects orient us in space. Filmmakers fulfill a longing for impossible dreams. The buildings we live and work in, the cars we drive, the jackets we zip up against the cold night, the paths we take through parks - all of these things are made possible by people striving to enrich the world through art and design.”