Everyone’s looking for ways to be happy: secrets to happiness, the road to happiness, 5 steps, 5 formulas, 5 easy somethings that might end up one day making them happy. I’ve come to the conclusion that you go down a slippery slope when you try to answer that question so why don’t I just add my own formula?
I’ve found that real happiness isn’t in arriving in a certain state, but is in being engaged in certain activities. Happiness is not inactivity. Happiness is full-engagement. Here’s what I mean.
- People who serve are happy. Those people who are engaged in a calling, moving toward a goal that helps people are the happiest. Serving, helping, healing, reconciling, redeeming, restoring: all of these are not only the highest human activity, they find God’s favor as well.
- People who give are happy. Generosity comes out of gratitude. Gratitude comes from a heart that knows it has been blessed far beyond what it deserves. Generosity also makes people happy because it is a surefire way of flourishing in life. The more I give, the more I get. This is a promise from God. It is a law that cannot be broken. Often the danger is we fail to realize that not only that we give, but what we give is what comes back to us.
- People who love are happy. Loving someone is a selfless act. It makes them the object of not only your affection, but of your actions. Loving someone well is a full time job and will call for you to engage at the highest levels of your creativity and your humanity.
- People who move forward are happy. Life is all about movement. Money is about movement. The economy moves. We step into the stream of life the moment we’re born and we’re constantly moving. You’re at one of three places right now: stagnant, dying, or moving ahead. Happy people are the people who are moving. It doesn’t matter how fast they are going, just so long as they are moving toward a big, hairy, audacious goal that is worthy of life, love, and sacrifice.
- People who morph are happy. We often frame change as a negative thing. But growing things change, and change causes friction. And I’ve found that really happy people lubricate that friction with generosity, service, love, and a can-do attitude. Changing is inevitable. Changing for the better is a choice.
What are the ways that you see happy people behaving? Can you add to this list? Sit down and have a conversation your group, your family, or your team at work and see if adding one of these five might make you a happier, more productive group.