“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” – Albert Camus
Albert Camus was a French Algerian author, philosopher, and journalist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. He was a key philosopher of the 20th-century and his most famous work is the novel L’Étranger (The Stranger).
I am often asked in my role as a Rabbi and Spiritual Counselor, “Rabbi, are you always so happy?” My answer is “Yes.” Is there anything more important then being happy? Here are some tips I use in my life to enjoy the happiness I have.
- I am happy where I am today – There is a famous quote in Proverbs which asks, “Who is a wealthy man?” The answer is: “One who is happy with his lot.” I cannot be happy yesterday or tomorrow, but I can rejoice I in the gift of today. I can moan about all that I lack or I can look around me and relish what I have.
- My happiness is my choice – My happiness is a conscious decision I must make daily if I am going to be happy. If I treat my happiness with complacency, I will lose it quickly. My perception of my experience is critical to my happiness.
- Acceptance and willingness – This one is the Serenity Prayer. I must accept what I am powerless over and work diligently on what I can change now to bring me more happiness. The big things take time. The little things I can do today.
- Smile – I do a lot of public speaking and am often asked if I ever frown. Sure I do, but rarely. A smile begets a smile which elevates both out spirits and moods and can serve as an introduction. We keep thinking we need words to communicate and what we really need is a warm heart and a big smile. God will take care of the rest.
- Stop blaming – Life is not fair and there are many times something happens in my life that upsets and saddens me or causes me to feel anger. My first instinct is to point a finger and say; “It was their fault.” It wasn’t their fault at all. Things happen to us all. My happiness demands that I take that in, deal with it and come out smiling. Blaming you only makes it worse. I make it better.
- You are the one who will make you happy – At the end of the day I either am happy or not. When I have chosen to have a happy day, I usually do. That doesn’t mean that everything has gone my way, but it does mean that I have chosen to limit my negativity and boundlessly pursue my happiness.The ten most powerful two letter words are: If it is to be it is up to me.
My prayer for you today is that you start and end your day choosing to be happy.