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10 Rules for Happiness from Miss Sadie

August 4, 2011

A dear friend on Facebook posted these last month, one at a time, to let them all sink in. I don’t know if these are the only or best rules for happiness, but I can’t fault any one of these ideas as good for me.

#1. Make up your mind to be happy. You can think yourself happy or miserable; it’s up to you which to do. Force yourself to smile—soon it will be a habit.

#2. Make the best of your lot. Be like Emmy, who had only pork chops instead of turkey for Thanksgiving, and said, “Well, thank God, pork chops ain’t got feathers on ‘em and you don’t have to pick ‘em anyway.”

#3. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Don’t think that everything that happens to you is of world-shaking importance, and that you should be protected against misfortunes that befall other people.

#4. Don’t take other people too seriously. Don’t let their criticisms worry you. You can’t please everybody, so please yourself. We are only what we are in the sight of God; nothing more.

#5. Don’t borrow trouble. You have to pay compound interest on that, and it will bankrupt you in the end. Enjoy today and let tomorrow come tomorrow.

#6. Don’t cherish enmities and grudges. Forget them. Hate is a deadly chemical that we distill in our own hearts and that poisons our own souls. If you have an enemy, forgive him and kiss him on both cheeks, not for his sake but because the grudge is making you unhappy and uncomfortable.

#7. Keep in circulation. Meet people; belong to clubs; travel. It is the little bird that hops around that sings a merry roundelay, not the clam shut up in his shell.

#8. Don’t hold postmortems. What is done is done and cannot be changed, but you have your whole future life in which to make good. Take misfortune on the chin and come up smiling.

#9. Do something for somebody less fortunate than yourself. Minister to other people’s troubles and you will forget your own. Happiness is a coin that we keep only when we give it away.

#10. Keep Busy. That is the sovereign remedy for unhappiness. Hard work is a panacea for trouble.

Source: From a Vietnam era newspaper, a column by Mr. Basil W. Hall titled “Keeping Posted” in which Mr. Hall shares the 10 Rules for Happiness as shared by Sadie Murphy who learned these from her 81-year-old mother.

Hall, Basil W. “Keeping Posted.” Charleston (SC) Evening Post, April 25, 1958, p. 1-B.

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