Les Patterson’s Monday Morning Boost: I feel happy!



    I was thinking about happiness the other night as I watched a beautiful sunset. I was sitting on the grounds of the Logan LDS Temple surrounded by a colorful kaleidoscope of fragrant flowers. The evening air was just the right temperature. Family and friends mingled about waiting for a newly married bride and groom. And I had a stunning view overlooking a portion of Cache Valley.


    Everyone around me seemed happy. And I felt happy.


    Happiness is an elusive prey. We desperately hunt for it, searching throughout our entire life for that which will make us happy. Striving to find happiness amidst all our challenges and trials can be a most difficult journey.


    I was reminded while writing of a question posed by a friend Brandon McBride a couple of years ago. The thought struck me enough I recorded it in my journal. I looked back and discovered it was exactly two years ago yesterday. Tender timing I must admit.


    Brandon was teaching a Sunday school class when he asked:

    “Does happiness beget the outcome,

    or does the outcome beget the happiness?”


    As we discussed Brandon’s question he shared with us he believes it really is both. An attitude of happiness creates a positive outcome. Likewise, a happy experience also generates a positive outcome. There’s wisdom in being happy simply by being happy.


    So what is it that creates happiness?


    Google it and you’ll find thousands upon thousands of suggestions, to do lists, steps to take, and attitudes to have. They’re probably all correct and worthwhile of pursuit.


    I propose each suggestion, as worthy of our effort as they may be, is incomplete without one key ingredient: acceptance of self.




    Learning to accept ourselves – despite all our struggles, weaknesses and imperfections we know all too well – is the first step to liking our self. Once we like ourselves we start to discover how to love ourselves. Acceptance… like… love… they naturally go together and build upon each other.


    It’s natural to seek acceptance from others, especially our family and peers. We want to be accepted. We want others to like us just as we are. And we want to be loved. Yet, despite our desire, even need, of acceptance from others, it will fail to truly satisfy and fulfill if we do not first accept, like and love ourselves.




    Joyce Meyer, in her book The Approval Fix, teaches, “Until we accept and approve of ourselves, no amount of approval from others or position in life will keep us permanently secure. The outside approval we seek becomes an addiction. We work to get approval and it feels good for a short while; then we find that we need more and more.”


    There’s nothing wrong with seeking acceptance of others. Indeed, it can be a tool to help us along the pathway of self-acceptance. Let’s not rely on it as our only source of feeling happy.


    Once we accept and believe in ourselves, that which we’ve longed seems to automatically come into our life. Light chases away darkness, optimism replaces pessimism, hope diminishes despair, happiness supplants sadness.


    The Law of Attraction is now active in our life and we begin to discover life is full of possibilities. Essayist and playwright E.E. Cummings said it well. “Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”


    Learning to be happy with ourselves is one of the greatest journeys we’ll ever embark on. Enjoy the journey! And if you need a little jump start, here’s 11 Simple Ways to Create Your Happiness. I really like Number 13!


    Therefore, I Les Patterson declare: I accept myself, I like myself, and I love myself. While there are many things I want to improve on, I decided a long time ago I’m pretty darn awesome! And you are pretty darn awesome too!


    Have a great Monday! Thanks for letting me share.


    p.s. Take 13 minutes today to embark on a little happiness journey with the help of Number 13!