Do you feel like you are struggling in finding happiness in your life?
Following is a short story, originally shared by Rev. Jackie Holland, Center for Spiritual Living, Boise, about a man that chased happiness for 80 years.
The Unhappy Man Finds Happiness
Once an old man lived in a small village. He was one of the most unfortunate people in the world. The whole village was tired of him, he was perpetually gloomy, constantly complained and was always in a bad mood. The longer he lived, the meaner he became and the more poisonous were his words. People avoided him because his gloominess and misfortune became contagious, and it felt unnatural and insulting to be (or act) happy around him.
But one day, when he was eighty years old, an incredible thing happened. Instantly everyone in the village heard the rumor: “The Old Man is happy today. He doesn’t complain about anything, smiles, and even his face is freshened up.”
The whole village gathered together and asked the old man what had happened to him. “Nothing special,” he answered and continued: “For eighty years I’ve been chasing happiness, and it was a useless chase. And then I decided to live without happiness and just enjoy life. And now, I am happy!”
Have you ever chased happiness? Doesn’t really work very well. You know the ole stories: I’ll be happy when I get a new job; I’ll be happy when I find my soul mate; I’ll be happy when I lose XX pounds; I’ll be happy when ______ (fill in the blank).
Happiness is a choice you make — regardless of your circumstances.
This choice happens when you decide to stop thinking about what you don’t have and start looking at what you do have and can be grateful for in your life.
Do you think for a moment that I did not have a right to be unhappy when our home, and everything in it, burned down last fall? It didn’t matter what I had a right to do! What mattered was my attitude about it.
Honestly, we all have a choice: Live life in misery or decide to be happy. Ups and downs do happen in life, but we have the choice to find and live in happiness through it all!