How to be happy

Right now I am reading Aristotle’s book on ethics (download it for free on Kindle).

He said something last night that I jotted down in my journal to reflect further upon. Discussing happiness he writes, “…as it is not one swallow or one fine day that makes a spring, so it is not one day or a short time that makes a man blessed and happy.”

You might have made this mistake, I have, thinking that one day or one event would make you “really happy.” Not so… at least for long.

Since last April I have been overcoming what sure looked and felt like depression. In my journey towards health and happiness I have discovered that what Aristotle wrote is true… happiness doesn’t come from one thing or one day. Believe me, I tried and consistently found myself disappointed.

And then I made a handful of important decisions. (I wrote about them in a blog post over at pastormojo.com. There is a link to that article at the end of this blog post)

Over time, as I began to live out those decisions I began the journey from funk to fun. Just the other day I told Sherri, “I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time!” I am happy, grateful, dreaming again, and discovering fresh new pockets of life that I’d forgotten about!

The lesson I learned is that happiness is the result of right actions over a long time. 

It’s like most other things:

  • Want to be healthy? Eat, rest, and exercise regularly and do it for a long time.
  • Want to have a great marriage? Date your spouse regularly, apologize often, work as a team, etc. and do it for a long time.

You get the point… the best things in life don’t happen overnight. They require the right actions over an extended period of time.

Question… are you trying to find happiness with one action? Are you hoping that it will show up tomorrow? If so you’re chasing fairies. However, if you are looking for happiness and are willing to do the right things over an extended period of time you will find happiness.
What do you think? Let’s talk!
If you’re interested in the five decisions I made that helped pull me out of the funk I was in you can read about them right here.

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