I’m excited to be part of the launch team for Jennifer Dukes Lee’s book “The Happiness Dare” which will be released on August 2nd. Find out more and check out some pre-order special offers here.
I’m only halfway through the book but so far it’s been a thought-provoking read: looking at the link between happiness and holiness, how happiness relates to joy, and considering that God is the inventor of happiness and that it is something he wants us to pursue.
The second section of the book looks at different happiness styles, or the different things that bring us happiness. I am finding this part of the book especially enlightening.
With happiness, as with most other things in life, it is easy to compare ourselves to others and think that we should be the same, but the truth is that:
“Happiness begins in that moment when we look within and say, “I was not created to be her. I was created to be me.””
It is so freeing to understand that we all find happiness in different things. What one person finds tedious or difficult might be the very thing that brings joy to someone else, and that’s okay- it’s because we were created differently.
There is a test which has been created to help you find your happiness style- click here to discover whether you’re a Doer, a Giver, a Thinker, a Relater or an Experiencer.
I am primarily a Thinker, and I was reassured by these words:
Sometimes I think my mind just works in a different way to other people’s.
Well, maybe it does, but that’s okay.
I particularly appreciated the comments about questions: “Questions aren’t curses, but are pathways to God’s answers… when we ponder and reason the things of God, we aren’t trying to outsmart him. We’re becoming more like him.”
I can’t help asking questions. I have a curious mind, I want to understand, I’m not afraid to wrestle with the difficult, unanswerable questions. I realise though, that sometimes people see that as threatening. They can see my questions as doubting, when really they are not coming from a place of doubt but from a desire to understand more.
Understanding happiness styles is helpful both for appreciating your own style, and for understanding more about others who have a very different style from you.
Of course none of us have just one style. We all have elements of each of them to a greater or lesser degree and each of us is unique.
So I’ve been thinking about some things that make me happy:
Music- playing, singing, listening… especially playing with others in a band or orchestra. There’s something wonderful about it- the fact that you each have your individual part to play, but they slot together to make something infinitely more amazing and beautiful that you could ever create by yourself. There are times when I play music and it’s going well, and I feel like I’m doing what I was created to do.
Reading the Bible- unhurried time to read and journal and pray and let it sink in. I’m not good at hearing God speak when I’m in a hurry, but when I have time to properly switch off from everything else to focus on God those are some of my happiest times.
Walking in God’s creation- by the sea, in the country, even in the local park- being out in nature is where I feel closest to God.
Talking with friends- again I’m happiest when I have unhurried time to go deep. I’m not so much into small talk or big crowds, but give me uninterrupted time one-to-one or with a group of close friends and I’m happy. I also love friends who are very different from me who push me outside my usual zone of happiness at times.
Storytelling with children- Children’s natural joy brings me joy, and I love to see their responses as they hear stories from the Bible for the first time. If you need a happiness boost today, check out this post for some funny stories.
Anticipation– sometimes I enjoy the anticipation of happy events more than the event itself. I’ve always enjoyed Friday night more than Saturday and Christmas Eve more than Christmas Day. (Remember, I’m not weird but wonderful! 😉 )
Helping others- My second most prominent happiness style is Giver and I loved this quote from that chapter in the book:
Writing- I had no idea when I started this blog last year just how much happiness writing would bring.
I’d love to know what makes you happy. Feel free to share in the comments, and don’t forget to check out your happiness style here.