Happiness Is …

Many years ago, Abraham Lincoln said that most of us are about as happy as we make up our minds to be.

Somewhat more recent studies done by David Meyers of Hope College in Holland, Mich., and Ed Dyner of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, indicate that happy people have four things in common: First, they have a support system. For a long time, a popular song was “People Who Need People.” All 12-step programs are based on the concept of having a support group, someone we can count on when the going gets tough and a word of support and encouragement will make the difference.

Second, happy people’s work is fulfilling. A wise man observed that work gives us more than a living — it gives us a life. Those who’ve been fortunate enough to have found something that provides them both a living (the income) and a life (loving what they do) are far more likely to be happy.

Third, happy people lean on their faith. A study by The Heritage Foundation revealed that those who regularly attend worship services are both happier and healthier, as well as more prosperous than those who have no faith to lean upon. They are less likely to suffer nervous breakdowns or become addicted to drugs and alcohol; they are more optimistic about their future and are less likely to spend time in prison or get pregnant while in their teens.

Fourth, happy people have a positive view about themselves and life in general. Since attitudes are catching, it’s important that when people catch an attitude from us that it be a positive one.

When we combine these factors, it is clear that our happiness really is a choice because we can develop a support system, learn to enjoy our work, develop a faith and maintain the right attitude about life. When you take that approach, you’ll be happy in your upward climb. See you at the top!

To find out more about Zig Ziglar and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at: www.creators.com. Subscribe to Zig Ziglar’s free email newsletter through: [email protected].

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