How to Become Happy

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Psychologists have spent decades trying to understand what makes us happy.
Anxiety, tension, and depression infiltrate our lives like termites on wood.
As soon as we satisfy the biological urge to procreate our species, what's left? Are we sacrificing our lives away only to be rewarded by a firm handshake from the Grim Reaper when the time comes? Is the goal to pass the finish line of life as fast as we can, swing open the pearly gates, and anxiously ask St.
Peter, "what for?" "Man, unlike the animals, has never learned that the sole purpose of life is to enjoy it.
" -Samuel Butler So busy living our lives, we lose sight of what's truly important--to enjoy it! The purpose of life becomes blurred with everyday inconveniences.
So consumed and wrapped up in living our lives, we focus on what we want next and then decide who's to blame when we don't get it.
Frantically climbing over one another to get to the next rung on a ladder that's suspended against nothing, and leading to nowhere, we fall prey to rising expectations that don't ever have a chance of matching reality.
Frustration levels rise like a thermometer in an open fire.
The battle scars of stress slowly etch a serious expression onto our faces.
The obligatory facial wrinkles are reminders of the hard time we've served from a continual bombardment of life's trials and tribulations.
Sadly, we lose the ability to laugh at ourselves and others.
Life's offerings go unappreciated and we lose the ability to find joy.
We live like a clam sealed shut, as we become numb and tune out life.
Finding joy is like searching for your best friend in a thick London fog.
You call out for happiness, and all you hear is a melancholy echo of silence.
Happiness is not only evasive, it's illusive.
In our quest, we must first ask ourselves the basic question, "What is happiness?" Is it winning a million dollars in the lottery or a big hit at the slot machines of your favorite casino? Can wealth buy it or maybe even rent it? Is happiness contingent on having a successful job or career? Is personal joy related to having a family to come home to? Can it be as simple as enjoying the simple things that life has to offer? Can watching a sunset, enjoying a home cooked meal, or reading a thought-provoking book make us happy? Can an afternoon stroll in the park or a trip to the beauty salon provide bliss? What about a nice seven course meal--a six-pack of beer and a hamburger? Jefferson said it well in the Declaration of Independence when he wrote, "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
" How many folks follow the last part of his advice? Years ago a roof overhead and a nice hot meal on the table were enough to make anyone happy.
Today, jumping out of a perfectly good airplane is countered by someone else saying, "Big deal!", or "So what's next?" The rewards of success have given rise to a society where more is less, and much more can never be enough.
We keep reaching for that which is always out of reach.
Amazingly, our education forgets to teach us the most important thing in life--how to be happy! Maybe Grandpa did walk twenty miles in the snow to get to school.
Yet junior climbs into the back seat of your Porsche and scolds you for not driving aggressively enough.
"Come on Dad, we're going to be late for baseball practice.
Step on it!" The fact that the bar continues to rise is proof that we live in a society where our insatiable urge for more and more, decays into a frustrating feeling of having less and less.
Can happiness truly exist over the long term? Or is it short-lived? Does it need continual refreshment to keep it stimulating and alive? Those who pursue the fast track to happiness find the short cut all right.
The only problem is that they run off the road with their reliance on drugs and alcohol.
Their reward is blowing a mental tire at high speed.
Society places guilt among those who pursue hedonistic pleasures.
How can we possibly enjoy our well-deserved rewards without receiving the punishing feelings of guilt along with it? "If you can't have happiness, then what else is there?" What is happiness anyway? Some psychologists say it's momentary joy as well as a feeling of lasting contentment.
Can it magically materialize when you melt into the couch and begin your channel surfing love dance with the TV? The experts say that inactivity will destroy the best of us.
You've heard of the story where a person works their entire life in anticipation of retirement.
Two years in the rocking chair watching grass grow in the backyard, and this person suddenly turns into good fertilizer for that same grass.
A decaying corpse of human mulch, you sacrificed your life away until it was too late to reap the harvest you worked so hard to accumulate.
Worse, Junior takes your 401K earnings and blows it on a cruise around the world with his body pierced, tattoo painted, trophy of a girlfriend.
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