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How Can I Be Happy Now?

By Mormon.org
Two girls running on a beach smiling

How Can I Be Happy Now?

Growing up, many of us had fantasies of what our lives would become. Whether we wanted to be a firefighter, a famous actor, or a mom, life doesn’t always turn out the way we expected. It seems that very few people get to live their “Plan A” or become the ideal they imagined in childhood. But even if our lives haven’t turned out the way we planned, we can find happiness now—no matter our circumstances.

Happiness Is a Choice

Sometimes it is easy to forget that we get to choose how we feel. When trials encroach and storms abound, we forget that it’s up to us to choose happiness. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, “There will always be things to complain about—things that don’t seem to go quite right. You can spend your days feeling sad, alone, misunderstood, or unwanted. But that isn’t the journey you had hoped for, and it’s not the journey Heavenly Father sent you to take. Remember, you are truly a [child] of God!”  

We get to choose how we react to trials and upsets. It may not always be easy to face challenges with a smile, but the more we choose happiness, the easier it will become. It is up to us to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and choose to be happy NOW.

“I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Philippians 4:11).

Look Outside Yourself

In our times of sadness, it is easy to want to wallow. We naturally want to turn in and become selfish. But that is the exact opposite of what we should be doing! Instead, look outside yourself and find ways to serve others. Service can help change your attitude and perspective. It gives you the opportunity to focus on the needs of others instead of taking the dangerous path of thinking only of yourself. J. M. Barrie, the author of Peter Pan, said, “Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves” (A Window in Thrums [1917], 137).

Focus on Christ

Although it often feels difficult to do, there is no better time to turn to Jesus Christ than when you are feeling sad or lost. When we turn to the scriptures, teachings of prophets, and prayer, we can find happiness and peace in the messages of hope and healing. Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father want us to be happy and have laid out ways for us to do so.

If we will center our lives on Jesus Christ and His teachings, we will find true and everlasting joy. Elder Richard J. Maynes said of Nephi and his family, “Despite their hardships, they were able to live after the manner of happiness because they were centered in Christ and His gospel.” 

In the end we must remember that we can’t always control what happens to us, but we can change how we feel and where we turn.