Amazing Possibilities!

  • Matthew Kelly

How Long Do You Want to Be Happy?


The human heart is on a quest for happiness. You want to be happy. I want to be happy. And as I see it, God wants us to be happy. But sometimes in our journey, sometimes in our quest for happiness, we become mistaken about the things that truly bring us happiness. And in the last several days, we've had the opportunity to examine the different areas of our lives - physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual.



I guess when it comes down to it, you have to ask yourself, how long do you want to be happy for? I mean, how long do you want to be happy for? Because, I mean, if you just want to be happy for a few moments here and there, probably sex, drugs, alcohol, gambling, probably do it for you if you just want a few moments of happiness here and there. But between those moments of pleasure, which we so often mistake for true happiness, there's a great emptiness, a great darkness, a great hollowness that we experience in our lives and I want more than that. I don't know about you, but that's not enough for me, these few moments of happiness here and there. I want more than that, and I don't want to experience that great darkness, that great misery, that quiet desperation in my life.


I guess it depends how long you want to be happy for. I mean, if you just want a few moments of happiness, probably sex, drugs, alcohol, gambling, probably do it for you. I mean, if you just want to be happy for an hour, take a nap. I mean, it works. You take a nap. You sort of feel good. If you want to be happy for a whole day, go shopping. Get out the plastic and just go nuts. I'm not going to stand up here and try and convince you that won't bring you some sort of happiness, because you and I both know that it feels good to buy things, to have things, but it doesn't last and then the credit card bills come. I mean, if you just want to be happy for a weekend, go fishing or go golfing, if you just want to be happy for a month, take a vacation. Go down to Australia, have a great time. Feed the kangaroos, get your photograph taken with the koala bears, go in the outback, wrestle with the crocodiles. If you want to be happy for a whole year, inherit a fortune. But if you want to be happy for a lifetime-- if you want to be happy for a lifetime, find a way to make a difference in other people's lives. Because that's what the happy people have got every single time.


When I look in my life, when I look at all the people I know, I ask myself, who are the people who are genuinely happy? I mean, happy, independent of substance and circumstance, genuinely happy. I'm talking about a genuine happiness, independent of substance or circumstance. It's easy to be fat and happy by the pool in February when there's six inches of snow at home, but it's circumstantial happiness, the people I know in my life who are happy, genuinely happy, independent of substance and circumstance, they're the people who are making a difference in other people's lives. There are people who have a sense of mission in their lives. They have a sense of who they are, point A, strengths and weaknesses, faults, failings, flaws, defects, talents, abilities, potential. They have a sense of who they are. They have a sense of who they're capable of becoming, and they're striving to become the best version of themselves. They know what their talents are. They know what their gifts are. They know what their abilities are. They know what the genius is, they know what they have to offer, and they're offering it to humanity. They're making a difference in other people's lives. They're making a difference in other people's lives. And that's where their happiness comes from. That's where the happiness comes. The greatest power you have is your ability to make a difference in other people's lives. The greatest power you have is your ability to make a difference in other people's lives the greatest power I have, the greatest gift any of us has, the greatest ability any of us has is the ability to make a difference in other people's lives. And yet, it is the most unemployed human ability, the most unemployed, our greatest talent and greatest power, and yet, the most unemployed human ability.


Matthew Kelly


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