The secret to happiness

Published 2:45 pm Saturday, December 30, 2017

Are you happy? Most of the time, we make our lives complicated by pursuing something that is unattainable. We make enjoying our lives so much harder than it actually is. Happiness is possible for us all. First, we have to define our definition of happiness, and then reframe it if necessary.

For many, it’s complicated — with never-ending restrictions. I know this because I used to put limitations on my own. I would think if only this would happen then I will finally be happy. When the great event happened, however, I didn’t take the time to enjoy the moment or even feel the joy. I just added another restriction and continued to chase something that I would never be able to attain. During my pursuit of happiness, I discovered something so powerful that I want to share with you.

Happiness is not an event nor a person. It is not a material thing, success, nor money. It is not a formula or a long list of restrictions. For me, it is gratitude. When I find the feeling of gratitude, then I find the joy. I don’t make it complicated, nor take it out of my own control. I don’t put my ability to be joyful in someone else’s hands.

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Every day I look for things to be thankful for. I take a moment to enjoy the sunrise and sunset and give as many smiles and hugs as I can in one day. If I can’t be happy with what already have, then I wouldn’t be happy with more. I love finding the joy in simple things. When we remove the unnecessary limitations and expectations from our lives, then we open our hearts to receive more.

Recording my blessings in a gratitude journal helps me to see my life with new understanding. When I take time to thank God for all that He has blessed me with, then I realize that I have an abundance of everything that I need. I spent much of my life whining and crying about the five fingers I don’t have, instead of being grateful for the five that I do have. When I changed my thought process and felt gratitude for the five fingers that I do have, then suddenly I had enough. The greatest gifts in life can’t be bought, or even be seen — they must be felt in our hearts.

Candida Sullivan is an author and inspirational speaker. She lives in New Tazewell with her husband and kids. For more information about her books or to schedule her for your event, email her at