Copyright (c) 2008 Phillip Booker
One important ingredient to BEING HAPPY is to open your eyes to see little foibles in your character. Allow me to explain with this illustration...
HOPE and its VALUE
Hope is a door to other possibilities. When you feel downtrodden and the world is heavy upon your shoulders, there seems to be little room for manoeuvre. Within this small area we become less focused and eventually resign ourselves to no hope whatsoever.
To have 'no hope' must in any equation equal sadness and disappointment. What happens for sure when we have no hope is that we have actively decided that no other options are available. However, if we were to ask another person who had clarity of mind they would probably suggest several directions we could take.
To have 'no hope' means to 'give in'; it doesn't mean there are no possibilities available, it just means that you're not bothered to find any.
So it would appear that to have hope in anything we do will also give us an element of happiness. To have hope allows the opportunity for possibility. You have an open mind and are always willing to listen to any positive move forward.
Happiness is about enjoying the boundless opportunities that are presented; having hope allows this process to happen.
QUOTE: "Practice hope. As hopefulness becomes a habit, you can achieve a permanently happy spirit." (Norman Vincent Peale)
If you were diagnosed as being obese you would have a right to wallow in sadness as the doctor no doubt suggested many health problems for you in the future. The very prospect of putting right what has caused the obesity can also make you sad; too much thought on the subject and you're almost ready to give in before you've started trying to put things right.
ALLOW HOPE... Hope means that there is an answer should we be ready to accept it; most of the time we're not ready. But having hope allows the prospect of it happening. Allowing hope doesn't shut the door and make it final. Allowing hope means that one door will open soon.
I can recall a particular instance that many would assume is the start of happiness. A 40 year old man and his family decided to emigrate to a hotter climate. Moving from England to Spain his 20 years of working hard had allowed him to be happily self sufficient financially to make such a move. Within two years he treated himself and his family to the luxuries of life.
He thought this was the path to more happiness. What he actually had done is put on 6 stone and become morbidly obese. His future life expectancy had decreased by 30 years; he had been diagnosed as possibly having a heart attack before he was 45 years old. Two major things could change this problem; eat healthier and be more physically active.
Both he and his family were shocked with the news. What was their thought of working hard for 20 years to allow such early retirement and then find they've forced upon themselves a potential nightmare? Their answer was HOPE.
The man chose to walk 8 miles a day for two years along the coast road. His wife had adjusted their eating and drinking habits. Five stone had been lost in 13 months, his life had been transformed. The whole occasion was a terrible life lesson, but it was only HOPE that gave them strength to allow a solution and discipline to follow a plan through to its completion.
When all seems lost HOPE gives you that edge to provide a happy solution.