Yesterday I did a happy little experiment on Facebook. I posted a simple sentence: “Tell me about something that made you happy today.” I didn’t know whether anyone would respond. 122 comments later it seems as though I struck a chord. Ask people what makes them happy and they are more than……happy to share it with you.
Here’s what I found in my admittedly unscientific analysis of the results of my little experiment…
Happiness is a powerful and infectious thing.
Once people started posting answers, others couldn’t help but join in. I had people post on my page who had never ever done so before. Others commented that they simply enjoyed scrolling through and reading all of the responses. It was so much fun to bring a little happiness into people’s lives.
Here are the things that brought joy into people’s lives at this little snapshot in time:
- People. Far and away it is people, and interaction with them, that brings happiness and joy into lives. People posts were by far and away the majority of the posts. Simple things like lunch with a friend, time with a grandchild, and talking to someone special on the phone made the list.
- Events. It was events that came in second. Baseball games, plays, or going to a museum injected some joy. It reminds me that it is far more important to spend resources on making memories than it is on stuff.
- Work. Believe it or not, there were quite a few people who posted things that brought them happiness at work. Work is often a good thing. It brings meaningfulness, purpose, and, yes, happiness into our lives.
- Health. Exercise, recovery, and appreciation for illness-free bodies were appreciated by quite a few.
- Spiritual Life. We are spiritual creatures. As St. Augustine said: “Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.” When we recognize the joy our God delivers, it also brings happiness (And, no, joy and happiness aren’t the same thing. Ask me about that some time.)
- Creation and Nature. Sunrises, beaches, and “beautiful views” made the list for some people. It’s a reminder that beauty brings joy. Thank God that He is creative. His creativity can be seen everyday if you just look for it.
- Affirmation. There were some who simply found happiness in being affirmed for something they had done or accomplished. Why don’t you go ahead and affirm someone today?
Do you notice what’s missing from this list?
Money. There was only one post out of more than 100 that only indirectly talked about money. It seems that happiness in life isn’t derived from money. It is derived more from the people who walk with us on this journey, the events we share, the work we get to do, the health with which we are blessed, a God who gives it all, His beautiful creation, and being affirmed for a job well done.
What’s making you happy today?