Do you remember having to look up vocabulary words in English class? For me it involved the use of a large hardcover dictionary, for some of you Dictionary.com or a similar website may have been your source. No matter what source was used, you found that most words were not limited to one definition, but often there were multiple meanings.
Happiness is a trending term. It is a broad word that many try to define narrowly. Many self-help books have been written on it, public speakers hold seminars and conferences about it, life coaches offer their services to help guide you to it…..
What does it mean?
Just like many other words, happiness has more than one definition. Dictionary.com gives two: the quality or state of being happy is the first and most basic meaning and the second is good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy. So now that we have it defined, how do we reach this state of being happy? How do we obtain good fortune, pleasure, contentment, joy? Is it something to be pursued or do we already have it innately in us?
My Happy/Your Happy
For some happiness is attached to material things and social status. Careers, money, houses, cars, designer clothes, jewelry are the indicators of happiness for them. Relationships are the source of happiness for many: significant others, family, and friends determine whether or not they are happy. Others equate a spiritual connection to happiness. Having a relationship with God or their ascribed higher power defines their happy. I think that happiness is innately within us and that sometimes it gets buried underneath some “stuff” but it still lives. For me God is the main source of my happiness, but I believe that contentment with my relationships, career, and having some of the material things that I desire further contribute to it.
What does happiness mean to you?
How you choose to define your happiness is just that, your choice. Choose it on your own terms and not someone else’s borrowed definition.
I feel like the prodigal son returning home. I have been away from by blog for a while now-three months to be exact. I went away seeking new ventures. While I am finding success in these ventures and am continuing to pursue them, I felt a tugging to return back home. I fought it at first telling myself I didn’t have time now and that I had already been away too long to return. I lost the fight however. This blog is where I began my foray into writing publicly, my beginning in turning a hobby into a career. After some thought I decided to change it to weekly inspiration, posting once a week instead of trying to post multiple times a week as I initially intended to do. Please forgive my extended vacation. I’m back home now.
I was both intrigued and challenged by the concept of a Life Purpose/Mission Statement. This notion was presented to me via a training exercise sponsored by Happy Black Woman. While it is common practice to have a mission statement for a business or corporation, I had never considered a personal life mission statement. It made me sit back and really reflect on the questions of “who are you? what is important to you? what do you stand for?”
This reflection resulted in my life purpose/ mission statement which I am proud to share with you below.
God is the head and center of my life. I humbly submit to Him and my life evolves from Him and revolves around service to and for Him. Faith, family, love, and forgiveness are the foundations my life is built upon. Each day I make effort to “die a little more to self” so that I can become more like Christ, who completely died for me. I am committed to life long learning in and outside of the classroom. I am equally committed to teaching both in and outside of the classroom. My gifts and ministries include writing, helping, encouraging, and teaching. My mission is to serve the Lord within my home, church, and community and be the best me, the me that God created me to be.
What is your mission?
What would you give up to be happy? A lot of people think gaining a particular thing will result in happiness… a career, a relationship, a car, a house, etc. Sometimes it’s not what we need to gain, but what we need to give up in order to live happier lives.
The verb “be” means to exist or have existence. To be happy one doesn’t have to do anything. Happiness exists in our being. We simply have to own it. Everyone can afford to be happy, it is free. There are no prerequisites for it besides merely being alive. It is an equal opportunist, available to all races, gender, and nationalities. Be happy, it is a non returnable gift from God.
Feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin
Birds serenading me outside my bedroom window
A hot cup of cappuccino on a chilly morning
Light rain showers that lull me to sleep
Reading a good book that draws me in
A meal that leaves me wanting more
Spotting a rainbow
Feeding the ducks
Daydreaming by the lake
Starlit nights spent sitting on the patio