Send in your ideas
|1. They don't leave
happiness to chance
The happiest people I know do not leave it to
chance. They have clear personal standards and take
responsibility for their own lives.
The happiest people I know choose to see the world that
way. Their glass is always half full, never half empty.
They look for the good - and they find it!
3. Someone loves them
Need I say more?
4. Being made to feel capable
Everyone needs to feel (a) lovable, and (b) capable. If
people respect what we are trying to do and acknowledge
its value, showing gratitude, it's great! We need
responsibilities, real authority, and acknowledgment of
what we do.
|About this page
good comes from God (see Moroni 7:18).
So, if we really want to understand God, we need to focus on
the good things. Too many of us see religion as a burden. This
shows that we really do not understand it!
"Is it good?" is always the final test. For example,
see the page on answers to prayer.
|5. Love for life
There is something wonderful about life - whether in
babies, animals, or in the kind of people who make life
easier for others. Let's build and support it, not
Isn't it great when you are surrounded by people you can
really trust? Wouldn't it be great if everyone was honest
with themselves and with each-other?
7. Independent desires
Some people are never satisfied with what they have. They
always want what someone else has. But the really happy
people I know do not judge themselves by what others have.
8. A day off
Everyone likes holidays, and if you're busy, the best
kind of holiday is the peaceful kind where you recharge
your batteries. A real change from the rat race, a time
to rest, read, enjoy time with your family. Everyone
deserves at least one day like this each week.
9. Not being judgemental
Some people are always putting others down. But the
happiest people I know.
|Are you a
Please send me ideas
to add to this list. If you can find scriptures
that refer to them, even better. You have
probably already spotted that this is basically a
list of "the commandments!"
I especially want your
ideas - I want to test the statement that
"all good things come from God" - I
need your help!
Really happy people know what they want - they have a
11. Hard work
There is nothing like the satisfaction of a hard day's
work doing something worthwhile.
Having a network of people who care for you makes a big
13. Financial security
Nothing causes arguments more than money worries. Wouldn't
it be great if you didn't have to worry about such things?
One answer is for everyone to have lots of money. A more
realistic optuion is some kind of organized "safety
net" that yuou can really trust.
14. Shared goals
This is particularly the case if you live with someone.
It makes a big difference to your happiness to know that
you are pulling in the same direction!
15. Love and respect from your children
If you're a parent you know how you feel when your child
does something nice. If you're old and living on your own,
you know it's more than just nice - it's a life saver.
one of these ideas can be found (in some form) in
the scriptures. How many can you find?
- 50% or more - you're doing pretty good!
- 80% or more - you really know your
- 80% or more, first time, without looking
in an index - WOW!
I know that if I ask people "what makes you happy,"
somebody is eventually going to say "sex!" -
but think about it. Are prostitutes the happiest people
on earth? What we really want is physical intimacy that
means something. Somebody who wants to be close to us
forever. A loving "forever" commitment (e.g.
the ideal marriage) makes a huge impact on happiness.
Making a real difference
We need to know that what we do matters. There is not
greater feeling than to know that what you have done has
made other people happy, or has made the world a better
It is so important to feel that you have real choices -
that you are not trapped. What
kind of behavior leads to the greatest freedom?
19. Knowing your priorities are right
I think most people would agree with most of the things
on this page. But who makes them real priorities? And who
can get the priorities right? The assurance that you are
getting it about right gives great confidence and
Speaking personally, I get tremendous happiness from
learning useful new things. Maybe this is a side effect
of what information can offer - who knows? It works for
21. Have some good news
This always cheers people up!
Wouldn't it be great if you could trust everyone? If you
knew that nobody was going to take advantage of you, and
there was no crime?
"Hierarchy of needs"
Maslow was a psychologist who developed a list of
human needs that is frequently used by
psychologists, psychiatrists, marketing people,
and anyone who is interested in motivation. Every
one of these can be provided for in numerous ways
by the gospel - if we will let it!
These are the five levels - we only worry
about a higher number when the lower numbers are
taken care of.
- PHYSIOLOGICAL (e.g. food, warmth)
- SAFETY (e.g. avoiding physical risks)
- LOVE & BELONGING
- ESTEEM (e.g. recognition)
- SELF ACTUALIZATION (e.g. doing something
|23. The "golden
Do to others how you would like them to do to you. It
seems a pretty good rule for happiness to me.
The happiest people I know are also the most generous.
25. Avoiding drugs
Nothing take away freedom (and money, and life,
and self-respect) like excessive use of alcohol and other drugs.
And moderate use is not necessary to being happy (though
it is sometimes used as a crutch), so why go down that
road at all?
26. Maximum respect for your body
People who treat themselves and others with the most
respect tend to find people who treat them the same. If
you place a high price on yourself, you are more likely
to find someone who will pay it.
27. Do it!
I once read a report into how much quality time parents
spend with their children. Just a few minutes a week, on
average. The report concluded, "most people say that
families are important to them, but they don't live that
28. Making others feel good (no gossip!)
Ever read the book, "How to Win Friends and
Influence People?" It is as true today as it has
ever been. Find a way to say everything in a genuinely
kind and complimentary way, and everyone is happy.
|O.K., what are
we going to do about it?
people would agree with most of these things, but
there is a lot to remember. Good intentions are
not enough. How do we make sure we actually do
We need to learn, to be motivated, to find
ways to help each other, to focus on methods that
will allow us to do everything else. We need to
make commitments - covenants, if you like.
You know what I'm getting at, don't you? We
need a church organization.
|29. Do good
As Abraham Lincoln said, "when I do good, I feel
good. When I do bad, I feel bad."
Meeting spiritual needs
Many people have a deep need to know why they
are here, what is after death, etc. They find this
information, and other spiritual experiences, deeply
If you are down, or need help, and other people make the
effort to really understand you, it really makes a
Physically healthy people claim they get far more out of
life. This means more than just stopping smoking, but
also eating healthy food, getting enough sleep, keeping
clean, working hard, etc. They say it is worth it!
There is something breathtaking in natural forms.
Mountains, stars, flowers, animals, the human body.
34. Being part of something wonderful
Have you ever been part of a really good choir? Or on a
winning team at an important event? Then you will know
what I mean.
35. Having a new temple built nearby
Every new temple is an answer to prayer, an opportunity
for more good experiences, and a fulfilment of prophecy.
of the things that make us happy are actually
secondary, or derivative. For example, money
makes a lot of people happy. Or does it? It's
just paper, or even just numbers in a bank. And
we all know of wealthy people who are not any
happier than other people.
Come to that, if you live in America, you are
already in the top ten per cent of the world's
richest people. Does your (relatively) vast
wealth make you very happy?
It seems to me that money only makes us happy
if it gives us security and freedom. These are
the real desires. Money is just secondary.
|36. Not believing
things that are not true
Of course, the important thing is to identify
37. Living the gospel
Amen to that!
38. Going out to work
"my wife has a much harder job!"
39. Knowing my Heavenly Father loves me.
40. Doing LOCAL missionary work.
" When I thought I was going into all the world, I found the Lord
wanted me right here."
41. God makes me happy.
"The fact that he loves me so much that he would make the blood
of his son absolve my sins makes me happy."
42. The next one is up to you. What makes YOU happy?
......... Add your entry here
|Items from number 35 onward were suggested by
||No-one is happy all the time (or
they would not appreciate what hapiness was). Let's look at depression:
Do Mormon women get more depressed?
This is from a post to Eyring-L at http://www.cyberbuzz.gatech.edu/kaboom/mail-archives/Eyring-L/9905/0075.html
"New book analyzes LDS religion and mental health
"'Religion, Mental Health, and the Latter-day
Saints' edited by Daniel K. Judd, an assistant professor of ancient scripture
at BYU, includes research conducted over many years on members of The Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Fourteen studies are collected in this
book and are representative of the best of scholarship in the field.
"In his research, Judd has identified 58 studies
of religion and mental health that focus on Latter-day Saint samples. The
vast majority of the scholarship refutes negative anecdotal stereotypes concerning
Latter-day Saint mental health and counters some favorite myths. 'All of the
research I found about the relationship between religion and mental health
is positive,' Judd said.
"Several chapters focus on Latter-day Saint women.
In their studies, David C. Spendlove, Dee W. West and William M. Stanish compared
samples of LDS and non-LDS women in Utah and found no difference in the prevalence
of depression. Marleen Williams's research also disproves the cultural stereotype
that LDS women are more depressed than Protestant women. 'In general, LDS
women are just like everyone else--some get depressed and some don't. The
research shows that the belief that LDS women are more depressed than other
women is false,' Judd said.
"H. Dean Garrett and Bruce A. Chadwick also studied
LDS women, exploring the relationship between religiosity, employment and
mental well-being. Well-known BYU researcher and sociologist Tim B. Heaton
working with Kristen L. Goodman found that Latter-day Saints have larger families,
higher rates of marriage and fertility and lower divorce rates than Catholic
and Protestant samples. Brent L. Top, Bruce A. Chadwick and Janice Garrett
studied LDS youth on the East Coast, in the Pacific Northwest and in Utah
and found that geography and concentration of LDS youth are not directly related
to the rate of delinquency. Other researchers analyzed such topics as drug
use and suicide. ...
"All together, the studies published in 'Religion,
Mental Health, and the Latter-day Saints' suggest a clear, positive relationship
between religion and mental well-being and lay the groundwork for additional
research by other social scientists, Judd believes. 'Being religious isn't
a disadvantage as mental health is concerned--in fact, it's a blessing,"'Judd
The bottom line
"Happiness is the object and design of our existence;
and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it"
- Teachings of the Prophet Joseph