Happiness as an Independent Variable by George Allen Blacken by George Allen Blacken - Read Online

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Happiness as an Independent Variable - George Allen Blacken

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1

What Makes You Happy?

There are many definitions for happiness. At various points in time, we tend to sometimes define happiness differently. When all is said and done, what really matters to you? What makes you happy?

It is obvious that the same thing which makes one content is not guaranteed to please another. Can someone, even the good Webster himself, really provide a definition of happiness that is adequate for your needs and suitable for your desires? Yes and no. This is definitely a tale of two worlds.

First, there is the spiritual realm dealing with the conflict between good and evil, waged between God and the devil almost since the beginning of time. How does this colossal struggle between the sources of light and darkness pertain to the happiness of resourceful grasshoppers such as us?

It is God’s will for all of us, his creations, to be happy.

For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.

- Psalm 128:2 (King James Version)

He hath made everything beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.

And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.

- Ecclesiastes 3:11-13 (King James Version)

Furthermore, God provides us with the means to be happy.

Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.

- Psalm 144:15 (King James Version)

Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.

- Proverbs 3:13 (King James Version)

He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.

- Proverbs 16:20 (King James Version)

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

- Philippians 4:6-7 (King James Version)

God even provides each of us with a natural, instinctive insight on what we need and desire deep down inside.

Be careful. Not all of your instincts provide the inside scoop on what it really takes to please you. Your instinctive reactions and intuitions may reveal who you are and provide some clues as to where you may be going, but these characteristics do not necessarily reflect all of what you desire to be and have. It must be kept in mind that the devil thinks he knows what needs and wants packages that the masses desire as well. Watch out for this tricky salesman.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

- 1 Peter 5:8 (King James Version)

His return policy is lousy. A refund is just out of the question. Exchanges are not accepted. No one else can take your licking for you. Only additional suckers are sought for consumption. If the devil can completely have things his way, he would like all sales to be final without you having a clue of knowing how to decipher the fine print, until it is too late.

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy…

- St. John 10:10 (King James Version)

What this all boils down to is, Do you want a guide or a salesman? A guide will tell you where you are and provide you with all of the needed highlights. You will be informed of past pitfalls, nearby traps, and future ambushes. A guide teaches you how to survive. The fundamental basics are provided. You will know where to go next. The guide knows what you want, but only points you in the right direction so that you can discover and better appreciate this yourself.

Along comes the salesman who offers to sweeten the deal. He not only tells you what he believes you need, but the salesman also claims to know what you want, even more than you do. He even offers to throw in a variety of his stale goodies. To further convince you, he will get others he has duped to testify to you what they think they know. If you reject his offer, you are now considered out of the clique until he comes back with a new sales pitch. If you agree to his terms, you will one day discover the inevitable: THE DEAL HAS TURNED SOUR! Even worse, you still did not receive what you really wanted. You definitely did not get what you needed.

Regardless of what your spiritual persuasion may or may not be, discovering what makes you happy will often involve numerous risks as you venture into unfamiliar territories. Without a guide, you have no map. You will soon be lost. Following the flow does not guarantee that you will get out of the confusing maze that you are now trapped in. Here comes the salesman, once again.

The salesman has many maps and you can have one at a price. Out of desperation, you will definitely want one. Everyone really wants to go places and some how fit in somewhere. Unfortunately, none of the salesman’s maps will take you to where you need to go. After walking in circles for too long, going nowhere begins to become more appealing than going anywhere. There has to be more to it than this!

A guide knows what is best for you on your journey, while a salesman only knows what is best for himself. Yes, whichever one you choose at the destined crossroads we all must travel through can define happiness for you. No, you cannot sit back and just do nothing. You must still be able to comprehend happiness for yourself. You have to feel it. Do you not see it? Can you hear it? You must be able to taste it. No one else can do this for you. Even if someone has opened your cage for you, you must still walk out in order to be free. Happiness works the same way.

Now, once again, what makes you happy? Is it possible for you to jot down the things which bring happiness to you? Which of these things do you currently have? Are you lacking any items on your list? How can you complete your list? Do you really need all of the items on your list to be happy? Which items must you absolutely have in order to be happy? Please circle those special items. Hold on to this list as you would hold on to dear life.

2

What Makes You Sad?

I am not sure what you jotted down on your list from last time, but I will say this. There are some basic human treasures that most of us are on the hunt for. Deep down inside, regardless of whether you would like to admit it or not, all of us have a desire to worship some higher being or deity. The vast spread of many different religions testifies to this inner spiritual yearning. History has shown that all great civilizations worshipped some form of a higher power. Before we go any further the following must be acknowledged about Jesus Christ:

Which in his times he shall show, who is blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords;

Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

- 1 Timothy 6:15-16 (King James Version)

It has been proven through many adverse experiences that atheists often desire the intervention of a higher power when they have reached their darkest hour with all other options having been exercised, even if they do not believe themselves. Much worse, we sometimes make the mistake of elevating another person whom we admire to the divine idol status. Things often go downstream from there as a result. It is my prayer that you will channel your inner spiritual flow to the right bank.

From the very beginning, it was not meant for man to be alone.

And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

- Genesis 2:18 (King James Version)

Ever since that fateful day all of us have the heart pounding need to love and be loved. From there, we often desire acceptance, friendship, companionship, and family.

Despite what is transpiring in present day society, having moral strength is still respected and sought after by many people.

A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.

- Proverbs 22:1 (King James Version)

Of course, we tend to desire financial security, but not at the steep price of the sacred peace of mind.

Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.

- Proverbs 16:8 (King James Version)

Good health and strength often have a significant influence on the results of our current personal report for the day. Often times, when one or more of these and other sacred treasures are no longer contained within our inner bosom, the gloomy counterpart of happiness begins to rear his head out of the corner, sadness.

First, some would argue that anger is the more exact polar opposite of happiness. When we start to investigate in greater detail why someone is really angry, we begin to see why this person is truly sad. The same thing that has made you sad, provoked your anger. The more we think about this, the easier it is to see that anger is nothing more than another way of expressing the sadness on the inside. The closest anger can be to the opposite number of happiness is to claim its natural inheritance as the dubious twin brother of sadness. The same catalysts of unmet needs and unfilled desires trigger the same notes, but a different tune just comes out.

If you hang around the sadness and anger twins too long, they will take you over and under.

A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

- Proverbs 15:13 (King James Version)

Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.

- Ecclesiastes 7:9 (King James Version)

Do you still remember the things that make you happy? How will you prevent the sadness and anger twins from jacking you up on a stormy night and robbing you of your happiness?

Now, take another look at the list which contained the items contributing towards your happiness. If it is lost, hopefully it will be found. Otherwise, start anew.

Remembering the things that make you happy, can you briefly reminisce on the exact opposite of each item which comes to mind?