How Do You Define What Happiness Means To You?

feeling happy

What Is The Real Definition Of Happiness?

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us. “
Helen Keller

Happiness means something different to everyone but as its very root, finding happiness is what everyone is searching for. The very definition of being happy is to be satisfied, contented, and fulfilled in whatever you are doing at the moment.

But happiness is not defined by momentary pleasures. We want to go much deeper than that. We want something that is sustainable, something that stays with us and something we can access at any time we want.

Now, let’s take a look at the literal definition from Webster’s dictionary to see how it defines happiness.

It states that happiness is:

  1. A : a state of well-being and contentment : joy
  2. B : a pleasurable or satisfying experience

Definition A is important to you to understand as it uses a keyword that most people do not fully understand… that being joy!

Joy is something most people think of as a synonym for happiness but it gets to the heart of what we feel as opposed to what we experience.

Joy is not about pleasure or stimulation that makes us feel good. Joy is the embodiment of love. It is what’s left over when pleasure and contentment are gone. It’s what God has given to us as a gift that we must cherish.

In Lamentations 3:17, we feel the heartache when we lose our happiness. “My soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is.”

But true happiness comes from God. Despite all the problems, Romans 12:12 tells us, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

According to author Donna Labermeier in an article she wrote entitled, “Do We Really Know What Joy Is?” she speaks of the true nature of joy when she writes, “Joy is a sustained, elevated, super-fast vibrating energy that most people are not at all used to. A state of true joy reveals an eagerness and enthusiasm for life that many dear souls have probably never felt before.”Is that the kind of happiness you seek?”

Joy takes happiness to a new level. It’s what is inside of each and every person yet most don’t know how to access it and even worse, don’t know how to enjoy it

Do you want to get an immediate boost to your happiness? Listen to the MP3 below for the real secret.

What Does Happiness Mean To You?

“Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond to it.”
Lou Holtz

Everyone wants to be happy but do you know what happiness means to you? Do you know what it takes to make you happy?

Are you living the life you imagined you’d live? So often, we look back on our lives and wish we could have done things differently. We wished we could have avoided the painful things we encountered while enjoying the little things a bit more.

King Solomon built some of the most beautiful projects known to man. He had at his disposal all the money a man could ever want and used it to bring happiness to himself. After taking a serious look at what he had built, he lamented on the sheer waste of it all as he finally understood the principal of searching for joy when it was already there through the love of God.

“Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done… and found it to be nothing but vanity and a striving after wind” Ecc 2:1-12.

This is how many of us look at happiness. We gather up riches here on earth yet none of it makes sense until we take a long look at our lives and what these possessions have given us.

What’s truly important to you?

What is the one thing you can’t live without? Is it love? Friendship? Your family? Your job? Whatever it is, that’s what you will focus on. If you focus on things that don’t fulfill you then they will take up valuable real estate in your heart and will waste your time, money, and your feelings.

Download “How Do You Define What Happiness Means To You?” Cheatsheet Here

How To Find Lasting Joy In Your Happiness

“Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour.”
Walt Whitman

Happiness is like a game for most people. They go on a mad scramble to find lasting happiness yet they never finish playing the game. All the things they think will make them happy are disposable and move on to the next thing they think will fill their hearts.

Let me tell you why all of this is in vain. In fact, let God tell you in his own words and you will see why joy is what you are really lacking.

Treasures in Heaven

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

Joy is short-lived if it is done with selfish intent. Real joy comes from investing ourselves in the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Pastor Dr. D. W. Ekstrand brings this out beautifully in his article, “Genuine Joy And Happiness” when he writes, “A Christian’s joy can be just as short-lived as anyone else’s, if he seeks it for itself as the world does. Biblical joy is a fruit, a byproduct, an additional blessings, not an end in itself. It flows into and grows within the person whose life and energies are not focused merely on being “joyful.” The lives of those in this world who so zealously chase after it prove this point. If they are still chasing it, then they must not have it!  On the other hand, when we follow God’s prescription, He feeds us in such a way that we experience real joy and satisfaction.”

How are you feeding this joy? Is it with the fruit of the world or the fruit of the Holy Spirit?

If everything you do comes from a genuine love of the Jesus Christ then joy will follow you all the days of your life. You will not descend into the depths of debauchery but be lifted through the unconditional love that God shows you.

It’s so easy to get caught up in this world. The problems, the acrimony, the greed, the jealousy, and the gossip. We waste so much of our time on things that bring no sense of joy. Instead, we let life and society dictate our own brand of happiness.

Think about it. Are you able to enjoy yourself to the fullest knowing that someone might make a comment on what you are doing that you may not like or appreciate? Does what others say or believe influence your happiness?

I hope not! But let’s be real here for a minute. If you enjoy things that others don’t, doesn’t it make sense to to find others that enjoy the same things you do and enjoy it with them? Why let others spoil what gives you pleasure.

Let me give you an example of this. When my brother and I hit our early twenties, we finally had enough money to go to Comic Con in New York City. Comic Con is a festive held in both New York City and San Diego where fans of comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, movies and science fiction go to enjoy themselves. Some people dress up as their favorite movie and comic characters while others go to soak up the atmosphere.

As we are big science fiction fans (Star Wars and Star Trek to name just a few), we went to meet some of the cast members and enjoy the festivities. When we told some people we were going, we got some funny looks and one person even commented, “Why would you want to go there for?”

I will never forget that. They tried to spoil our fun because they thought it was stupid to waste our time there. Happiness doesn’t depend on what others think or believe. It should come from deep inside. As a writer, I wanted to go to understand what made these movies, shows and characters click. It was a chance to meet our heroes.

God knows what makes us happy and puts things in our life to enjoy them. He wants us to be happy. He doesn’t want us depressed or feeling like life is a drag. We tend to forget what God wants for us and go off and do our own thing until we realize God has other plans for us.

Going to Comic Con inspired me to take my writing to another level. God was leading me in a direction and I followed. Why is this important?

We read it in Psalm 16:11 where David encourages us to seek out God’s joy. “Thou will make known to me the path of life; in Thy presence is fullness of joy; in Thy right hand there are pleasures forever” 

Now, does that sound like a God who doesn’t care whether we’re happy or not? Of course not. He is guiding us and watching over us all the time and through this, He offers his joy which brings us the true pleasures of the world.

Where would you be if you had to do everything yourself and no help whatsoever in accomplishing your goals in life?

Probably not too happy but when you allow Jesus to guide you and show you what real joy is then you can experience happiness in a brand new light.

The Purpose Of Joy

“Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits.”
Thomas Jefferson

Without joy, it would be a pretty boring world wouldn’t it? Day after day, slogging through life without any hope at all. That’s not what God offers us.

In fact, there’s a purpose to God’s joy. He want to bring us close to Himself where He can bring out the best in us. Pastor Dr. D. W. Ekstrand says it best when he writes, “Biblical joy is inseparable from our relationship with God, and springs from our knowledge and understanding of the purpose of life and the hope of living with God for eternity when there will be joy evermore. Joy is the sign that life has found its purpose and its reason for being.” 

Have Passion

From the article, “Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old” author Eric Barker talks about happiness and purpose. He states, “People who have purpose in life are not only happier and healthier —  they live longer.” He goes on to say, “What drives you? What inspires you? Feed that now and reap the benefits later. Don’t have hobbies — have passions.”

We are all equipped to be happy. The problem is, we don’t give in to our passions we give up our passions to make a living. It’s when we combine them that we find our happiness and the joy of life.

“Many people are alive but don’t touch the miracle of being alive.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

That quote by Thich Nhat Hanh explains why most of us are not happy and don’t feel the joy in our life. You’ve got to live to be happy. Happy people enjoy the life God has given them. They are not just actors in their life but actually live out their passions.

If you want to define happiness and joy, it all comes down to this: Joy is a response to God’s word. Pastor Rick Warren chimes in with his definition which I like the best because it brings us to the heart of how joy works.

“Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.”

What is your definition of happiness and joy and are you a living example of it?

Let me know in the comments section how you feel about being happy.

How Do You Define Happiness

5 Amazing Ways God Can Help You Start Living A Happier Life

happy place

Finding Happiness in Life Despite The Ups And Downs

“Cry. Forgive. Learn. Move on. Let your tears water the seeds of your future happiness.” 
Steve Maraboli

Everyone wants the dream of living a happy and healthy life without all the stress and grief that comes with it. Unfortunately, not everyone is equipped to handle the everyday problems that make finding happiness a real chore.

Even if your life seems to be stuck in a rut where everything is going wrong, there are ways to instantly boost your level of happiness and enjoy what life has to offer you. You may not be able to get rid of all the stress that’s affecting you but there are ways to keep stressful feelings and reactions at bay so it doesn’t ruin your happiness and severely affect your lifestyle.

Regardless of your circumstances, joy is truly present in your life… you just have to look for it. God has given you everything you need to be happy but for some of us, we forget many of those blessings when we go through tough times.

For me, I look to Jesus first for my joy even in the midst of all my pain and suffering. Having nearly died in two separate car accidents I am grateful for the life I have now despite the physical pain from the 2 major back operations I’ve had to endure.

Life isn’t easy but that doesn’t mean happiness should be cast aside. As Christians, God has called us to lead happy lives filled with His joy not the fleeting happiness of a corrupt society that has very little to offer.

In this article, you’ll discover 5 amazing ways God can help you start living a happier life right now. And, you’ll be better off for learning this in the long run.

#1 Way To Living A Happier Life

1- It’s Not What’s On The Outside But What’s On The Inside That Really Matters

Remember, people care about you because of you, not what you own. All the money in the world cannot buy you lasting happiness if God is not part of who you are. Most of the time, we try to fill that void in our lives by buying things to make us happy but after awhile, those things lose their appeal. All you’re really doing is throwing money down that void trying to fill it with worthless junk.

Look at all the rich and powerful celebrities over the years who have died from overdosing on drugs, chasing fame and got caught up in a life filled with sex, booze and lost everything they had. They are lost souls who put their salvation in the hands of the devil and ended up with nothing.

If you base your happiness on strictly what you own, you’re losing a long and painful battle. Too many people are slaves to the newest technology, designer clothes and latest cars, all to make themselves look good to other people. However, people like you for the person you are on the inside.

Think about all the good you have done for others. How you’ve treated them over the years and been there when they needed you. Was it because of your money? Of course not. Friendship doesn’t care about money. It goes much deeper than that.

So, what does God say about this?

In Luke 12:15, we are told about greed. “Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

Once again we read it in Proverbs 23:4-5 where it states, “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.”

It’s not about how much money but what you do with it that is important to God. Money and possessions are worthless it you are not a good steward with them. You have two choices to decide…

  1. Let money rule over you
  2. You rule over your money

God has given you so many things to be grateful for so enjoy what he has given. His unconditional love is filled with all the joy you need.

Let go of the notion that your worth depends upon your possessions and look to God for your true version of happiness.

#2 Way To Living A Happier Life

“He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.”
Marcus Aurelius

2- Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

“Comparison is the theft of joy.”
Theodore Roosevelt

Want the secret to happiness? Stop comparing yourself to others because you’ll always feel like you cannot measure up. This is a surefire way to ruin your happiness and live a life filled with lack. We all have problems and even though no two people are the same, we have this bad habit of comparing ourselves and our lives to others without knowing what these people are going through. The problem is, it’s like comparing apples and bananas. They’re both fruits but that’s where the comparison ends.

God doesn’t want us to worry about what others have. According to author Cindi McMenamin, “Comparison is an ugly game. Jesus warned us not to get caught up in it, especially when it came to how we “look” religiously.”

This game is never played on equal footing. Remember the Pharisee in Luke 18:9-14? He compared himself to the tax collector but Jesus put him in his place when he said:

“To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

We all have different strengths and weaknesses and because of this we must recognize the opportunity to practice humility when it presents itself. We’re never going to live up to our version of others so we need to rely on God’s opinion rather than the opinion of others.

Comparison all based on our insecurities and when we let those insecurities run wild, that’s when jealousy, self pity and greed come into play.

Cindi goes on to explain why we compare when she states, “You and I compare ourselves to others out of our insecurity. We hope to feel better about ourselves if we end up ahead. We also compare because of our competitive or perfectionist nature – we have the desire to be right, perfect, or just better than another. But comparison rarely leads to humility, which pleases God and saves us the stress of constantly running our measuring stick over others in front of us.”

When you stop comparing yourself to others, you’ll notice you become a much happier person.

#3 Way To Living A Happier Life

“If you aren’t grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more.” 
Roy T. Bennett

3- Do What You Love

Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Those 17 words can be the difference between a life of mediocrity that you hate doing and a life filled with happiness and excitement.

God has given each one of us certain gifts and talents that when used properly, can do His will on earth while helping us fuel our passions. Your job, as Mission Impossible states, should you choose/decide to accept it, is to find a passion that both excites you and uses your gifts for the glory of God.

According to author Ruth Zive, “Our truest passions emerge in childhood, only to be squelched by real life pressures. So think about what you loved long before you had to worry about your career. Getting back in touch with those instincts is an important step in finding your passion.”

Studies show that happy people tend to earn higher salaries because they have jobs they love. I know the job you have now pays the bills but what is your heart aching to do? What is it that makes you get up in the morning and motivates you?

You might think you’re stuck with what you have but the yearning you have is telling you something. Everyone who went into business and did something they loved had a job to pay the bills but they broke out of their comfort zone and made things happen. Success and happiness go together but if you aren’t doing what you love you’ll get neither of them.

Everyday life experiences are where you learn how to live but you can’t live in a classroom all your life. There’s comes a time when you have to get out on your own and ultimately do what makes you happy.

If you listen to what others say you’ll stay stuck in the same old grind but listen to Steve Jobs when he says, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”

Don’t settle for mediocrity. That’s where unhappiness lives. Make the decision to do what you love and happiness and joy will always challenge you to be a better person!

Download Your “5 Amazing Ways God Can Help You Start Living A Happier Life” Cheatsheet Here

staying happy

#4 Way To Living A Happier Life

“Indeed, man wishes to be happy even when he so lives as to make happiness impossible.”
St. Augustine

4- Be A More Prayerful Person

Are you surprised by this selection? Most people only pray when they’re going through tough times but God asks us to pray unceasingly. We read this in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 where is states,Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

If God asks you to rejoice and pray then it must be important. The happiness comes in communion with God. Whenever you’re down, seek out His compassion and His love. It’s there that you will find His joy.

Here’s a quote from St. Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney, the Cure of Ars that explains the point like no other.

“Prayer is nothing else than union with God. When our heart is pure and united to God, we feel within ourselves a joy, a sweetness that inebriates, a light that dazzles us. In this intimate union God and the soul are like two pieces of wax melted together; they cannot be separated. This union of God with His little creature is a most beautiful thing. It is a happiness that we cannot understand. . . God, in His goodness, has permitted us to speak to Him. Our prayer is an incense which He receives with extreme pleasure.” 

When you trust God, it gives you a level of satisfaction you can’t anywhere else. It’s in your daily habit of prayer that you realize how happy God makes you feel, how joyful it feels to be unconditionally loved and to be able to talk to the creator who actually cares what’s going in your life.

Even as everything around you is falling apart, God is watching over you and that is something you can count on..

So what does joy mean to you?

Michael Youssef, Ph.D. says that “Joy is a spiritual result of our focus on God. It is tied to our salvation and our walk with Christ.”

Studies have shown that those who pray are much happier people that is why your prayer life is critical to your state of happiness.

#5 Way To Living A Happier Life

“Happiness consists more in conveniences of pleasure that occur everyday than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom.”
Benjamin Franklin

5- Be In A Permanent Fellowship With God

Happiness is in God’s nature. He wants you to be happy and knows what is best for you. Too often, we think we know what will make us happy but in the long run, we end us sad and unfulfilled. We give into sin to experience momentary happiness but that’s not where true happiness lives.

Wes Adams says that “We are exchanging the happiness and joy of fellowship with God for the “fleeting pleasures of sin”

This is why you need to take a big stand on what actually makes you happy. Is it what God wants of you? Is it what God has planned for you.

Just because it makes you feel good doesn’t mean it’s right for you. When we veer away from real fellowship with God we’re like a car who loses a wheel and goes off the road. We need God to fix that tire and bring us back onto the right pathway filled with his love and care.

Wes goes on to say “Jesus shocks us by saying the happy ones are those who:”

  • are poor in spirit
  • mourn
  • are meek
  • hunger and thirst for righteousness
  • are merciful
  • are pure in heart
  • are peacemakers
  • are persecuted for righteousness sake.

Happiness is different for everyone but God sees things differently. He wants us happy but He also wants us to be holy. That’s most important thing important on His agenda.

We forget that GOD IS THE TRUE SOURCE of our happiness and that He will lead us down the pathway of righteousness but author Eddie Foster gives us this to think about when he writes, “Because happiness so often seems to be elusive, people often try to find it in all the wrong places. Many times they fall for an artificial happiness that they create with behaviors that give temporary pleasure.”

Anyone can find pleasure but true and lasting  happiness can only be found in God. Without Him, you’ll bounce from one thing to another always trying to feed that insatiable appetite for happiness. Instead, seek out God’s unconditional love and you’ll find the type of joy that will give you real contentment.

So there you have it – 5 ways God can help you start living a happier life right now.

What do you think?

Let me know how God has impacted your level of happiness and what you are doing right now to seek His joy.

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