Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Secret of Happiness

The secret of happiness is a great mystery to many people, constantly searching for joy in everyday life. I've heard people say: "When I finally graduate from college, then my life will be better." "I'll truly be happy when I get a better job." "As soon as my new home is built, I know I'll be more content." "I know I'll be happier if I move and have new experiences."

When we're feeling discontent, we tend to think a change in our lives is the answer to happiness. But after landing that new job or moving into a new home, are we truly happy? That may not be the answer we hoped for. We need to make our own happiness and enjoy what we have.

Does "love" have anything to do with joy? Victor Hugo seems to think so. He said, "The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves."

Our lifestyle can also be a factor, whether we're content or miserable. Joy can't be bought or traded. If we live a good and righteous life, chances are that our lives will be happier and we'll feel more satisfaction.

What is the secret of happiness? Rabindranath Tagore Wrote, "I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was duty. I acted, and behold--Duty was joy." Royden G. Derrick said it differently: "Happiness is a byproduct of helping others."

Is joy all about duty? Are we happier when we help others? "To find real happiness, we must seek for it in a focus outside ourselves. No one has learned the meaning of living until he has surrendered his ego to the service of his fellowmen," said Thomas S. Monson. "Service to others is akin to duty, the fulfillment of which brings true joy."

Is true joy thinking of others and their happiness? How about a simple and sincere smile or greeting? I've noticed it's quite effective. I suspect it's because friendliness uplifts us, makes us feel warm inside. When someone goes out of his way to greet us, it feels mighty good. Smiles are contagious. They tend to spread from person to person. If you smile at a baby, he automatically smiles back. Did you know that a frown uses 87 muscles? To smile, we use 13 muscles. With those 13 muscles we can uplift others.

The secret of happiness has puzzled many people. Whether joy can be found in righteous living, a belief that we are loved, or a byproduct of serving others, you can't deny the fact that a simple smile or greeting can make a difference in our lives. Perhaps the real secret of happiness is smiling.

Remember: "Those who bring sunshine into the life of others cannot keep it from themselves." - Anonymous.

Copyright 2007. Written by Linda Weaver Clarke, author of Melinda and the Wild West, a Semi-finalist for the ?Reviewers Choice Award 2007.? To contact the author, go to

Linda Weaver Clarke received her Bachelor of Arts Degree at Southern Utah University in 2002. She writes articles for several newspapers and teaches a Writing Workshop, encouraging others to turn their family history into a variety of interesting stories. She is also an Aid for the ESL program, helping the Spanish-speaking children in grade school. She has written a historical/fiction love story, Melinda and the Wild West, published by American Book Publishing. This book was a Semi-finalist for the Reader Views ?Reviewers Choice Award 2007.? This novel is the first of five in a family saga. Linda is happily married and is the mother of six daughters and has four grandchildren.

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