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Happiness When

By Kenda-Ruth Stumpf

Since happiness is something that happens to someone, that is how it will happen--when--and all you have to do is sit and wait. Take control of your life and choose. Choose joy now. Choose to be active and pursue your luck as Thomas Jefferson believed was your unalienable right. Joy is possible regardless of present circumstances. Are you one of those people who will be happy when?

When...

  • you finish college.
  • you move into your dream house.
  • you go on vacation.
  • the kids leave home.
  • you retire.
  • your spouse comes home
  • you get a promotion
  • etc.

If this is you, you are doing the opposite of choosing happiness; you are deliberately choosing to live in the world of chance and not make your own choices for joy; you are choosing to not be happy now. Make personal-success where you are now rather than where you may be someday. It can travel with you so that it is always a part of your present. To do this you may need to redefine success. This is not an admonition to settle and stop striving, don't forget where you are going. But what will happen when you reach your destination? Most of life is about the process--the journey--toward the goal. Is that the only point of success? The process toward the goal preceded the destination; do you define success merely as the end-result? What follows: laurel-resting, a new process and goal? The emotional satisfaction of goal achievement may be fleeting. Often more time is spent on the process. Would you rather feel successful through the process and achievement than merely at the short-lived phase?

What are the limits of Acting As If--limits you personally apply? If you earn minimum wage and have nothing in savings, what does it mean to you to act as if you are a millionaire? Spending beyond your abilities would be foolish. What else would help you feel like a millionaire? Achieving goals is an active process. What else are you doing? The true goal of Acting As If is not that you reach societal measurements of success, but rather that you feel successful internally. If you have been faking it without making it for the past 20 years, maybe you are measuring something other than your true direction.

Your goal was to be a millionaire and perhaps you achieved financial stability, but you are not a millionaire. Are you happy? Your level of happiness decreases as you focus on your lack. MLCers focus on what they are missing in life and in so doing they are blinded to what they have. Initially you may have been faking both happiness and wealth, if now, 20 years later, you have one and not the other, which would you rather have? Choose joy and it is yours even in the absence of many of the things you wish chance would bring.

I'm Kenda-Ruth and I believe in marriage.
Are you tired of hearing...
  • Once a cheater always a cheater?
  • You're better off without him?
  • She doesn't deserve you?
  • I guess it just wasn't meant to last?
  • Divorce is no big deal?
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