This I Believe

Marshall - Grand Rapids, Michigan
Entered on March 4, 2007

Happiness is a Choice

Happiness is “The quality or state of being happy; good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy.” A simple definition, but so many people try so hard to happiness without success. So how do we obtain the desired state that seems to slip away from so many people? I am convinced happiness is not something to be pursued and obtained, but is just a choice that you have to make.

Selling happiness is big business. If you turn on the television you will see a commercial for the Florida Keys, which is the place where they claim that happiness will be found. It’s good advertising. Who doesn’t want to go to a warm island during the cold winter months? But why do we feel that the only way we can find happiness is through a thousand dollar trip and away from where we live? Similarly, in the popular movie “The Pursuit of Happyness” the main character Chris Gardner (played by Will Smith) was only happy once he had all kinds of money. The latest tool to help people find happiness is the new book entitled “The Secret” which tells us that we can have anything if we only envision it and work toward it.

I believe that we can choose happiness at any time in our lives, and no matter where we are. This happiness can last a life time or it can just get you through the roughest part of the day. Happiness is partially defined as contentment. If we can only be content with what we have and aren’t always asking for more material goods, we choose happiness. In Philippians 4:11b-13 Paul says, “…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

Some people have found a way to live like Paul and to be content in whatever circumstances they are living in. I find that sometimes to be very difficult to do, but if I don’t worry about what drama might be going on in high school around me and focus in on what I have, my day just gets a lot better. I really dislike it when people focus in on the bad in life and what they don’t have, and let all the good things pass them by. Anyone can be happy by choosing to be. This I believe.