Want To Be Happy?

The human heart is on a quest for happiness. Every person yearns for happiness like the desert yearns for rain. You Jesushave a desire for happiness, I have a desire for happiness. This desire is universal, common to every member of the human family. We simply desire to be happy, and we act from this desire.

We often do things that we think will make us happy, only to discover that they end up making us miserable. This is often because we confuse pleasure with happiness. And sometimes long-term misery comes disguised as short-term pleasure. Under the influence of philosophies such as Individualism, Hedonism, and Minimalism, we often seek the happiness we desire through pleasure, possessions, power, and the path of least resistance. Each of these may offer moments of happiness, but they end too soon, having lasted ever so briefly, and our quest for a lasting happiness continues. These moments of happiness are of course real, but only as real as a shadow. The shadow of a person is real, but it is nothing compared to the actual person. So many of us spend a large portion of our lives chasing shadows.

The modern search for happiness is governed by Individualism, Hedonism, Minimalism and their fruits: greed, lust, laziness, gluttony, selfishness, exploitation, and deception. And yet, as these philosophies become more and more the focus of modern lifestyles, people seem to be filled with a greater discontent and unhappiness with every passing day.

Are we prepared to consider that these philosophies cannot deliver what they promise? Is it possible that there is something lacking in these philosophies that makes it impossible for the human person to find happiness through them?

I believe God wants us to be happy. I believe God gave us the yearning for happiness that constantly preoccupies our human hearts. It seems God has placed this yearning within each human heart as a spiritual navigational instrument designed to lead us to our destiny. God himself is the author of our yearning for happiness.

As a Father who takes a sincere and active interest in the lives of his children, God sent his only Son to respond to humanity’s yearning for happiness, and to teach us how to satisfy that yearning. God sent His Son into the world to reconcile us with himself, certainly, but he also sent Jesus to show us how to live.

The philosophy of Christ is the ultimate philosophy of human happiness. It isn’t just a way of life; it is the way of life. At the same time, the philosophy of Christ is one of self-donation. This is the great paradox of God’s teaching. In our misguided adventures, we may catch glimpses of happiness living outside of the philosophy of Christ. You may even taste happiness for a moment living a life contrary to the philosophy of Christ, but these are stolen moments. They may seem real, but they are just shadows of something infinitely greater.

– Get your FREE copy of Rediscovering Catholicism at:  http://www.dynamiccatholic.com/

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About the Author

Matthew Kelly was born in Sydney, Australia, where he began speaking and writing in 1993. Since that time he has travelled in more than fifty countries and spoken to over four million people. He has written twelve books which have appeared on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller lists and have been published in twenty-five languages. His titles include: The Rhythm of Life, The Seven Levels of Intimacy, The Dream Manager, and Building Better Families. In addition to his efforts to help individuals become the-best-version-of-themselves, Kelly is also a partner at Floyd Consulting, a Chicago based management consulting firm. His clients include: Pepsi, Proctor and Gamble, the Department of Defense, McDonalds, USBank, 3M, Ernst & Young, HSBC, the U.S Navy, the U.S. Air Force, and more than 35 other Fortune 500 companies. His core message, regardless of whether he is speaking in a business, a school or at a Church, invites listeners to become the-best-version-of-themselves. Kelly convincingly communicates this message as God's desire for each of us. And he insists that it is also the desire of parents for their children, husbands and wives for each other, CEOs for their companies and employees, pastors for their communities and members, and managers for those they lead and instruct.

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1 Comment

  1. Mr. Kelly,

    I know first-hand the difference between the happiness that comes from self-donation versus the temporary contentment of self-sufficiency. Only in the past 4 years have I realized that I have no stress nor anxiety when I am in service to others. When I am in service to myself and my desire for pleasure, stress and anxiety weigh on each shoulder.

    In the past year, these are my happiest moments:

    1. My son was with me in the grocery store. I was in a horrible mood, and every little thing seemed to rob me of my patience and joy. My son could easily tell I was upset. He looked up at me and said, “Mommy, Jesus is with us right here.”

    2. I read an e-mail from an 8th grader to whom I taught Catechism this year. She was elated to share that she felt more freedom by making choices based in purity versus going along with what is “cool”. She told me that she could hear God’s voice loud and clear, and she thanked me for my part in it.

    3. I helped a stranger choice life over death. In October a little boy will be born in part because of my prayers and assistance.

    Nothing about these moments had anything to do with the things most of think will bring us happiness – financial security, physical beauty or giving myself a break. The icing on each of these experiences is I took time in each moment to thank God for continuing to love me in ways that continue to surprise me.

    I really appreciated your post. I plan to re-read it when I find myself off track in the true pursuit of happiness – wishing heaven for myself and everyone else.

    Paige

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