Today, I am excited to present the first part of an article from Dave Willis of Marriage Today. His article discusses ten rules for a happy life. The first 3 are in this blog. The rest will be posted next week. I pray they bless you as much as they blessed me.
Ten Rules for a Happy Life
By Dave Willis
We all want to be happy, but for most of us, happiness is just this elusive “feeling” we’re trying to catch or create but we don’t know how to keep it. What if there was a proven path to true and sustained joy? What if happiness is something much more than fleeting feeling that comes and goes and it’s really a sustained joy could be present through even the most difficult parts of life?
I have good news (and no, I’m not trying to sell you anything here)! There really are some “rules” that can create true happiness. I’ve paid close attention to the lives of the happiest people I know and I’ve measured their lifestyles against the timeless truths of Scripture which provides the ultimate roadmap for discovering purpose and joy. There is a roadmap to happiness and I call it The Ten Rules for a Happy Life.
There’s one item that is not on the list of ten below because I feel that it needs to be addressed in a category all by itself. This issue can be the biggest cause of grief in your life or the biggest source of peace. I’m referring to forgiveness. If you truly want to be happy, you must embrace GRACE as a lifestyle. Accept the gift of grace Jesus has made available to us all and then extend that grace to everyone who offends you. Grudges create bitterness. Forgiveness creates freedom (and happiness). Holding a grudge doesn’t make you strong; it makes you bitter. Forgiving doesn’t make you weak; it sets you free!
True happiness and joy are much deeper and richer than a one-size-fits-all, canned approach to reaching them, BUT I’m convinced that if you’ll follow the Ten Rules for a Happy Life it could make all the difference.
If you want to be happier, please do the following ten things (in no particular order)…
1. Think of others more than yourself
This one goes against our human nature because we’re all more selfish than we’d like to admit. The worldly pursuit of happiness involves loving things and using people, but God’s plan for happiness (modeled perfectly by how Jesus lived) is in serving others. It’s not thinking less of yourself; it’s just thinking of yourself less. Pride and greed and self-centeredness lead to misery but serving others and loving others leads to joy.
2. Smile and laugh as often as you can
Even in difficult moments, find reasons laugh. Sometimes you have to choose to smile even when your face wants to frown. Studies have shown that the simple act of smiling (even when you don’t feel like it) can actually make you start to feel happier. You have more control over your mood than you might realize. You don’t have to follow your emotions. You can actually lead them most of the time.
#3 reveals an unlikely way that money is related to happiness…
3. Spend less money than you make
Happiness isn’t the result of how much money you make BUT it could be impacted by how much you spend. In short, debt leads to stress and stress is a killer of happiness. If you live within your means and you choose to be content with what you have, you can be happier with a simpler life than the richest man in town is in his mansion. Don’t expect to buy more things to make you happy. Giving money is actually a better strategy for finding happiness than spending money.
Dave and Ashley Willis have built a strong following, reaching millions of married couples through their blogs, books, and videos. Get Dave and Ashley’s most popular resources for couples and groups. Their mission is to create resources focused on building Christ-centered marriages and families.
You can also follow Dave and Ashley at Marriage Today.