The US Declaration of Independence says we “are endowed with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” I’ve always wondered about the word “pursuit” in this sentence. Is it a race? A scramble? A competition? Indeed, sometimes, we feel like if we get/achieve a thing, then we’ll be happy!
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Author John Powell, in his book “Happiness is an Inside Job” asserts that happiness starts with self and is a by-product of ten life tasks or practices:
- Accept ourselves as we are
- Accept full responsibility for our lives
- Try to fulfill our needs for relaxation, exercise, and nourishment
- Make our lives an act of love
- Stretch by stepping out of our comfort zones
- Learn to be “goodfinders”
- Seek growth, not perfection
- Learn to communicate effectively
- Learn to enjoy the good things in life
- Make prayer a part of our daily lives
As I read this book, I was delighted to see that I was doing some things well…and that there were opportunities to be more intentional…and thereby be happier. Made complete sense to me!
I don’t think this is a once-and-done book. You’ll want to read it every year or so to serve as a north star to your happiness!