Three Steps to the Happy Life: Why this Approach Does Not Work

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The happy life. What does this mean to me? Kristen Linker, a third year student at Redeemer University College. It begins with balance: trusting God, finding Joy, having harmonious relationships with the people in my life and doing the best I can with what I have at this stage in life. If I would have had to write this paper at the beginning of this semester, I would have had a completely different view on the happy life. However, through this course, I have learned what I think are the most important things to work towards. Lyubomirsky’s happiness activities have also given me some ideas about what I find to be imperative to living a life pleasing to God. Now, I will not be describing a three step program to achieve the happy life. Something like that does not exist, as I have gathered from this course. But, I will be sharing some things that helped me realize how to switch my focus to a more optimistic outlook.
Scripture and Theology
I will be starting by describing what I learned as I journeyed through Naugle’s book Reordered Love, Reordered Lives. He wrote this from a Christian perspective and had many insights into happiness. He wrote, “The basic biblical pattern is happiness with God, unhappiness without God, and happiness regained with God again” (Naugle, 129). When we are in-tune with God and His word, we will find true happiness. Apart from God, there is not true happiness.
We often discussed in class about situations where things were all going well – like the example Dr. Kosits said in class about a woman who was married to man for a number of years and was content and happy, but then found out her husband was having an affair. We posed the question, “Does that mean she actually wasn’t happy in her marriage?” Well, no....

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...his course has taught me many valuable life lessons. Many of which I will carry into my life after this year. I learned that I am living my life fairly well. I had learned many helpful techniques from a counsellor. However, I also learned new ways of seeking out Joy. Weaknesses that I see in myself are room for growth. Growth through God’s grace as mentioned before. I am thankful for those opportunities. Learning to remember how God has been with me in the past gives me hope for the future – increasing my optimism.

Works Cited

Holy Bible. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2010. Print.
Lyubomirsky, Sonja. The how of happiness: A new approach to getting the life you want. New York: Penguin Books, 2008. Print.
Naugle, David K. Reordered love, reordered lives: Learning the deep meaning of happiness. Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Pub., 2008. Print.

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