I asked Google “How to be…” and the top 4 results were “How to be… happy, confident, smart, a good wife.” So I’ll be doing a series where I attempt to answer these questions. This is #1.
Myth #1: Stuff/money will make you happy. Stuff makes you happy only for a short time. And money buys stuff that can make you happy for a short time. But people with exuberant amounts of money commit suicide, too. Money doesn’t make you happy.
Myth #2: Happiness is a destination. One day, if I have this or that, I will be happy. Nope. Sorry. Stuff is like a drug: you build up a tolerance after awhile. So, if you’ve been saving forever so you can take a trip, and then you go, it won’t make you happy forever, even if you stay on that trip.
So, how do you actually be happy? Don’t chase it. Happiness is overrated and not the purpose of life on this earth. People who get the most out of life don’t chase happiness. They chase a purpose. That doesn’t make them happy all the time. But that makes their moments of happiness worth it, and goals attained make life worth it.
So chase your purpose. I started seeking my purpose when I was 8, because I saw all the suffering in the world and I thought, “What’s the point of going through all this if there’s no reason?” And then I thought about killing myself for awhile, fell into a pit of despair, and eventually called out to God. I asked if He was really there, and if He was, to show me why we were here.
And, obviously, He did. We were created to be in relationship with God. To love and be loved. And our hearts come to peace when we rest in Him.
So, while happiness is, in so many ways, an ill-defined myth, I truly have learned the secret of being content.
“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 all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:12-13