8 WAYS I STAY POSITIVE AND HAPPY

My emotional, but often positive, two year old – Kenzie

I’m known for being positive and happy, but don’t assume that’s because everything in my life has been easy or everything always goes my way.

I’m happy because of what and how I see things, not because of what is happening. I live in the Seattle, WA area; which is more often than not, cloudy and a little rainy. But I commonly say to myself and to others, “It’s another beautiful day!” I’m not saying it sarcastically, I’m serious. I determined that the goodness or the beauty of the day was based on something much greater than the “conditions of that particular day.”

I’m happy because of what and how I see things, not because of what is happening.

Those who know me might say, “But Samuel, you are a “naturally” positive person, that’s why you’re happy.” While it’s true that my leaning in life is towards the positive, it’s easy to lean towards the negative and I get opportunities to discard happiness often. But over the years I’ve learned that staying positive and happy isn’t an accident, you must be intentional about it.

Here are 8 WAYS I stay positive and happy:

1. KEEP MY EYES ON JESUS
   I know this may sound simplistic but when I remind myself of his sacrifice and His love for all humanity and me, it gives me strength to push another day.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

2. THINK BIG PICTURE
   One of the biggest things that trips people up is making a “big deal” out of small things. Try not to get caught up in simple things like someone cutting you off on the road or getting a stain on your shirt or a negative review or one bad grade. There are much bigger and more important things in life and the more you focus on what really matters the less the small things will matter.

3. FORGIVE QUICKLY
   Sometimes easier said than done, but the truth is that when we allow offenses to stack up and hold back forgiveness towards those who hurt or offend us it will build up a tar like substance on our heart. It’s impossible to be happy and hold grudges.

A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. – Proverbs 19:11

4. LOOK FOR AND THINK ABOUT THE GOOD
   This will take practice but it can be done. There is always something good to see. Here is a verse you should memorize and apply. Don’t let yourself think very long about anything that doesn’t fit the qualities in the verse below.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. – Philippians 4:8

5. DON’T HANG OUT WITH NEGATIVE PEOPLE
   Spend as little time with negative people as you possibly can. They will affect you in the long run. But when you are around them, don’t indulge in their complaining. Show compassion but help them redirect their frustration to the positive. You will either help them be more positive or they’ll stop wanting to hang out with you; Either way, you win. ha!

6. ALLOWING THE HOLY SPIRIT TO TRANSFORM ME
   God doesn’t just want to save us, He wants to see us live a full and blessed life. But to do that He must teach and train us to apply his principles to our lives. Like Galatians tells us we must learn to walk with the Holy Spirit. When we do, we’ll begin to see the results in our lives; one of the results is Joy.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23

7. STAY CONSUMED WITH THE CAUSE
   The more I focus on others and ultimately on God’s purpose, the more fulfilled and happy I become. People often have an idea that “doing” too much is what stresses them out. But more often than not it’s a lack of “doing something that matters,” that drains us.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. – Matthew 6:33

8. WORSHIP
   As I kicked off 2014 I got sick for a few days and trying to get back into the flow of work and go after my day seemed hard that first Monday morning. So I just turned on some worship music and it lifted my spirit right up. Worship brings God’s presence into your situation, and when God gets involved, things change.

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. – Acts 16:25-26

Being positive or happy isn’t about circumstances being perfect and it doesn’t happen by accident. You have to be intentional and proactive to not allow the negativity and disappointments that life can bring to pull you into a negative disposition. That’s why the Bible says:

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. – Proverbs 4:23

Being happy and positive for me is about staying mindful of the list I mentioned above and it’s a habit that has to be developed.

Start today, begin to SEE the good that God is doing and I believe you’ll begin to SEE MORE OF THE GOOD HE HAS FOR YOU.

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