The Formula for Happiness.
It seems we spend a lot of time wishing people happiness. We say Happy Birthday, Happy New Year, Happy Retirement, Have a Happy Day; we wish new babies long and happy lives as we wish newly weds a long and happy marriage. Yet for all of these good wishes toward happiness, unhappiness abounds. People are unhappy in their job, unhappy in their marriages, unhappy with their situation, unhappy with the way they look, unhappy with themselves.
Happiness is an illusive quality, it seems the more it is longed for, the more it seems just out of our grasp. This is because happiness is not something we grasp for and find; happiness is an attitude that we nurture in ourselves, and it grows, because we have the highest good for others as our core moral compass.
G Wayne Thomas in his song, There’s no Formula for Happiness, released in March 1972 penned the following lyrics which spoke to my 1972 heart and still do today.
There’s no formula for happiness, that’s guaranteed to work
It all depends on how you treat your friends
And how much you’ve been hurt
But it’s a start, when you open up your heart
And try not to hide, what you feel inside
Just open up your heart.
A couple of thousand years before 1972, The Great Physician and Teacher, Jesus, in His Sermon on the Mount spoke of a perfect blueprint for happiness. My 1957 Keys to Happiness book (p.12) describes these teachings as the remedy for what Thoreau called “lives of quiet desperation”. You can read them in Matthew Chaps 5,6,& 7. Matthew says that when the crowds had finished hearing what Jesus had to say, they were astonished.
The message then is the same today. It is the Golden Rule. Just as the song says, open up your heart, and from an authentic heart, do your good to others that you would like them to do to you. Be happy to do this and you might be astonished at the happiness which will follow.