What would make you happy?

It’s a good question, worth asking yourself more than once in your lifetime. And there are million good answers.

I’ve even encouraged you to change the circumstances of your life the past two articles so that you can be happy more often. And I’ve been somewhat misleading in the process. I’ve talked a lot about finding and getting happiness, without really telling you the truth. And it’s partly because, I myself forget so often that I need to be reminded as well.

What would make you happy right now?

If you had asked me a week ago, I probably would have thought for a moment and then said something like, “well, if I could win the lottery, that would go a little bit of the way toward making me happy. Yes, I know money doesn’t buy happiness, but a little money right now would take care of a few problems and a few stresses that are keeping me from being happy. I could travel a bit and pursue the things I want to pursue. That would make me happy.”

And if you had pressed deeper and told me ok, if it wasn’t money, what would it be? I might have responded, “well, if I got a call right now from an editor and he said, ‘I’d love to buy that book you’re working on,’ that would put the biggest smile on my face. I would be walking on air for weeks, months, maybe even a whole year!”

And perhaps if you were persistent and you pressed even deeper and said, “alright, I like that last one, but there must be something a little deeper, something a little more personal?” I might have answered, “well, you’re right. You know what would make me happy even if I didn’t have those last two. One of those girls to walk right off the TV screen and she has that beauty thing going on inside too and she thinks I am the best thing in the world.”

Love, money, success. What would make you happy right now? A new car? A better paying job? A nicer house? That fancy suit you saw at Macy’s the other day? Your husband asking you out to dinner at your favorite restaurant and surprising you with roses at the table? Tickets to the Superbowl? I’m sure there’s something that has already popped into your head, something you might even have fallen to sleep dreaming about having.

A hundred things would make me happy. For a time. And that’s what I forget all too often. I pursue things as if that one thing would solve the problem of happiness. And sometimes I get it, and am happy for a week or so, and then it suddenly seems as if something else would finally make me happy and I go after that. The frustrating things is, I know better, but it seems I am always forgetting. Things are temporary. They satisfy for only a moment and then I need a little bit more to make me happy. Or, if I base my happiness in them, my happiness can always be taken away. My car will get older, and rustier, or someone will run into me. My wife will irritate and frustrate me at times. All my money still doesn’t give me purpose and a sense of accomplishing that purpose. If my happiness is based in things, it can be taken away.

That’s why I have good friends (Pastor Lee Wilson) who remind me that my happiness is more than acquiring certain things or reaching certain goals. My happiness is not based on what is happening around me or the circumstances of my life. My happiness is based on what is happening in me.

My happiness is based on how closely I am walking with my creator. My happiness is an internal thing based on my relationship with God. It is something that cannot be taken away from me by the circumstances of my life. It can only be taken away if I walk away.

© Seth Crossman