The United States Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. The second paragraph in the first article states that people have the inalienable right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. In other words, the way I see it, we all have the privilege to be happy and, in fact that should be one of our main goals in life.
More often than I'd like, I hear people wish they were happier. They hope it's a destination and change location or plan a trip. Some leave a job they find unfulfilling and try another. Others go shopping and hope to come home with contentment. This week's Monday Pleasure Peek was from Denis Waitley, American motivational speaker and author of The Winner's Edge.
"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, or worn.
It is the spiritual experience of living every minute
with love, grace, and gratitude."
It's got to come from the inside. Visiting a foreign country, seeing a beautiful piece of art, or wearing a stylish outfit is meaningless unless we breathe in its magnificence. Appreciation is another key to joy. Respecting the value of anything, big or small, also contributes to our delight.
Oprah made the word "gratitude" a part of every day terminology when she talked about her "gratitude journal" on her TV show. She's a woman who seems to have everything and can certainly afford anything, yet over the years she's mentioned how life doesn't seem to have the same zest when she gets too busy and forgets to list things that she's treasured during the day.
I've traveled a lot and I love it. There is still more of the world to see and I intend to do my best to get there. I've also owned some wonderful things like pretty houses, filled with lovely furniture and decorations. My closets have nice clothes and shoes. All these things are fantastic AND, by themselves, they are not the reason why I'm happy. What fills me with pleasure is when I meet new people who touch my soul and offer an interesting, different point of view. Seeing Michelangelo's statue of David in Florence and hearing several languages whisper exclamations of awe lifts me up. Being with my adult children and realizing how much I love them from the bottom of my heart pleases me to no end. Being aware that there is so much goodness in my life, right now, keeps me in high spirits. It's an inside job that makes the outside so sublime.