I’m working my way through a book entitled Resisting Happiness, by Matthew Kelly. This is a book you cannot simply read. Well, you could, but it would have minimal impact on your life. Therefore, I am working on the principles Matthew discusses.
You may be wondering what this has to do with living a healthier lifestyle. My friend, it has EVERYTHING to do with it. Yes, I know I owe you an article on the negative effects of artificial sweeteners. Today, this is what I am supposed to give you.
Are you happy? Do you know what makes you happy? If you answered, “YES” to those questions, then this one is not for you. However, what I have discovered is that there are times we are not even sure WHAT makes us happy. And when we know, we may not understand what is getting in the way of our happiness.
As I am learning from Resisting Happiness, we are resistant to doing those things that ultimately lead to our happiness. It’s crazy, and it’s true.
I know that I am happiest when I get plenty of sleep, work out with my friends, eat nutrient dense foods, and feel as though I am fulfilling my life purpose. When my relationships are solid, when I take time for prayer, when I am of service, I am happy.
In the course of each day, there are hundreds of times I must overcome resistance to reach the happiness side of things. Here’s what I face as I practice happiness:
- When I stay up too late, I don’t want to get up when my alarm goes off in the morning. When I ignore the alarm, the plan for my day is delayed and I feel defeated before I even get out of the gate. So much for my morning prayer and quiet time. Resistance.
- It’s the lunch hour and I eat my green salad with chicken or tuna and then I think about ice cream. REALLY? Yes, really. I love ice cream. Resistance. I could have a cup of tea and an orange instead. How will I feel later, depending on my choice?
- In order to be my best, I need to continue learning on a daily basis, which means lots of reading. Some days I think I don’t have enough time, or I’m too tired. (Those are excuses and are not acceptable. Resistance.) Could I have spent a little less time looking at Facebook or emails so I could read at least ten pages of a good book? Resistance.
- Good relationships don’t just happen; they are built on solid foundations of communication and love. Have I reached out to my family and friends, or am I too busy doing other stuff? Resistance.
The next time you are deciding what to eat or if you should go to the gym or plan a night out with your spouse, you will face resistance. What will you do about it? Will you allow it to get in the way of your happiness?
The Action Step in the book is to write down all the times you encounter resistance for a week. Awareness is the first step in fixing the problem. Give it a try and see what you discover—especially if you don’t want to! Resistance.
“The hardest war to win is one you don’t even realize you are fighting, and the hardest enemy to defeat is the one you don’t even know exists. Every day you are at war with resistance.” –Matthew Kelly in Resisting Happiness