The Keys to True Happiness

Be a happy human

Impress yourself. - Use your gifts.  You will be most happy when you totally immerse yourself in a challenge that is closely matched to your abilities.  In other words, you must set goals for yourself that you are not truly sure whether or not you can achieve.  You must point yourself towards places where you're not sure you can go, and then you must work hard and push to get there.  Whether you get there or not, you will still be able to walk away the winner if you can truly say you are proud of your effort.  With these victories will come self confidence, and with each subsequent goal achieved, that self confidence will continue to grow in a snowball like fashion, until you have found the confidence and developed the tools you'll need to maximize the abilities and gifts you were given.  Self confidence has no equal, and you can not be truly happy without it.

Swallow your pride - In your inter-personal relationships, seek to do things to make the other person happy.  Remember that it's more important to do the right thing than to be right.  Do your best to defuse any argument by deciding if your position is really worth fighting for.  Be perfectly willing to admit that you're wrong if that's the case.  The words "I'm sorry" are some of the most powerful in any language.  Many relationships have suffered needlessly because two people were unable to find the fortitude to utter those two little words.  Don't be foolish.  Don't be prideful.  A sincere apology will make you a stronger person.

Be honest - every time - even when it's uncomfortable!  Especially in your dealings with others.  So many times, when there are hard feelings or a falling out between two parties, the whole thing could have been avoided by being very honest and upfront at the beginning of the interaction.  Integrate this advice into all parts of your life, and you'll very quickly see how much easier life will be - at home - at work - everywhere.

Do the right thing - every time - even when it hurts, is uncomfortable, or not in your best interests.  Life is much easier when you aren't constantly looking over your shoulder for the consequences of a bad or dishonest decision.  A clear conscience is something that you can't get any other way.

Be kind to others - Do things for other people to let them know that you're thinking about them.  Even the smallest acts of kindness have far reaching effects.  Always keep your heart open and be willing to take advantage of an opportunity to spread a little good will.  Good karma is a good thing.

Don't get burned over and over again by the same problem - When you experience a difficulty  in your life, work very hard to eliminate the problem from your life once and for all.  A good analogy would be - the first time you see an enemy aircraft, SHOOT IT DOWN!!!!  Don't let it keep flying over your head and dropping bombs.  Far too many people live their lives dealing with the same problems over and over because they are too lazy or lack the fortitude to successfully eliminate the recurring cause of the problems.

Don't be selfish - In the World today, it seems that an increasing number of societal problems stem from the absolute selfishness and greed that is so rampant today.  This repulsive trend is actively promoted and advocated by the media.  --   TV, magazines, radio, etc... exist only to convince you that the most important thing in life is to make money and accumulate possessions.  Parents spend very little quality time with their children because they're too busy working to maintain and elevate their societal status.  Don't fall into the trap of having to live in the poshest neighborhoods, drive the trendiest cars, wear the most fashionable clothes, and send your kids to the right schools.  That kind of thinking is a form of enslavement.

Simplify and live below your means - Take the pressure off.  Live in a smaller house.  Drive a paid for car.  Get rid of all your debt.  Cook at home.  Wear simple, practical clothes.  Don't even think of trying to keep up with the Jones'!  The feeling of freedom that will come is undeniable.

The fastest road to true misery is - Caring what other people think.  --  When you live your life worried about what others think, you make yourself a servant to "group think".  You are a slave, and your happiness will always be dependant on the approval of others - therefore, you are not in control.  Live your own life, and have confidence in your decisions.  Throw off the weight of impressing others, and be truly happy.

Financially support God's work.  Everything you have (talents, possessions, gifts, etc...) is not yours, it was given to you by God, and your possession of it should be used to glorify Him.  By giving back some of the resources that are so valuable to you, you're making an affirmative statement to yourself and to God that you are committed to a life based on the principles of Christianity.

Be a confident follower of God

Believe in God.  Find the confidence - find the proof that convinces you.  

For each person, that proof may be something very different.  Perhaps for some people, it is the beauty and complexity of nature that convince them of the existence of an unimaginably powerful Designer and Creator.  Perhaps others have taken all the proof they need from an event in their lives that defy logic and all attempts at explanation by coincidence.  

The power and purpose of God's Creation is on display all around you, day and night, and to believe, all you have to do is look at this magnificent World with un-jaded eyes - eyes that have stopped pretending to know everything - eyes that have realized that mankind's confidence in the breadth and completeness of its' wisdom is foolishness in itself, and has been repeatedly proven to be so - eyes that have stopped looking around to see what other people think of you, and have started looking inside you to ask why you don't feel complete - eyes that look to the future for inspiration and not to the past for excuses - Courage is your friend, and the status quo is your enemy.

Talk to God. - Pray.  Thank God for your gifts, and try to use them to the best of your ability - Realize everyday that the great things in your life are on loan from God to be used by you to glorify Him.  Your intelligence?  Your street smarts?  Your supportive family?  Your financial resources?  Your creative talents?  Your wisdom?  They are all gifts to you, and you should constantly give thanks for those things, and consistently use those things to bring you and others closer to God's principles.

Pray aloud with your family - It is very important to take the time and give God the respect that He deserves, and it is very important in a family environment that children see a great importance is given to praying.  Make a point to pray before every meal, and don't be afraid to let others see you do it.  You have nothing to be ashamed of, and besides, why do you care what they think?

Be a happy and successful Christian that influences others

Many of us have had an experience where we've encountered and listened to a "sidewalk preacher", who stands on a corner or in a public square, waving his Bible and proclaiming that anyone who doesn't listen to him and believe what he says will be going straight to Hell!

It is likely that this Christian stereotype has done more to turn people off to the belief in God than any other.

For those who have decided to never seriously think about whether or not they believe in God, it is highly unlikely that they would choose to identify themselves with a group of people who seem to them to be fanatical and just plain CRAZY.

Organized religion has done just as much to deter regular people from a belief in God.  Scandals of hypocrisy and criminality have plagued organized religion since the beginning.  Human nature is a difficult thing to constrain - especially in an environment where many members of the church seem to compete for the highest level of piousness, and where money is controlled by men who are revered as the "closest link to God".

We are all, however, human, and we all will make mistakes.  We all have innate desires to do things that we shouldn't.  Christians will sin, and this should not be seen as hypocrisy, but most of those who prefer to not believe in God will see it as that. 

What the World needs are examples of the Christian life that they relate to.  They need to see individuals and families that remind them a little of themselves, living a confident and fulfilled life, centered around the principles of God.  In this way, those who are seeking answers about a belief in God have a much shorter journey of the mind to take, and are very likely to be more comfortable about the idea of believing in God.

By living a life in which you are confident and successful in your relationships, your occupation, your recreation, and your religion, you can serve as a truly powerful example of the many benefits of a life based on the principles of the Bible.  Your belief in God serves as an emotional, mental and spiritual anchor in a World that seems to be working very hard to dislodge you from your beliefs.

Others will see this, and they will want to experience the peace and happiness that you have, through God.

If you are successful, you will certainly be much more of a positive influence than the sidewalk preacher at convincing others that God is real.  

May God bless you all,

Mike and Kate

P.S.  Impress Yourself !




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