Tag Archives: gratitude

Having a Happy Life

 

The Six Components of a Happy Life

 

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Six Components of a Happy Life

“What is the definition of happiness? Why do some people seem to have the secret to happiness, while others struggle to gain any satisfaction? These are some basic but effective ideas that you can use to cultivate inner happiness and build an incredible life.

Simplicity

The route to happiness isn’t difficult. Happiness is not dependent on amassing a certain amount of fame or wealth; happiness is not dependent on reaching a certain social pecking order. If we are always striving after something bigger and better, happiness will remain elusive.

Happiness is found in the present moment, not some dreamed of golden future. We need to learn the art of being content with our current situation. Our current life may be far from perfect; but, if we can detach from negative situations and appreciate the value of simplicity happiness becomes easier to cultivate.

Live in the Heart

 

If we only live in the mind we look at every situation with our critical judgmental mind, as a consequence, we will inevitably find innumerable faults with the world and with other people. When we are constantly criticising others we can find neither peace nor happiness. However, if we live more in the heart we have a more tolerant, accepting attitude towards others. The heart’s qualities are acceptance and oneness. Children find it is easy to see happiness in the most ordinary situation because they are more in the heart. At times we need to distance the critical mind and take a simpler, childlike view of life.

Control Over Your Thoughts

When we feel like helpless victims of our own negative thought streams — how can we hope to be happy? To cultivate happiness we need tocultivate positive thoughts. This means stopping negative thoughts and replacing them with good, inspiring thoughts.

Avoiding negative thoughts requires practice. Meditation and concentration exercises can help us control our thoughts. But sometimes the best way to prevent negative thoughts is to concentrate on something positive. It’s your own thoughts that take you to heaven or hell, so be very careful with what is allowed into your mind.

Gratitude

If we show no appreciation for others and for life, we create a narcissistic outlook. We focus excessively on our sense of self and ego. When we offer gratitude for small things in life, it helps us feel a broader identity and awareness; our consciousness expands and we bring to the fore our own positive qualities.

Gratitude has tremendous power; if it is sincere and heartfelt it makes a big difference to our outlook on life. Gratitude helps bring to the fore a sincerely positive attitude to life.

Active

Happiness is easily found in usefully serving others. Activity doesn’t mean filling up our lives with as many activities as possible — this only leads to a sense of self-importance and stress as we struggle to do several things at once. But, if we are calmly active we find a sense of purpose in life; this sense of purpose and satisfaction helps cultivate an inner sense of satisfaction.

Physical Exercise

When you take regular physical exercise you will feel many benefits. Firstly, when we look after our body we are less prone to lethargy and illness. Through developing our fitness we gain an increased sense of self esteem; this is because we are taking active steps for our self improvement.

Increasing our fitness also enables an increased sense of mental well being; exercise helps rid the mind of many useless thoughts. It is important to have the right attitude to exercise, don’t think of school P.E. lessons in the cold rain; getting fit doesn’t have to be torture — you can easily find a sport or some exercise that is enjoyable and sociable.” BY TEJVAN PETTINGER | CATEGORIES: PSYCHOLOGYimages (23)images (26)images (28)

Being Thankful

 

Simposious wishes you a great Thanksgiving Day

Make thanks a part of every day

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“The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”Luke 19:10

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. A highly anticipated Christmas shopping trip to the mall with our kids and my parents took a dramatic turn for the worst as we suddenly realized that Matt, our five-year old, was nowhere to be found. With fears of kidnapping racing through our minds, we split up to search the mall for Matt. My assignment was the parking lot. In the grip of anxiety I made my way through the fresh fallen snow yelling, “Matt, Matt!” I have to tell you that I felt a little foolish. But being embarrassed by hollering in a parking lot was overshadowed by fears for my son and my need to find him.

But, after covering the territory, there was no sign of Matt. More concerned than ever, I went back into the mall to see if anyone else had spotted him. I was hoping beyond hope that either Martie or my mom had found him, but their search had turned up empty as well. Our sense of desperation was hitting new levels when my dad walked around the corner with Matt in hand. Overwhelmed with relief, we asked, “Hey, Dad, where did you find him?”

“At the candy counter,” he replied. “Little Matt had his hands behind his back and his eyes were right up at the level of the candy trays.” He didn’t even realize that he was lost! Nor did he have a clue about the kind of danger he was in.

Later I found myself reflecting on the experience and thinking that Matt reminded me of a lot of people who are without Christ as their Savior. Lost in the candy world of their lives, they have no idea of how lost they are or of the eternal danger they are in.

Today’s Scripture passage is actually the conclusion of the story of Jesus and Zacchaeus. As a tax collector, Zacchaeus had immersed himself in the pursuit of possessions, prosperity, and power. By the world’s standards he was doing okay. Sure, he wasn’t terribly well liked, but he had a sense of purpose, was achieving his goals, and thought he had life pretty well figured out. But, entranced by the “candy” of his own gain, he was flat out lost.

Jesus searched him out! Going out of the way to call him down from his perch in a sycamore tree, Jesus invaded his life, invited Himself over for dinner, and rescued Zacchaeus from the danger of his self-indulgent, selfish, sinful life. When the Pharisees grumbled about Jesus spending time with a tax-collector, Jesus reminded them that His purpose on earth was “to seek and to save what was lost.”

That’s where you and I are before Christ finds us and rescues us. Our preoccupation with the stuff of this world—money, power, sex, comfort, and ease—numbs us to the very real dangers of life without Christ. Without Him we are dangerously lost—and don’t even know it.

Thankfully, a gracious, compassionate God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to pursue us, find us, and rescue us. That’s the reality of what we celebrate at Christmastime. And, don’t forget, once we are safely His, He sends us to search for others who are lost in “candy” world. So let’s steer their hearts away from the stuff of this world and help them find the real joy of Christmas.

“I have suffered much; preserve my life, O LORD, according to your word.” Psalm 119:107

It was a beautiful day except for the fact that after a sizzling front nine, my golf game had tanked big time. I felt embarrassed in front of the two other guys I was playing with and really disappointed in myself. Why I tortured myself with golf and call it a game I’ll never know! But like a sports masochist, I keep going back for more pain.

As I was stuffing my clubs into the back of my car, trying to put on a good face, I was struck with the fact that I had just spent the afternoon with two guys who have problems that make my lame golf game look like a cakewalk.

Both of them have trouble on the home front, the kind of trouble that hurts the worst. Robert’s wife has been running him through the wringer of an excruciating divorce. It is something that he does not want and has tried for two agonizing years to turn around. She wants nothing to do with him or reconciliation.

My other golf buddy (the one who beat me mercilessly on the back nine) has been living for years with a situation at home that none of us would ever dream of enduring. His wife struggles with severe emotional imbalance and, though at one time was a follower of Christ, now wants nothing to do with Jesus or her husband. She still lives with her husband, so you can imagine what it means to walk into the house after a tough day at work to face a whole new set of challenges at home. He goes to church alone. He sleeps alone.

As I closed the back of my Tahoe, I noticed that my golf buddies were talking to each other in upbeat tones. What caught my attention is that they were talking about passages of Scripture that they had shared with each other the week before. As they quoted portions of the passages to each other, the power of the content was compelling: “I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure” (Psalm 16:8-9). “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees” (Psalm 119:71).

It was clear to see that they were lifting each other up with the power of God’s Word. Their enthusiasm for the support and joy they were experiencing in God and His Word proved that in times of trouble the Word of God is a source of comfort that infuses unusual strength into situations that put Word-less people into the dumpster.

I have to admit that I have never thought of using God’s Word to prop me up when my golf game goes south. But I was reminded afresh that there is unusual power in the Word of God to give us an edge during times of trouble.

So, when life hits the wall—go to the Word. And don’t isolate yourself! Find someone else in trouble and be Bible buddies. God loves us and gave us His Word to take us all the way through!

From: strengthforthejourney

Inspiring Lessons

STORY ONE

NOT WHAT THEY APPEAR

“THINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS WHAT THEY SEEM; THE FIRST APPEARANCE DECEIVES MANY; THE INTELLIGENCE OF A FEW PERCEIVES WHAT HAS BEEN CAREFULLY HIDDEN…”

THE STORY:

TWO TRAVELING ANGELS STOPPED TO SPEND THE NIGHT IN THE HOME OF A WEALTHY FAMILY. THE FAMILY WAS RUDE AND REFUSED TO LET THE ANGELS STAY IN THE MANSION’S GUEST ROOM. INSTEAD THE ANGELS WERE GIVEN A SPACE IN THE COLD BASEMENT. AS THEY MADE THEIR BED ON THE HARD FLOOR, THE OLDER ANGEL SAW A HOLE IN THE WALL AND REPAIRED IT.

WHEN THE YOUNGER ANGEL ASKED WHY, THE OLDER ANGEL REPLIED, “THINGS AREN’T ALWAYS WHAT THEY SEEM”.
THE NEXT NIGHT THE PAIR CAME TO REST AT THE HOUSE OF A VERY POOR, BUT VERY HOSPITABLE FARMER AND HIS WIFE. AFTER SHARING WHAT LITTLE FOOD THEY HAD THE COUPLE LET THE ANGELS SLEEP IN THEIR BED WHERE THEY COULD HAVE A GOOD NIGHT’S REST.

WHEN THE SUN CAME UP THE NEXT MORNING THE ANGELS FOUND THE FARMER AND HIS WIFE IN TEARS. THEIR ONLY COW, WHOSE MILK HAD BEEN THEIR SOLE INCOME, LAY DEAD IN THE FIELD. THE YOUNGER ANGEL WAS INFURIATED AND ASKED THE OLDER ANGEL “HOW COULD YOU HAVE LET THIS HAPPEN!? THE FIRST MAN HAD EVERYTHING, YET YOU HELPED HIM,” SHE ACCUSED. “THE SECOND FAMILY HAD LITTLE BUT WAS WILLING TO SHARE EVERYTHING, AND YOU LET THEIR COW DIE.”

“THINGS AREN’T ALWAYS WHAT THEY SEEM,” THE OLDER ANGEL REPLIED.

“WHEN WE STAYED IN THE BASEMENT OF THE MANSION, I NOTICED THERE WAS GOLD STORED IN THAT HOLE IN THE WALL. SINCE THE OWNER WAS SO OBSESSED WITH GREED AND UNWILLING TO SHARE HIS GOOD FORTUNE, I SEALED THE WALL SO HE WOULDN’T FIND IT. THEN LAST NIGHT AS WE SLEPT IN THE FARMER’S BED, THE ANGEL OF DEATH CAME FOR HIS WIFE. I TOLD HIM TO TAKE THE COW INSTEAD. YOU SEE MY YOUNG FRIEND, THINGS AREN’T ALWAYS WHAT THEY SEEM.”

SOMETIMES THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THINGS DON’T TURN OUT THE WAY WE THINK THEY SHOULD. JUST HAVE FAITH AND TRUST THAT THE OUTCOME IS HEADED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, ALTHOUGH YOU MIGHT NOT REALIZE IT, UNTIL SOME TIME LATER 

 

STORY   2

 

A YOUNG BUT EARNEST STUDENT APPROACHED HIS TEACHER, AND ASKED HIS MASTER: “IF I WORK VERY HARD AND DILIGENT HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR ME TO FIND ENLIGHTENMENT IN MY LIFE THE MASTER THOUGHT ABOUT THIS, THEN REPLIED, “TEN YEARS.

” THE STUDENT THEN SAID, “BUT WHAT IF I WORK VERY, VERY HARD AND REALLY APPLY MYSELF TO LEARN FAST — HOW LONG THEN ?” REPLIED THE MASTER, “WELL, TWENTY YEARS.” ”

BUT, IF I REALLY, REALLY WORK AT IT. LONG THEN ?” ASKED THE STUDENT. “THIRTY YEARS,” REPLIED THE MASTER. “BUT, I DO NOT UNDERSTAND,” SAID THE DISAPPOINTED STUDENT”.
AT EACH TIME THAT I SAY I WILL WORK HARDER, YOU SAY IT WILL TAKE ME LONGER. WHY DO YOU SAY THAT ?” REPLIED THE MASTER,” 

WHEN YOU HAVE ONE EYE ON THE GOAL, YOU ONLY HAVE ONE EYE ON THE PATH.”

WE NEED TO KEEP BOTH EYES ON THE PATH. DEMONSTRATING, THAT UNLIKE ANY OTHER EXPERIENCE IN OUR LIVES, ENLIGHTENMENT IS TRULY ABOUT THE JOURNEY AND NOT THE DESTINATION..
 
WE NEED TO HAVE PATIENCE IN ORDER TO STAY FOCUSED ON WHAT WE WANT TO DO. THERE IS NO SHORT CUT. WE DON’T GET THE CHICKEN BY SMASHING THE EGGS, THEY NEED TO BE HATCHED.

 

 

STORY 3  – ONE TRUE FRIEND

It is often said, if a person merits one true friend in his entire lifetime, he is greatly blessed.

True friendship is when we put our friend’s needs and desires ahead of our own, and they do the same for us. 

Story

There was once a man who lived hundreds of years ago, who did something for which the king condemned him to death. After hearing the sentence, the man turned to the king and asked, “Could I please have a week to put my affairs in order?”

The king replied, “I would like to grant you this wish, but I am concerned that you will not return to face your sentence, that you will run away.

If you can find somebody who will stay in your place while I set you free for a week to put your affairs in order, I will let you go. But bear in mind if you are not back in time to face your sentence; I will kill your friend instead—even if you are only a minute late.

However, if you do come back before one week is up, the sentence will be carried out on you as was intended.”

This man went to his closest friend, whom he had loved since childhood, and he asked him, “Can you please do me this favor?

I need a week to put my affairs in order before the king sentences me to death. I need you to replace me in the jail for one week so that the king will allow me to go.”

His friend replied, “Of course I will go to jail in your place, I would do anything for you.”

The week goes by, and the man puts his affairs in order. But the man runs into delays on the road back and is a little late in returning to the jail.

The king decides, “This man has not kept his promise, so I have no choice but to carry out his death sentence on his friend.” The guards escort his friend to the gallows to prepare for his hanging.

Just then the man who was originally sentenced to death starts running towards the gallows, yelling, “I’m here! I’m here! I was just a little late, but I’m here! I am the one who was sentenced to death so I am the one who must die. Set my friend free and put me in his place.”

Then the friend starts yelling back, “No, the seven days have passed! According to the terms of your agreement, my friend can no longer be put to death.

Now I am the one who is supposed to be put to death!” And they both started pleading their cases before the king, each one of them begging that he should be the one put to death instead of his friend.

The king, after seeing the selfless love between these two friends, called for silence. “My decree called for the death of one person, but I see that the bond between you is so complete that if I carry out the sentence I will be killing two people. Thus I am forced to annul my original decree. You may both go free.”

May we all merit one true friend. Knowing that when you develop such a heightened bond with another human being, you remove judgment and invite a tremendous flow of Light and blessings into your life.

From: inspiringstories-heartsoulmind.com.

Thanks For Your Time

 

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Thanks for Your Time 

Author Unknown  

(Inspiration Peak, Thanks for Your Time, Unknown Author.)

It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man. College, girls, career, and life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved clear across the country in pursuit of his dreams. There, in the rush of his busy life, Jack had little time to think about the past and often no time to spend with his wife and son. He was working on his future, and nothing could stop him.Over the phone, his mother told him, “Mr. Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday.”

Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.

“Jack, did you hear me?”

“Oh sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It’s been so long since I thought of him. I’m sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago,” Jack said.

“Well, he didn’t forget you. Every time I saw him he’d ask how you were doing. He’d reminisce about the many days you spent over ‘his side of the fence’ as he put it,” Mom told him.

“I loved that old house he lived in,” Jack said.

“You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man’s influence in your life,” she said.

“He’s the one who taught me carpentry,” he said. “I wouldn’t be in this business if it weren’t for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important… Mom, I’ll be there for the funeral,” Jack said.

As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser’s funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.

The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time.

Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time.

The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture… Jack stopped suddenly.

“What’s wrong, Jack?” his Mom asked.

“The box is gone,” he said.

“What box?” Mom asked.

“There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he’d ever tell me was ‘the thing I value most,'” Jack said.

It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it.

“Now I’ll never know what was so valuable to him,” Jack said. “I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom.”

It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. “Signature required on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days,” the note read.

Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention.

“Mr. Harold Belser” it read.

Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack’s hands shook as he read the note inside.

“Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett. It’s the thing I valued most in my life.” A small key was taped to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch.

Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover. Inside he found these words engraved:

“Jack, Thanks for your time! -Harold Belser.”

“The thing he valued most…was…my time.”

Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days. “Why?” Janet, his assistant asked.

“I need some time to spend with my son,” he said. “Oh, by the way, Janet… thanks for your time!” Inspiration Peak, Thanks for Your Time, Unknown Author.

The essential part of worship…gratitude

Luke 17:11-19 The ten lepers were in a terrible condition. They were outcasts. Then, one day they saw a man who stopped and talked to them. The man was Jesus, and he had compassion on them. He said simply go show yourselves to the priest. The priest, if you were well, would allow you back into the community. As the men went in obedience to Jesus’ command they became well and the terminal disease went away completely. They thought they would never be with their families again. They knew that it was a death sentence to get that disease. But now they were healed.

One of the men, when he saw that he was healed turned back to find Jesus. He had something he wanted to say. He found Jesus and when he did he worshiped Him and gave glory to God. The Lord said, ” Were there others that ought to give glory to God?” After, the man left Jesus full of gratitude for what the Lord did for him.

We may not have leprosy, but there are things we can think of to give glory to God. Perhaps, that he gave you something special or helped you to conquer something beyond your power. You get stronger the more you praise God and the way becomes easier as you fill your heart with gratitude.

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