Now it is 2018. Are you happy? Did you know that happiness is not for sale? Are you aware that other people cannot “make you happy?” You cannot find happiness, you must allow it. You must be like a child and bring it with you.
The idea that outward events like “winning the lottery,” will “make me happy,” is a hopeful illusion, disproved by many lottery winners, who end up sad, and broke.
Edwin Arlington Robinson tells the truth about happiness in his sad poem, Richard Cory.
Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.
And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
‘Good-morning,’ and he glittered when he walked.
And he was rich – yes, richer than a king –
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.
So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.
If money, beauty, and privilege do not equal happiness, then what can you do to make 2018 a wonderful happy new year? I think it is different for everyone. Here are twelve questions:
- What parts of my life work so well, I would not change them?
- What parts of my life do not work, get in my way, and would be good riddance?
- What blessings do I have that make me smile whenever I see or think of them?
- What is missing that would heal my pains, and fill the potholes in my heart?
- What powers, gifts, and talents lay fallow in the fields of my relationships?
- What distractions, weaknesses, and secrets keep me from what I love?
- Where do I take worthy risks that heal and prosper?
- Where do I waste my time, energy, and soul to no avail?
- Where do I give my love, loyalty, and time that improves lives?
- Where do I withhold myself from others?
- Who loves me graciously, even when I do not acknowledge them with gratitude?
- Whom do I love completely, without needing anything from them
- First, ask these 12 questions, (one for each month of 2018), and list the answers.
- Second, tell the people in your life, and ask them to help you make it so.
- Third, offer to help them with their list too.
Be healthy, gracious, and happy all year.