Friday, January 12, 2018

Make This Your Best Year Ever

There are two primary factors that produce happiness. Surprisingly, they don't include wine, beer, coffee, chocolate, travel, exercise, shopping, sex, or sunshine, despite the pleasure rush such things can stimulate. This brief post will reveal the happiness prescription. Readers who choose to swallow these profound pills rather than merely looking for superficial thrills can make 2018 their best year ever.

The first happiness factor is gratitude. Grateful people savor the taste of steak and asparagus when they have it but appreciate the high fiber and cost effectiveness of rice and beans when that's on the menu. They squeeze maximum joy from what they have. They don't lose the happiness of the present moment by whining about what they don't have but hope to have in some future moment. Ambition is good. Discontent is a contageous disease and a buzz killer and a kill joy. Gratitude is the attitude of the happy.

The second happiness producer is forgiveness. Happy folks forgive those who screw them to avoid letting bitterness poison their hearts and ruin their life party. Forgiveness doesn't require naivete. One need not live in a fantasyland where all people are good or are merely hurt people who hurt people. Humans do some sick shit. Still, a little humility about one's own fuckups and accepting heaven's mercy can make it easier to pardon other criminals. Give it a try.

Nevertheless, forgiveness doesn't negate consequences, as many syrupy religious folks pretend. A truly repentant child molester can be forgiven. However, one never has the right to let such babysit children, who are the precious diamonds heaven scatters upon our world to remind us what we once were and should aspire to be again. Thus, happy people can have big ambitions and high standards, but they appreciate life's generosities and forgive life's injustices. 

Gratitude and forgiveness are the real secrets of happiness. Yet, they're also components of a spiritual character that cannot be immediately purchased or injected. It must be chosen. It must be cultivated. It must be protected. It must be renewed. Whether you are choosing it or just renewing it, do so now and make the common expression "Happy New Year" a year-long reality. 

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