The little boy looked up and smiled. "Stairs!" He let go of his mother's hand and began to climb.
The little girl frowned, moaned and stamped her foot. "Me no go up those stairs. Too tall."
Two children from the same family with the same gene pool and probably the same background looked at the same situation in a totally different way. The young boy's thoughts were on a fun challenge, and the girl looked at the task as overwhelming.
The incident provoked several thoughts. Many of us are like these children--either going for the gusto in life or feeling overwhelmed. Some people just naturally seem happy. Others struggle with the concept.
How do we find that elusive thing called happiness? I thought about this and did a little research on famous quotes about being happy. These quotes about happiness seemed to fall into four main categories that we can learn from.
1. Happiness quote lesson 1: Happiness is a decision.
“Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Abraham Lincoln
“Happiness depends upon ourselves.” Aristotle
“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.” Dr. Seuss
2. Happiness quote lesson 2: Compassion and service bring happiness.
“If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” Dalai Lama
“I slept and I dreamed that life was all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy.” Kahlil Gibran
“Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.” Mother Teresa
3. Happiness quote lesson 3: Our actions bring us happiness.
“Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.” Eleanor Roosevelt
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Mahatma Gandhi
“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” Dalai Lama
4. Happiness quote lesson 4: If you are happy, share your feelings with others.
“Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has no taste.” Charlotte Bronte
“All who joy would win must share it. Happiness was born a Twin.” Lord Byron
“Happiness is like a kiss. You must share it to enjoy it.” Bernard Meltzer
So what can we do to capture this elusive happiness?
1. Think happy thoughts
2. Perform acts of service.
3. Do something you love.
4. Let others catch your joy.
How can the little girl's mother help her find happiness in climbing the stairs? By thinking and acting positively and being happy herself. Mom can make a game out of getting to the entrance (skip, hop, climb up backwards), talk about the fun things they'll see in the museum, sing as they go, or find a distraction such as watching a bird near the entrance. As a parent, if we exude happiness, our children will catch it.
May we all find joy in our happiness journey.