Tag Archives: Happiness

The happiness choice

“To begin with, you have to realize that you really only have one choice in this life, and it’s not about your career, whom you want to marry, or whether you want to seek God. People tend to burden themselves with so many choices. But, in the end, you can throw it all away and just make one basic underlying decision: Do you want to be happy, or do you not want to be happy? It’s really that simple.”

—Michael A. Singer in The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself 

What stunning changes happened around you this summer? Did long-married friends of yours separate? Did an unexpected flower blossom in your garden from a plant that appeared out of nowhere? Has a loved one injured herself or fallen ill? Did you receive an unexpected gift of money?

We like to believe that our happiness depends upon whether we would choose or not choose the changes: separation or divorce, unhappy; beautiful flower, happy; ill loved one, unhappy; surprise money, happy.

In fact, our happiness depends on whether we choose or don’t choose the happiness. 

As Michael A. Singer points out in his book, The Untethered Soulwe unnecessarily waste a lot of energy resisting:

“. . . you’re generally using your will to resist one of two things: that which has already happened or that which hasn’t happened yet. You are sitting inside resisting impressions from the past or thoughts about the future.”

We are so busy pining for the life we wish we had, that we forget to enjoy the life we actually have. 

No matter what happens, may you enjoy a happy summer.

Happiness

Happiness

The difference between happy and glowing: Giving

This past week I had the privilege of writing an article about a woman from my church. Jean volunteers for a long list of organizations, giving to others in different ways. As she bakes, delivers meals to seniors, quilts, and tackles her many other labours of love, she glows with energy and good spirit. When I asked her why she does all she does, she said, “It makes me feel good. I get back so much more than I give.”

Another friend of mine volunteers for Canadian Red Cross. He supports people in need in his own community, and he travels to countries in crisis around the globe. When he speaks of this work, he glows. “I get back so much more than I give,” he says.

I have heard that refrain over and over in my life, from people aglow with the joy of hands-on giving.

After my conversation with Jean, I thought about other people I know who have stable jobs and who probably give to charity, but who don’t give of themselves in a close contact way. They golf every Saturday, or they enjoy fine dining, or they spend most weekends at their cottage.

I would never say these people aren’t happy. If I were to ask them if they are happy, they would say yes. What is the difference then?

The difference is the glow: The merely happy people pass through life content; the others glow with a giving contact high.

The question then: Do I want to be merely happy, or do I want to glow?

Mud-splattered and glowing in Bolivia

Arlene – Mud-splattered and glowing on a Habitat for Humanity build in Bolivia