Saturday, January 07, 2006

Deep Thoughts on Happiness

Happiness, I've logically concluded, is 100% internal.

Here's why:

- God never changes. So, while you're relationship to Him definitely affects your joy and happiness, it's not His fault if you're unhappy because He hasn't changed.

- Stuff doesn't make you happy and I think that can generally be accepted without providing too much support. But, for the sake of a well-rounded argument, just think back to the last thing you really, really wanted. Now, think about the next thing you really, really want. There's always something new that we want. So getting stuff can't make you happy because as soon as you get it, you want something else. Emile Durkheim (a sociologist) said something to the effect of satisfying a want only increases your appetite.

- If stuff can't make you happy, then money can't either. A survey (don't know the source, or for which country, but that's okay, trust me on this) found that all people needed to be happy was a pay raise of 15%. So, apparantly, no one makes enough to be happy.

- Relationships definitely provide a sense of fulfillment and worth, but when's the last time you had a truly amazing relationship with someone who was unhappy? Logically, then, it would follow that in order to experience fulfilling relationships, you need to be happy beforehand.

- Circumstances don't make us happy. Here's why: a study (again, I can't cite the source because it's just something I heard in a sermon once) found that after people suffered life-altering injuries, they returned to the same general level of happiness they were at before the injury.

So, all that said, if you want to be happy, you just have to decide to be happy. Of course, that's easier said than done. And joy, well, that's another topic. But here's a teaser: true joy can only come from a relationship with God.

1 comment:

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