AUTHENTIC LIFE

Pursuit of Happiness

Vacation, like other comforts, is a great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to stay there. My family took an incredible beach vacation last summer and it was amazing. But so was the return to yard work, school activities, and my workout group. This is because we weren’t designed to live forever eating ice cream and reading novels at the shore.

Comfort is a nice place to visit. But we would never feel deeply satisfied if we remained there permanently. A La-Z-Boy recliner is only good if you’re able to get up from it. It was designed to be used after the work was done.

Many people seek happiness in comfort. Comfort foods, extravagant purchases, personal pleasures, and self-medications are popular choices. But these indulgences only lead to emptiness, and depression.

Like eating too much ice cream, the sweetness of comfort will eventually leave you aching for something more substantial.

However enjoyable a comfort might be it is only good if it’s a temporary vacation from meaningful work.

True happiness comes from contentment and accomplishment. Fill your life with meaningful work and then happiness will find you whether you’re comfortable or not.

Buying Happiness

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The verdict is in – money can buy happiness. But maybe not in the way that you’d think.

There’s no item in the world that can bring happiness just by owning it. Buying a Breitling Transocean or a Mercedes-Benz GL63 won’t bring you lasting happiness. Sure these things make you feel good about yourself, but that’s different from happiness because that good feeling disappears when you take off the watch or when the car gets old. Poof! The feeling is gone.

There is however, a way to buy happiness that will last for the rest of your life. Want to know the secret? Buy memories.

Money spent creating fun memories really does buy lasting happiness. A beach vacation or Disney cruise while the kids are little will keep you smiling even when you’re in a rest home. And great memories don’t care how expensive something is. We’ve made priceless memories at the lake playing in a cheap, used ski boat. For the price of a Rolex just imagine the memories you could make bungee jumping in New Zealand*!

Forget watches and cars – buy memories! Go places and do things with the people you love. That’s how you buy happiness!

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*So I’ve heard...

Get Your Shoes On

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A few weeks ago our whole family was arguing. Everyone was irritable and unpleasant. Kids were scattered around the living room and kitchen on various electronic devices, and my wife and I were back and forth between our phones and raising our voices at our kids. It wasn’t pretty.

I believe deeply that we weren’t designed to live indoors staring at electric screens.

So I said, “That’s it! Everyone get on your shoes. We’re going for a walk.” There were a few grumbles, but within minutes we were all outside, and walking a trail beneath the trees.

The power that nature has to transform our moods is nothing short of miraculous. After listening to birds, looking at trees, and feeling the sun and wind against our skin, we were an entirely different bunch than we were before.

The therapeutic power of walking outside can transform us. It reinvigorates our souls and it releases our minds from their everyday indoor-worries. It’s earned the title “Great Outdoors” for a reason.

If your fast-paced schedule is squeezing the life out of you, and your kids are at each other’s throats, maybe it’s time you tell everyone to get their shoes on.