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A Mary Poppin’s Day

When I was younger, I believed someday I would marry a prince, live in a castle, wear a beautiful gown, and live happily ever after. After being married a few years, I realized that wasn’t how it worked. It was then I began this quest for being happy in spite of living in the “real world”. I scoured books, programs, and materials, until I landed on an almost perfect happiness formula for me.

First of all, I figured out getting what you want doesn’t bring lasting happiness. I have a prestigious job- making enough money for my needs and extras; a large, beautiful home; travel anywhere I want; enjoy a closet full of clothes; and this doesn’t bring full happiness. This search for happiness in things and goals is like the “hedonic treadmill” where one continually runs to catch up with all the glitter. This seems to be a prevalent problem today as I observe those around me.

So, if getting what you want doesn’t bring happiness, what does? I found happiness comes from negative emotions and experiences. What? This sounds awful to me. I didn’t love buying 1,000 acres of cotton only to lose it 25 years later; however, the experience taught me many lessons that brought happiness. I learned that working hard was important. I also learned there was fun in the working! Wow, never thought I’d think that! My husband and I both found other jobs that taught us other important skills as well as meeting and learning from other people and cultures was also exciting and rewarding.

Learning from trials was enhanced as I discussed my life with the most perfect person on the planet- my Father in Heaven. Not only did I have someone to talk to who really knows, understands, and keeps things confidential, but through these conversations, I learned who I was and what my eternal purpose is.

This discovery of who I am and my purpose taught me another important lesson about happiness- not comparing myself to others! They’ll always be smarter, cuter, richer ladies than I am, and in the end, I found that to be a dead end only to bring me misery. It is not a competition to get into heaven. There are certain requirements and I will not be compared to others by Heavenly Father. I only have to do my very best and Christ makes up the difference!

This understanding of my purpose in life brought another element of happiness to the forefront, which is service. I get high on service! Never thought I’d say this when I was a teenager! Going to work and helping others reach their full potential is like a drug to me! I need it every day to bring this peace and contentment to my world!

Finally, these exact ingredients may not be your perfect solution to happiness; however, searching for your perfect solution is the best part to figuring out happiness- happiness is a process, not an event!

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