Some things are so simple that I just want to hit my head and say, “Duh, Brian!”
Like bottled water. What could be more simple and more brilliant than putting water into a plastic bottle and then having a price-gouging markup on the cost of the water? How about designer water in a designer bottle? Then we can charge an obscene amount of money for a product because it is Designer Water. Hey, every time I drink water, it is designer water. God designed it!
Back to flourishing. Some things are just so simple we overlook them.
Here are the two most simple things you can do to immediately and dramatically increase your happiness.
Identify the things that make you sad and avoid them as much as you can. Now, this does not mean you avoiding things that are good for you because you don’t like them. Like eating vegetables. Or flossing. Or getting a flu shot (when they stick you with that little pointed, sharp, painful thing.) What you CAN avoid are things that cause irritation, frustration, anger, cynicism, sarcasm, and so on. These negative emotions are close cousins to sadness. They drain you, and when you are drained you are much more likely to feel unhappy.
This approach minimizes the causes of unhappiness.
But even better, identify the things that make you happy and do them much more often. As the blogging goes on in the days ahead, I will tell you some very significant things that make us happy, but we are all different and we all have different preferences and interests. So, what do you really enjoy doing? Try to do those things often.
For me, the list would include going on walks with Becky, reading a good book, reading a second good book, exercising at the gym, playing guitar, listening to music, listening to worship music, watching Bugs Bunny (which, by the way, I haven’t done in years. I am going to do a YouTube search as soon as I am done), reading Dilbert cartoons, playing Mah Jong, hanging out with my friends, and many much more significant items that make me happy as well. Here I wanted to show you things that are common, within reach, and are the simple things of life.
This approach maximizes the causes of happiness.
That’s it. Decrease the causes of unhappiness and increase the causes of happiness. Try being intentional about this for a few weeks. I am confident you will see a significant change.
Grace and peace,