Happiness Teachers

Yay“I’m not so interested in stuff anymore. These days, I’m after experiences,” she said.

 When I heard my friend speaking, I thought she was expressing  wisdom  that usually comes with age. Eventually, most of us  do learn that happiness comes from the inside.

Plenty of studies  show older people are happier than youthful ones and I can see it is true for many of my friends. I’m certainly happier than I was when I was seventeen. Aren’t you?

Do you remember the desperate search for happiness you went through in high school? If you look backward for a moment, you may very well discover you are happier now than ever before.  We don’t have to wait until a certain age or go through troubles, but we do need to understand happiness is an inside job.,

You can be cheerful at thirty or sixty as well as ninety. Most of us learn things as we travel through life and, if we are observant, we learn that happiness doesn’t depend on what we have. It depends on our inner wisdom, love, and strength. If we are lucky, we encounter a Happiness Teacher early who helps but that’s not as common as wish it were. 

Most of us learn  as we experiment with getting what we think we want. We figure it out alone. Our journey probably includes  letting go of false idols; popularity, success, romance, beauty, social status, recognition, and money. Even good health isn’t  the complete answer. The answer lies within our thinking and understanding.

Somewhere along the way, we stop putting our faith in appearances and begin cultivating other, less tangible, but more important values. Look around at your friends and you will  see the happiest ones aren’t the ones with the most stuff. Pretty houses and fancy cars are fine but they don’t delight for long. Happiness is based on who we are, rather than what we have.

You don’t have to be any particular age to learn to be happy. Happiness is based on deeper, long lasting values  that give us a sense of control over our lives. While it is true that nothing is permanent, the love you feel always stays with you. So does your satisfaction if you choose work you love.  So do qualities such as a good sense of humor and curiosity about life.

These ideas are not secret. You don’t need a special guru, a secret code, or a million bucks to grasp the key to happiness. People who learn to savor the moment and feel grateful  know everything they need to know to keep on the sunny side of the street. Happiness is a gift and it depends on skills just about anyone can learn.  Gratitude and appreciating the moment are two wonderful tools. So is letting go of the need for other people’s approval.

Most of us have to learn these lessons as we go along and we can do it faster if we find genuine Happiness Teachers to help us by demonstrating.  Our parents taught us what they knew but many did not know how to be happy. They meant well, but they couldn’t teach what they didn’t know.

Happiness Teachers are all around us. Some are neighbors and some, like Maya Angelou, are on TV.  Others, like me, write books and blogs. You can recognize them by the wisdom they share and the fact they aren’t selling you “stuff”. They are happy themselves and they are happy sharing what they know.

If you are happy most of the time, you are a Happiness Teacher yourself. You know how to be content and that is what most people hunger for. Others can learn from you, just as you can learn from others. It’s that simple.

We humans learn naturally from one and another. Look around at your happiest pals. You will probably see they have developed the ability to live mostly in the present moment. You will probably notice how often they express gratitude.

We can all be happier if we pay attention. Some of this extra happiness will be based on a loss of innocence. There comes a day when we must stop believing that a new shampoo or a different mustache brush will make people love us more.

When we stop being true believers in the great American Consumer Creed, we will be happier. When we stop believing the high priests of products and start selecting activities and relationships that are joyful, we will be happier.  When we begin to  look within for our Love and Light, we will be happier.

I have many friends and the one I quoted at the beginning is an outstanding Happiness Teacher. She doesn’ t offer classes or advice but I’ve learned  by observing her.  My friend is not a wealthy woman but she has a busy and fulfilling life. She learns new things, meets interesting people and has a lot of fun. She always seems to be happy.

She chooses experiences that keep her interested in life without requiring fancy clothes or expensive tickets. Her life is valuable to others and it suits her well. I admire her intelligence, her resourcefulness, and her creativity. I have learned a lot about available community resources from her. She lives alone, far from family, but she is never lonely.

Two organizations provide the basics for her lifestyle – AA and our church. These two groups provide the spiritual and social backbones for her rich lifestyle. Not only does she meet wonderful people but also she is steeped in the spiritual teachings of gratitude and mindfulness.

Alcoholics Anonymous teaches us to be consistently grateful for the many blessings we receive. . The Spiritual Living Center also values gratitude. The Law of Attraction is a spiritual principle that describes a process for attracting more good. For example, if I desire more friends, I don’t complain. I give thanks for the friends I have. God responds to my gratitude by sending me more friends.You can observe this law in action in your own life if you experiment.

My friend is happy with AA and the church but she doesn’t stop there. Our local library is a place for gentle yoga, interesting lectures and her book club.  She not only finds free books but she enjoys a variety of lectures, workshops and classes. The library is a rich source of great experiences. There are many other venues she knows about because she is awake too opportunities. She never complains about lack of any sort. She is busy and happy on a limited budget.

Her life demonstrates how wisdom grows and opens us up. When we stop yearning for things and begin to appreciate what we have, we can achieve happiness. She looks inside for guidance and strength, and makes happy choices.  I’m grateful for her because she teaches me how to live well.

Ask Yourself

Are you as happy as you want to be?

Is there a Happiness Teacher in your life?

Are you a Happiness Teacher  to anyone?

Do you have a plan for more happiness?

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One Comment on “Happiness Teachers”

  1. Carole Stohr says:

    I don’t reply often, but I so enjoy your blog posts. And the quality and calmness of your writing. Much love and joy to you, my friend.


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