The number of books written about how to achieve happiness is staggering, and yet, its attainment remains for many, confusing at best. We work hard to achieve happiness. But does that hard work actually benefit us since most don't know how to create and maintain happiness and joy in their lives?
Ninety-eight-percent of over 500 parents I have interviewed said that happiness was the thing they wanted most for their children, yet study after study finds our children more depressed and unhappy than ever before. We struggle to accumulate more; we buy and give to our children only to discover that they respond as if there is never enough. So what is the problem? What is the heinous thief of happiness that no matter how hard we work to insure happiness, this thief steals the joy from us and those we love?
There is a critical concept we are missing as we make our way through libraries of information? As I have studied hundreds of books and articles on this subject, I have discovered the most heinous thief of happiness, and killer of joy is a things that is rampant in our society today, it is a thief named entitlement.
Entitled attitudes and perceptions place limits and conditions on our happiness, and tie it to things that do not last. And all the while, happiness and joy are already ours to choose if we are willing to recognize the myriad of blessings that are real and present in our lives.
True and lasting happiness and joy are not the result of a battle won, or a search completed, but instead it is a cause we choose to live, a way we choose to view our lives through lenses of gratitude and reverence. Happiness requires little of us but to experience gratitude for those things that already exist in our lives that are extraordinary. Most of us while morose and miserable forget the great miracles that we can walk, hear, see, that our organs are functioning properly and we are not starving. Most of us forget that we can easily turn on a faucet and enjoy clean water without walking a mile to carry it back in a vessel on our head.
When we choose to view our lives through lenses of abundance for all of the things that we have become so accustomed to that we now take them for granted, when we choose to continue to see those things like our health, our relationships, our opportunities for the great and magnificent blessings they are, then and only then, is it possible to know the exquisite joy of real lasting happiness.
Do you want to be happy? Then know that nothing is stopping you other than the limits and conditions you place on that happiness. Find gratitude for basic blessings in your life and you will find that joy and happiness flow out from you. After all, happiness begins first and foremost with a grateful heart. ______________________________________________________________________________________