Give it away and you’ll get more back

October 26, 2021

A couple of quotes that I’ve collected just seemed to go together today –

“Happiest are the people who give most happiness to others.” — Denis Diderot, French philosopher.

“Happiness never decreases by being shared.” –   Gautama Buddha

Your own happiness is something that you can share without it decreasing at all. In fact, it will increase as it is reflected off those with whom you have shared it. Have you ever noticed that, when you make someone else happy, you feel happier too? First it makes you feel good to share your own happiness and then you get to see their happy reaction and that makes you feel even better.

One could substitute the word “love” for happiness in the above statements and they would still work and be true. In fact, happiness may just be the externalization of love – love of yourself and others. Love does not make one disgruntled, sad, or angry. Love brings a smile to one’s face, not a frown. So, when you share your happiness, you are sharing your love.

The observation by Gautama Buddha is also true of love. You do not decrease your happiness by sharing it with others.  In fact, sharing your love with others is additive because you also get to enjoy some of their love in return. In the case of marriages, the effect is even more pronounced, and the impact of that shared love is even greater than the sum of the two. That love grows exponentially when the marriage produces children.

The first thing is to get yourself in a happy frame of mind. A good way to do that is to start each day with a little prayer thanking God for giving you another day, accepting His forgiveness and love, and asking Him to be with you throughout the day. That ought to make you happy.

Then, see if you can share some of your happiness with others today. See if what the quotes above have stated isn’t true. Could you feel the happiness that you gave to others coming back to you? Did sharing your happiness with someone else make you feel any less happy; or did it in fact add to your happiness?

There’s a little children’s ditty that goes, “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands”. You probably know the other verses too. Well, today let a new verse rattle around in your head, “If you’re happy and you know it, share with others.”

Try it, you’ll like it. Be happy. Share your happiness. Don’t worry about running out, you receive happiness back. Have a great and happy day!

Find happiness in today…

July 26, 2021

I have been saving this quote for a while – “Never forget yesterday, but always live for today…because you never know what tomorrow can bring, or what it can take away.”  (Tiny Buddha)

Of course, it came from a post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog, my favorite source for quotes.

I decided to use it today because of the stories over the weekend of various Olympic athletes who have had to withdraw from the competition because of testing positive for the COVID virus. Imagine how disappointing it must be for someone who has trained for 5 years for their opportunity (the extra year because of the delay of the games in 2020), only to be denied the chance to even compete at the last minute.

For one competitor, it must have been especially disappointing. John Rahm was at the Olympics to represent Spain. Rahm, you may remember, was forced to withdraw from the Memorial Golf tournament just a little over a month ago because of testing positive for COVID. He came back to win the US Open in his next outing and has been ranked number 1 or 2 in the world for some time.

In some of the interviews with disqualified athletes the disappointment of the moment had passed and they were already in the mode of training for the “next time”. For them, living in the moment means finding happiness in the small successes and improvements that come from a daily training routine and from knowing that they were doing their best.  Rahm expressed such an attitude after his withdrawal from the Memorial tournament.

We must all learn to accept and build upon the past, whether that is to continue improving or to learn from a failure and move on. It is OK to have goals and dreams that are out in the future. That helps motivate us. However, it is really important that we focus on living for today, doing the best that you can in the time that you will have today. Tomorrow may never come for some. For others tomorrow may provide nothing but setbacks or may prove to be a time of breaking through to a new level.

So, if we cannot change the past and we cannot control the future, that leaves us with just the present in which to find happiness. What we do with today is all that really matters and we can control that, or at least make good decisions as the day unfolds. Living in the moment means paying attention to the things, people and events around you as you encounter them. It means finding fulfilment and joy in what you do. It means being happy just to be alive and finding peace within yourself and with others.

Perhaps you can get into the proper frame of mind to live in the moment if you start with a little prayer thanking God for giving you another day. You woke up this morning and that is a great start to the day. After you thank God for another day, ask Him for His help to make this a great day; a day that you live to the fullest. You don’t have to forget yesterday, just put it where it belongs – in your past – and you shouldn’t spend too much time thinking or worrying about tomorrow – it will get here when it gets here.

Rather, let yourself become immersed in today. Take in the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of today. Relish the opportunities to interact with other people. Become more aware of what new things you are experiencing or learning as the day progresses. Savor the day, for it is all the time that you really have. At the end of the day, you can take time to thank God for being with you and helping you enjoy the time. That would be a good time to ask Him for another day.

What will you do with today? What happiness will you find in today?

By number four, you’ll be ready to face the day.

May 14, 2021

I started thinking this morning about what makes people happy and how to be happier all the time. I think happiness begins with being thankful.

First, when you wake up in the morning, you can be thankful that God gave you another day to live. That did not happen for everyone today, so start with that and let it make you happy.

Second, you can be thankful and happy with who you are. I’ve written here a few times about how important it is to love yourself, before you can love others. Accepting and embracing who you are and being happy about being you is critical. What ever was in your past, remember that God loves you no matter what, so allow yourself to love you, too.

Third, you can be thankful and satisfied (and thus happy) with what you have and not envious of what other s have or covetous about things that you don’t have. We have been told –

“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.”  (Matthew 6:31-32)

By the time that you get to thinking about the fourth thing to be thankful for that makes you happy you’ll just be happy about everything and in the proper mood to face the day.

Maybe this technique for happiness works because it displaces the things that make us unhappy, such as  envy, greed, self-doubt and insecurity.

The choice is really up to you each day. If you wake up and decide that you’d rather be happy today, than to be unhappy; just start thinking about the things that I’ve outline above. Be thankful to God for all that you have and all that you are.

What more could you want? Trust the one who brought you to this point to make the correct path to your future and be happy along the way.

Have a thankful, happy day and a great weekend.

Create some happiness today…

March 17, 2021

This is the last of the quotes from French philosopher Albert Camus that I had saved. I may go find more.

“Against eternal injustice, man must assert justice, and to protest against the universe of grief, he must create happiness.” – Albert Camus

Camus seems to have seen mostly darkness and chaos in the world around him, for many of his quotes focus upon man’s struggle against the forces that Camus saw as being arrayed against him. I don’t buy into the belief that we live in a “universe of grief” or “eternal injustice”; nonetheless, I do see the need to create happiness where none may exist around us.

Rather than grief, I think we live in a universe that has tipped dangerously towards ignorance, cynicism, and hate. Instead of proven knowledge too many embrace conspiracy theories. Far too many have substituted disbelief for beliefs (religious or otherwise). And, for many, prejudices and hate have displaced welcoming friendship and relationships. In this universe there is an obvious need to create happiness.

But, how does one “create happiness?” I would submit that you can create happiness for others by turning what you would hope for and expect for yourself into what you offer to others. Instead of turning your eyes away and rushing by the stranger on the street, greet them with a smile and a friendly “Hello”. Instead of pushing your way through the door first, hold it open for the next person. Instead of ignoring the person in obvious pain or need, stop and ask if you can help. Doing something, instead of ignoring everything and everyone around you, is an important step to creating happiness.

Another way to create happiness is to live your life in such a way as to inspire others. If you are a positive, upbeat person, you will find that people flock to you because they want to associate with someone who appears to be happy. They hope to learn the secret for happiness from you or at least that maybe some of your happiness with “rub off” on to them.

In a world that seems adrift in cynicism, the occasional islands of the happily self-assured people that we meet offer refuge from the negativism and hatefulness that is so prevalent. It has been my observation that most of those happy people that I have encountered are people of faith. They are not evangelists standing on soap boxes in the park quoting scripture and preaching to the crowd; but, rather, they are people whose very lives demonstrate the power and impact of God. They live their faith every day. It makes them happy and it makes them attractive to others.

This morning, as you pause to thank God for giving you another day, ask Him to help you spread happiness in an unhappy world by living in such a way that others find joy in having encountered you.

Create some happiness today.

Make someone happy today

March 3, 2020

Today is national I want to make you happy day. In his Jack’s Winning Words blog post today, Pastor Freed used this quote – “Making one person smile can change the world, maybe not the whole world, but their world.”  (Unknown) 

The person who created I want to make you happy day is also anonymous.

We really shouldn’t need a special day to celebrate making others happy. Imagine how nice the world would be if we all set out each day to make others happy. In fact, one of the side benefits of making others happy is that it makes us happy, too. Not only do you get the satisfaction of affecting someone else in a positive and uplifting way; but you also get to enjoy the pleasant environment that his or her smiles create. In effect, by making them happy, you make yourself happy, too. It’s a win-win situation.

I have a friend who calls himself a Happiness Coach. He’s a self-proclaimed life coach who focuses upon helping people understand how to work at making their marriages more satisfying. He draws upon his own life experiences to help others. A primary focus of his is helping the partners better realize what they are doing or not doing to make their marriage more fulfilling and happy.

One does not have to be a life coach to make someone happy; however, it does require making the effort to reach out to that other person with the intent of helping them be happy. It might involve a kind word or greeting, or maybe a hug. Perhaps it is taking the time to listen to the problems that have them down and offering some encouraging advice.  It does usually involve eye contact or a touch. Tossing some change at a beggar sitting on the street does not elicit the same response as pausing to say, “I hope this helps”.

To celebrate I want to make you happy day, start by putting yourself in a happy frame of mind and then make a personal commitment to try to make others happy, too. Put a smile on your own face, as a first step to putting one on the faces of others. Then, resolve that instead of rushing by others without making eye contact, today you will greet them with that smile and an extended hand. You don have to say, “Happy I want to make you happy day!” Just thinking it will help.

Just think of the wake of happiness that you can leave in your wake as you go through the day and the ripple effect that your happiness will cause. Maybe you won’t change the whole world, but your little corner of the world will be a lot happier today.

I hope that I made your day a little happier with this post. Pass it on – it’s I want to make you happy day!

Be happy with what you have…

November 18, 2019

As we approach the Christmas season (which some stores started before Halloween), some focus upon what they don’t have and makes lists of things that they want, in hopes of getting someone to give those things to them. Many of those people  believe that they won’t  be happy until they get all of the things that they want. Back in 2015, I wrote the post below, inspired by a quote from my favorite blog. It still applies, today.

“Just remember there is someone out there that is more than happy with less than what you have.”  (Unknown) From the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

Sadly, we live in a society that conditions us to be unhappy with what we have and to always be striving for more. Whatever we have is not enough to make us happy because someone else has more or different things.  Now there is certainly nothing wrong with striving to get ahead, but one has to stop every now and then and ask, “Ahead of what?” Very few of us live in survival mode, scraping along for our next meal or a place to sleep tonight; but there are those people among us. In general we are able to provide at least food and shelter for our family and for most a good deal beyond just those necessities. But, are we happy with what we have; or, do we constantly want more, in the belief that having more will make us happier?

One of the most unhappy men in the Bible was the man who asked Jesus what he needed to do to get into heaven. When Jesus replied that he should sell everything that he had and give the money to the poor and follow him; the man wandered off unhappily muttering to himself, for we are told that he was very wealthy and obviously did not want to give up that wealth. Are we the same way today? Do we reach and reach and reach for what we don’t have, instead of being happy with what we do have and what would we do if Jesus asked us to sell everything that we have, give the money to the poor and follow him? Jesus might be a pretty lonely guy in today’s world.

The key to being happy with what you have, it seems to me, is to change your focus from things to people, from possessions to relationships, from those that you’d love to be like to those who love you as you are. Learn to express your love for them without holding out a gift of some sort or buying a new possession to share with them. If you ever get to an honest state with them, they’d probably tell you that they could care less about your car or your house or your boat or any other of your possessions. What they value is your time and attention; your love and affection; you sharing of yourself and not your possessions.

What happens when you get to that state of understanding and happiness with your loved ones is that you grant yourself permission to be happy with what you have. That doesn’t mean that you just quit your job or don’t accept the next promotion or even stop looking for a bigger house someday. Giving yourself permission to be happy with what you’ve got just means that you will no longer use the pursuit of possessions as the measure of your life and your happiness. You stop keeping score on that scorecard, because you’ve started keeping score based upon the smiles on the faces of the one that you love; and those smiles come because you were there sharing your love and not because of what you brought with you. Once you change to that focus getting the next possession will be much less important to than attending the next little league game or the father daughter dance or maybe going out to dinner with your significant other.

Dale Carnegie  put it well when he said – “Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.”

May you find happiness in what you have. Then, it will be a merry Christmas indeed.

Are you happy with what you get?

April 15, 2019

“Success is getting what you want.  Happiness is wanting what you get.”  (Dale Carnegie) – as seen in today’s post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

Sometimes I think back to the simpler times of my childhood – ancient times, before smartphones or the Internet or even television. Wow. That is ancient. Yet, we were happy female soccer playeras children running around the neighborhood playing cowboys and Indians or cops and robbers or just hide and go seek. We were happy with what we got and did not spend our time wanting things that we didn’t have. Perhaps ignorance was bliss, since we didn’t have the ubiquitous Internet and Google to show us all of the things that we didn’t have. We just had fun and that was enough for us. We couldn’t wait for the next day, so be able to get out and play again. Nobody sat around with their head down, staring at a tiny screen.

It is harder these days for kids to just be kids and have fun. Even babies are often parked in their Bubble seats in front of TV screens, which serve as electronic babysitters and provide visual distraction. Young children, sometimes not even old enough for pre-school, are handed electronic tablets with simple, cute games on them to occupy their selfie 2time and keep them quiet. It’s no wonder that by the time they are old enough to go to school they have become completely hooked on electronics for their entertainment and as their source of information. It’s somewhat sad to think that there are only 1-2 generations alive today that did not grow up in the electronic age and who remember what we did to entertain ourselves before all of the electronics came along.

Getting back to the quote of the day, are you constantly chasing the things that you think you want; or, are you happy with the things that you have? In his post today, Jack went on to write about Loretta Lynn’s title song in the movie Coal Miner’s Daughter, in which she sings “We were poor but we had love  That’s the one thing that daddy made sure of.” That song makes the point that it is in our relationships with others that we find true mother with childhappiness. After all, you can’t have a relationship with a thing that you might want. Hugging your new car will never satisfy like hugging your wife and kids – they hug back.

Perhaps, it is that insight into what is important in life that allows some to be happy with what they get. They focus upon the relationships in their life – the love that they receive from and give to others –rather than upon material things. The happiness that they can recall is usually centered around events and activities with others and not about the car that they were in or the house that they happened to own at the time. Good times are almost always about sharing things with others – activities, events, milestones or whatever.

So, one can be successful and attain lots of material things that they may have wanted; but to be happy usually has less to do with those things than with the people around us with whom we share life’s events. If you focus upon those people, instead of things; you will find that you are happy with what you get, because you had them there to share it with you.

Start by putting down that phone and looking to see who is around you. Instead of couple-looking-at-phonestexting “WYD?” to someone that you can’t see; start a conversation with someone that you can see. It may be hard at first, actually talking to someone; but you’ll get the hang of it and you’ll probably find it to be a lot more rewarding than staring at a screen and waiting for a reply to your text.  Who knows, maybe that person that you are talking to may become your new BFF.

You can be happy with what you get in life, if you are first happy with those around you when you get it.

Hello. How are you today? Did you have a good weekend? OMG, we’re talking!


Be happy. Let your light shine today…

November 30, 2018

In a recent post to his blog, Jack’s Winning Words, Jack shared this saying from Buddha –

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” 

If you start each day by getting yourself in the right frame of mind – a happy frame of mind, why nor share that with those that you meet. You can be the candle from single candlewhich a thousand other people light their candle and it will not diminish you own happiness one bit. In fact, if you pay attention to the happiness that you might bring to others that will make you even happier.

I have a friend who bills himself as a “Happiness Coach”. Who knew that you needed a coach for happiness? Like many other things in our busy, high-tech, day to day lives; I guess happiness can get lost in the rush towards whatever it is that we think we are pursuing. For most that involves their job and success at work. The focus and intensity that many put on their job and being successful through hard work there definitely can detract from family and other elements of their life, often to the detriment of their happiness.

this-is-meIt is important to realize that happiness in life is not obtained by success at work or the accumulation of money and possessions. Happiness starts with being happy with being you and then extends outward to the joys of sharing that happiness with others. If you cannot get comfortable and happy with who you are as a person, you will be unable to interact with others in a way that makes you and them happier. You must first be able to say, “I like me” before you can say “I like you” to someone else.

Perhaps that is what my friend the Happiness Coach does with the people that he works with. He must first get them to light their own candle of happiness with themselves, before they can go out in the world to share that light and make others happy, too. I’m sure that he also advises them on how to share their happiness with those around them, especially their spruces and families.

A key component of becoming happy with yourself is to stop beating yourself up, to forgive yourself for any past failures or faults. The best way that I know to accomplish that is to get right with God first. If you establish a strong belief in God then you accept that God forgives you all of your sins and faults, and accepts you the way that you are. Once you accept His forgiveness it is easier to forgive yourself and move on. You can tell the coach to put you in the game. You will have lit your candle woman-prayingand now you can focus on sharing your light with others.

Perhaps you could get yourself in that happy state of mind by starting each day with a little prayer time, to reestablish your link to God. There’s a cute little song that you might have learned in Sunday School that starts the words “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.” Be the candle from which others draw their light.

Don’t worry…be happy! Get right with God. Get right with yourself. Let your light shine today.

Make the world a happier place…

July 12, 2018

Today’s post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog is so good that I have to repost the whole thing…

“Happiness starts with a smile.”  (Sent by Carol Stanonik)  When you’re on a bus or subway laughter isn’t what you expect.  A Belgian ad agency, working for Coca-Cola, hired an actor to start laughing on a crowded train, with today’s quote as the tagline.  The result showed how happiness can be contagious.  Even a simple smile at someone will often result with one in return.  This world, at times, can be unkind.  Let’s help to make it a happier place.    😉  Jack    Coca-Cola: Happiness starts with a smile – YouTube

You’ve got to play the video.

I recommend that you save that link to the video and play it back every morning before smiling-sunyou start out on your day. It may help put a smile on your face and that will start the process of making the world a happier place.

Be a contagious carrier of happiness today…put a smile on your face.

Happiness is…

February 28, 2018

What is happiness for you? In a recent post to his blog, Jack’s Winning Words, Jack used this quote from Rousseau – “Happiness is a good bank account, a good cook and a good digestion.” Jack went on to explain that Rousseau was not happy with many things of his day and died at age 66 of what might have been a stress induced stroke. Too many of us are on the same path as Rousseau.

There has been tons of stuff written about happiness – what it is and how to achieve it. There are T-shirts with happiness designs on them, many featuring Snoopy from the smiling-sunCharlie Brown comics. Snoopy is often used as the epitome of carefree happiness and a large emoji industry has grown up built upon creating variations of the well-known happy face emoji.

Happiness is a very personal thing. It is different for each of us and largely self-defined. It might be defined as being the absence of fears or concerns or other distractions in our minds. One has only to watch a young child playing contentedly by themselves to “see” happiness. Contentment is a synonym for happiness and a part of the definition of the root word happy.

Many of us seem to know more about being unhappy than we do about being happy. We don’t allow ourselves to feel happy because we focus too much on the things that we don’t have, which we imagine would make us happy. The entire advertising industry was built to play upon those feelings and to encourage us to continue to strive for that happiness by buying the products that they are selling. We tell ourselves, “I’d really be bored2happy if only I had this new car or that bigger house or whatever shiny thing we see on TV”.  Maybe we think that happiness awaits us at that next promotion level at work. Whatever it is; it nags at us and keeps us unhappy. For some there is unhappiness in their personal relationships because they have a nagging feeling that they would be happier with someone else.

So, how do we achieve contentment and happiness? First, we must strip away the concerns of the world for a moment and re-establish the foundation upon which we stand. We may find that we have wandered away from the solid foundation of our faith in Jesus and God out onto the shifting sands of human desires and concerns. Once we stop believing that God is always with us, knows what we need and will provide for our needs; we begin to let human thoughts about what we need and how to get those things drive our lives. We become unhappy with our lot in life and that unhappiness drives woman-prayingus further and further away from God. We must stop and re-center ourselves back on our faith in God.

If you re-center yourself on your faith, you will immediately find that you also have time to enjoy the relationships that you have with your family and friends. You will not be driven away from them by the unhappy pursuit of more stuff, but rather will re-discover the pleasures that you find in the love of others. You will find contentment with your life, rather than being driven to constantly strive for the next thing that seems to always just out of reach. Your faith will allow you to let go of the unhappy thoughts about what you don’t have and find joy and happiness in what you already have.

So, perhaps happiness is a good relationship with God; rather than a good bank account, a good cook and good digestion. At least that definition of happiness makes more sense and it is so easy to achieve, if you will just let God back into your life. You will find peace, rediscover that child-like feeling of contentment, and be happy again. What’s not to like about that?

So, take that pause. Stick your head up for a minute and think about what is driving you. Re-asses your current relationship with God. Is He off somewhere in the distance, somewhere in a church that you visit every so often; or, is he right here with you each and every day. Do you start each day with that little prayer that I like to use, “Not my will mebut thy will be done” or do you set your jaw and head out determined to face the world and its problems on your own? No matter what level of unhappiness you have sunken to, God is that beacon of light that you can still see off in the distance. Head towards His light. Happiness lives there.

Have a great and happy rest of the week.