How Happy Are You?


Have you heard about the little book, 14,000 Things to be Happy About? It was written by Barbara Kipfer. It is just a list (a long list) of things that should make you happy. What is beautiful about these 14,000 things is that most of them are simple. (Sorry, there are also some vulgar ones listed. I am not commending the book, just using it as an example.)

1100214000Sure enough, someone figured they could make some money with a different title. You guessed it: 11,002 Things to be Miserable About! (And this one has a lot of vulgar and sexual statements in it.)

Some people work a little more at seeing the sunny side of life. Others prefer the dark side.

Today I want you to do a little self-assessment. Using this scale:  1 = not at all , 5 = moderate, 10 = very high, answer the following questions.

How happy are you right now? Literally, right now?
How happy have you been in the last 7 days?
Overall, what would you say is the happiness factor for your entire life?
Generally, how do the people who are closest to you describe your amount of happiness?

Let’s have you continue with a little more personal assessment. Barbara Kipfer came up with 14,000 reasons to be happy. I don’t want you to do that, but I do want you to do this: Write down 10-12  things that are the greatest source of happiness for you. Don’t write this down in an idealistic way. Just think, what makes you really happy? Or, when are you truly happy?

Finally, just one more list to make. Write down 3-5 things that make you the most miserable. Or irritable, or frustrated, or discouraged … pick any word you like. Just identify what puts you in that frame of mind.

When researchers study happiness and unhappiness they often have subjects carry a pager device around with them. At random times during the day, the subjects are “beeped.” At that moment they must record how happy or unhappy they are by writing down the number that describes their happiness level and what they were doing at that moment. Try to pay attention over the next several days. When are you happy? When are you unhappy? What is going on at those times?

Pastor Brian


Brian Rice

What I love most about my job:

Having the ability to empower and resource leaders to bear much fruit that lasts. Being a part of a team of friends and missional servants committed to changing the world.
Brian Rice

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