Can We Really Choose Happiness?

I recently saw a video with an elderly African American woman who’d been tested by a group in the field of positive psychology. This field is the study of what is right with us, as opposed to wrong. Her score was a perfect 100. Astonished, these professionals wanted to know the secret to her happiness. She replied:

“I wake up every morning, and I thank God for a new day. For the bed I slept in…that I have clean, running water… soap…food to eat… sunshine.” And on she went describing the simplest things in life that the rest of us urban sophisticates take for granted on a daily basis.

In confess that as I plunge forward in pursuit of my goals and ambitions, I am more more of a “striver” after God’s blessings than a childlike “receiver” of them. When I’m busy chasing something, I am hyper-focused, every minute counts, and contemplating what I already have isn’t on my agenda.

Granted, there’s room for both activities in life, but I’m discovering  that I need to carve out more time to enjoy God’s blessings every day. Isn’t it ironic: What is the goal of our striving anyway except more blessing? Yet, if we do not train that muscle, that capacity to receive, enjoy and be grateful in the present, not only will we miss our daily dose of happiness, could it be that even if God showers us with lavish wonders at some future time, we might too atrophied in our ability to truly enjoy them?

Let us practice counting our blessings, being grateful, and choosing to be happy- today!

What do you think?



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