A Newsweek columnist writes about happiness:

“Is this endless pursuit of happiness just making us all miserable? We’ve said our affirmations, drunk coffee out of cheesy mugs with nonsensical, motivational quotes, and bought millions of tomes on getting rich quick while thinking positive thoughts.”

She claims that Americans outwardly say they are happy, even when they are really not. She quotes a study that despite decades of economic growth, men and women are no happier than they had been.

If that’s the case, then we must examine what being happy is all about. The top ten will bring you happiness whatever fate has in store for you.

  1. Give thanks
  2. Praise
  3. Spend time with your family
  4. Discover meaning
  5. Live your values
  6. Forgive
  7. Keep growing
  8. Learn to listen
  9. Create moments of silence in the soul
  10. Transform suffering

Life’s too full of blessings to waste time and attention on artificial substitutes. Live, give, forgive, celebrate and praise: these are the best ways of making a blessing over life, thereby turning life into a blessing.

The prescription for happiness is not sugary promotions. It is not the power of positive thinking. It is not to be beautiful, wealthy and successful. It is to be involved in a life filled with values, meaning and significance. It is to recognize all the gifts that have come your way and appreciate those gifts and those around you. It is a life filled with showing gratitude and living by eternal values.

In his discussion about happiness the Rabbi informs us that the things society tells us we must have to be happy-a new this or that, a bigger house, a better job are false prescriptions. It is not quick fixes, it is not pop psychology and it is not the popping of pills. It is being part of an eternal value system, it is being grateful and satisfied with what one has. It is the ability to give to others and know that you have lived a meaningful life. This is what happiness is all about.

The ancients stated; “Who is happy? The person who is satisfied with his portion.”

Rabbi Hirshel Jaffe, a cancer survivor, is a motivational/inspirational speaker on the theme NEVER GIVE UP! He authored “Why Me? Why Anyone?” which chronicles his rescue from leukemia and his spiritual triumph over despair. Known as “The Running Rabbi” for competing in the NY Marathon, he received the “Award of Courage” from President Ronald Reagan in a White House ceremony. Rabbi Jaffe was one of the clergy who visited the American hostages in Iran to offer them comfort and hope and was asked by the President to greet them at the White House upon their return. He received an honorary Doctorate from his seminary for “his work with the sick, and his noble influence upon all people. You can find more information on his website.

Image courtesy of Andrea Piacquadio.