What is happiness? I would propose that for me and you, happiness is in the heart of the beholder.
WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?
I guess when I think about what really makes me happy I have to think about priorities first. My first priority for happiness is my relationship with God. If my relationship with God is not right, for me nothing else can be right. So, the cornerstone of happiness for me is my relationship with God being what it needs to be. Again, for me and for the rest of us if we believe in God and are honest, if that situation and relationship is not right, nothing else will be either. While everything might not always be the specific way you want it to be or I want it to be in my life, I need to just keep everything in perspective with the big picture. So, the foundation for happiness for me is my relationship with God.
Next for me in the happiness lineup is my relationships with my family. I care for and am concerned about their well-being and I do my best to encourage and help those closest to me. Ultimately, those relationships might not always get all of the time and attention I would like for them to have but I continue to work toward making those relationships what they need to be. I have not always been all that I need in all of those relationships but they know I love them and I always try and do better. Ultimately, relationships with family represent the second layer of happiness in my life.
I will have to say personally, I have let this part of my "happiness" suffer some in recent years. Sometimes, we are so focused on what is out there in front of us, that we fail to acknowledge other things that are important to us too. We have to invest time in friendships to make sure those relationships not only continue but are something that both parties benefit from long term. Sometimes, it is easy to let things that really don't matter get in the way of things that do. Friendships matter. I know in the year to come, I need to give more attention to my friends and being the support and encouragement for them that I should be.
We have to be careful about how this impacts everything else. The time, effort and energy that our work gets can have both positive and negative impact on so many other aspects of our lives. For some people this one is easy. You go to work, put in your 8 hours and then you go home. Tomorrow comes and you do the same thing again. You care about your work and are committed. For others, especially if you are self-employed the hands on the clock are often at times broken. You sometimes forget where the day begins and ends. And when that begins to happen the separation you need for your personal and professional life begins to blur too. But ultimately, there must be balance here for everything to work. All work and no play, you've heard the expression before and it is the truth. We all have to figure out how to make work "work", but not let it consume our lives to experience happiness here too.
THE JUGGLING ACT
Ultimately, I am not perfect and provide full disclosure in saying I am no where close! I do realize that for me to be happy it takes a careful balance of many different aspects of my life. And, for the end result of my life on a daily basis to be "happiness", I have to try and keep everything in perspective and achieve the balance we talk about every week in this blog. So here we are in the grips of the time of year when people often consider their individual "happiness". I propose we should all think about what makes us happy and make sure those "parts" of our life are where they need to be. If correct is needed, set about making it happen. Maybe then, we will concentrate more on things that matter and less on things that don't.