First I want to say thank you to all of you who made my birthday so special with your well wishes. That meant a lot to me and I am truly grateful to have so many good friends in my life.
41 years of life gives a person much to reflect on. When I look back and consider all of the life lessons I have learned thus far there are a few that stand out most prominently to me:
#1. Always have integrity – at all times and in all places and in all circumstances.
#2. Focus your life on making God proud of you, not anyone else. Not a parent, not a spouse, not the boy or girl that sits next to you, not anyone else – just God.
#3. Be Grateful and Be Happy! Not tomorrow, or next week, or someday…be happy NOW! And if you have those days when you aren’t feeling happy then realize that you are forgetting to be grateful because gratitude is the precursor for happiness. Life isn’t going to be perfect and easy, but there is always something to be grateful for. Always.
“Life is just like an old time rail journey … delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.” – Jenkin Lloyd Jones
Today I want to focus my blog on #3 – Being Happy. There was a great article published called “Smile Every Day” which states:
Who knows if a smile can change the world, but research shows that it certainly can improve a person’s life.
A recent study found that a habit of genuine smiling may contribute to happiness and better adjustment in life.
Researchers in the study looked through 141 photos in a Mills College (Oakland, Calif.) yearbook and separated out genuine smilers from inauthentic ones. The smilers were contacted at age 27, 43 and 52 and asked about the status of their marriage and life satisfaction.
The women with the genuine smiles were more likely to be married and stay married. They were also more likely to experience greater sense of personal well-being. These results were found to be consistent in a 30-year follow up (“A Genuine Smile Goes a ‘Long Way,'” Vijai P. Sharma, www.mindpub.com).
For many years the conventional wisdom has been that people are happy because they are successful. But additional researchers, who analyzed 225 studies involving 275,000 people, found the truth might be just the opposite — that people are successful because they are happy.
Happy people are easier to work with, more highly motivated and more willing to tackle difficult projects. Thus they are more likely to be successful, found a 2005 study published by the American Psychological Association (“Smile For Success,” Dec. 21, 2005, ABC News).
And a 2008 study shows that people who don’t smile have a negative impact on their friends, and even people they don’t know.
Each happy friend a person has boosts their chances of happiness by 9 percent. Having grumpy friends decreases it by about 7 percent, found researchers in a paper published last December in a British medical journal (“Smile! Study says being happy can be contagious,” Deseret News, Dec. 5, 2008).
It might also be interesting to note that the researchers found that money cannot buy happiness. According to the research, extra money increased a person’s odds of being happy only marginally — notably less than the odds of being happier if you have a happy friend.
Amazing article! I love it. And more than anything else it reminds us to Be Happy and to surround ourselves with Happy People! Life is a blessing and we can all find reasons to be happy. Start with being grateful, and always remember that even on the hardest days, things can always be worse. So focus on the positive. Focus on the joy and fun and laughter. Get up and DANCE once in a while because LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL and SO ARE YOU! It is going to be a great week this week….I can feel it…so SMILE!!!
I love your blog! Thank you for sharing. 😀
Thanks for this blog Amy! I had a crazy emotional week last week and it’s lingering a little. This was a great reminder to not worry and just be happy. Thanks!
Thanks for sharing that article! I loved it. I also love that you mentioned being grateful as a step to happiness. I have found in my life that the easiest way to stay happy is to stay grateful. I read a blog post about a week ago where the writer mentioned she had started replacing the words “I have to” with the words “I get to.” So it’s note “I have to do the dishes”, but “I get to do this dishes and aren’t I lucky that I have dishes to do because it means I just got to eat dinner?” I have started doing this and it really makes all the difference in the world.
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