Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Peale on Happiness

 

“Happiness will never come if it’s a goal in itself; happiness is a by-product of a commitment to worthy causes.” — Rev. Norman Vincent Peale

Is everybody happy? If not, dedicate yourself to a worthy cause. Go make a family. Get involved in a church. Quit your moping and move your feet.

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  1. Vectorman Thatcher

    How true!


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    • #1
    • June 1, 2018, at 8:24 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Love this one, @arahant. I don’t strive for happiness; I hope for overall satisfaction with my life. The things I do, the people I love all provide me with endlessly satisfying moments, and often I’m blessed with joy, too. Whether I hit a bump in the road or have a disappointment, that sense of satisfaction is always there, even though sometimes it’s subtle.

    • #2
    • June 1, 2018, at 8:52 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  3. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Stellar advice.

    • #3
    • June 1, 2018, at 10:17 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  4. Tree Rat Member

    Arahant:

    Happiness will never come if it’s a goal in itself; happiness is a by-product of a commitment to worthy causes.—Rev. Norman Vincent Peale

    Is everybody happy? If not, dedicate yourself to a worthy cause. Go make a family. Get involved in a church. Quit your moping and move your feet.

    Okay, I agree, but must point out that happiness can also derive from low expectations.

    Or, at least, contentment.

    • #4
    • June 1, 2018, at 1:14 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  5. Clavius Thatcher

    Tom Lehrer described Norman Vincent Peale as one of the great philosophers in his song It Makes a Fella Proud to be a Soldier.

    • #5
    • June 1, 2018, at 1:27 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  6. Profile Photo Member

    Arahant: happiness is a by-product

    I would like to suggest another word: joy.

    To me, “happiness” is a shallow and fleeting emotion or feeling: Yeah, the sun came out! Darn, it’s raining! My, that apple pie is good! You call that gumbo?! That sort of thing.

    Joy is much deeper, more satisfying, and longer-lasting.

    The Reverend is on to something, though, about pursuing a worthy cause.

    Jesus said (paraphrasing Deuteronomy 6:5-7): 

    37 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it:You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40 ESV)

    That pretty well encapsulates “worthy causes,” no?

    • #6
    • June 1, 2018, at 3:42 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  7. Tree Rat Member

    AchillesLastand (View Comment):
    37 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment.

    Whereas I maintain that if we judge by willing compliance, Genesis 1:28, deserves the distinction.

    • #7
    • June 1, 2018, at 4:28 PM PDT
    • Like
  8. Profile Photo Member

    Richard Finlay (View Comment):
    Genesis 1:28, deserves the distinction.

    Hmmm…

    Gen. 1:28 And God blessed them. And God said to them,  “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

    This command is pre-Fall. Things changed with the Fall: man was doomed to die. 

    Gen. 2:15 The LORD God took the man  and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil  you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat  of it you  shall surely die.”

    And, 

    Gen. 3:22 Then the LORD God said,  “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand  and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” 23 therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden  to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the  cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.

    I’m not picking a fight, but the Fall changed things…

     

    • #8
    • June 1, 2018, at 4:48 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  9. Tree Rat Member

    Sure, but ‘be fruitful and multiply’ is still the most complied-with command, even among non-humans, in fact, all of life. Without this command, everything is different.

    I have no argument with the fact that Jesus’s statements are correct for fallen humans. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the fallen nature is what makes it necessary to have explicit commandments. The power of Gen 1:28 is that those that do not comply, cease to be a problem in time. Fallen humans are a problem always.

    • #9
    • June 1, 2018, at 5:05 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  10. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    St. Francis was asked by his friars what was meant by “perfect joy.” He told them to imagine they were struggling up a mountain at night, in a snowstorm, barefoot, and they saw a house up ahead. Stumbling bloody-footed through the snow, they come to the door and pound on it, begging to be let in. The household refuses, shouting abuse and pouring filth on their heads. This, said the saint, should not dampen their spirits because they should retain joy in their hearts, which is not a function of transient circumstances but comes from the sure knowledge of Christ’s redemption.

    • #10
    • June 2, 2018, at 7:21 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  11. Mim526 Member

    Wonderful quote, @arahant. Needed that reminder.

    I think of happiness as an emotion; contentment as a learned state of being. We work and hope for the best, and choose each day to be content. Make consistently bad choices, and it’s “Hello, Discontent, my old friend” to paraphrase Simon & Garfunkel. (I should add that contentment in my own life journey is increased by relationship with my Maker :-)

    How much of contentment is expectations…

    Do I look for denunciations or felicitations

    Aim too low and I’ll always settle

    Never feel the strength of testing my own mettle

    Yet there’s little peace in always striving

    And missing the joy of really thriving

    Secret is to find and do the things for which I’m meant*

    If my aim is to be truly content

    *amazing how far a little elbow grease behind an offered helping hand can go :-)

    • #11
    • June 2, 2018, at 8:59 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  12. JustmeinAZ Member

    Richard Finlay (View Comment):

    Okay, I agree, but must point out that happiness can also derive from low expectations.

    Or, at least, contentment.

    Oh, you are so right! Mr AZ expects all service people to be on time, for grocery store aisles to be uncrowded, for all drivers to drive the speed limit and use their turn signals. And he is constantly irritated. I am much happier expecting nothing. And when things go right I am delighted.

     

    • #12
    • June 2, 2018, at 12:18 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  13. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    Happy? Thanks for the ear worm:

    • #13
    • June 2, 2018, at 1:49 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Richard Finlay (View Comment):
    Sure, but ‘be fruitful and multiply’ is still the most complied-with command, even among non-humans, in fact, all of life. Without this command, everything is different.

    The fruitful don’t multiply.

    • #14
    • June 2, 2018, at 2:50 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  15. Larry Koler Inactive

    Richard Finlay (View Comment):

    AchillesLastand (View Comment):
    37 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment.

    Whereas I maintain that if we judge by willing compliance, Genesis 1:28, deserves the distinction.

    The hippies don’t like talk like that, though.

    • #15
    • June 2, 2018, at 4:29 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. Larry Koler Inactive

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Richard Finlay (View Comment):
    Sure, but ‘be fruitful and multiply’ is still the most complied-with command, even among non-humans, in fact, all of life. Without this command, everything is different.

    The fruitful don’t multiply.

    And their calculus isn’t top notch either.

    And we shouldn’t forget God’s slightly modified suggestion for the adders when he talked to that brand of snake: 

    “?? Hmmm, well, do the best you can.”

    • #16
    • June 2, 2018, at 4:34 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Larry Koler Inactive

    @arahant, the yogis talk about bliss (ananda) as being the measure of success in this life. I think it translates well as joy in the specific way that you are using it, though.

    There is a mystery from the yogis for this word, ananda: it is said by them to not have an opposite. So, this forces the student to take this as a clue for what is meant by ananda. The mind has trouble with it in that when one mentions happiness, the opposite is always there: unhappiness or sadness or depression and such. If there is a word that has no opposite in this duality-based reality then that in itself is a conundrum — the Zen Buddhists call this a Kōan. 

    • #17
    • June 2, 2018, at 4:41 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  18. Fred Houstan Member

    Arahant: Is everybody happy? If not, dedicate yourself to a worthy cause. Go make a family. Get involved in a church. Quit your moping and move your feet.

    I’m (mostly) content. I’m prone to periods of happiness, which I thank God, through whom service to Him allows me to experience the purest joy. My depression follows periods when I’m mostly in the service of myself.

    • #18
    • June 3, 2018, at 6:44 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  19. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    Fred Houstan (View Comment):
    My depression follows periods when I’m mostly in the service of myself.

    True for most who do not have a true chemical imbalance.

    • #19
    • June 3, 2018, at 8:14 AM PDT
    • 4 likes

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