When I was 15 years old I received a priesthood blessing. A very special, sacred and personal blessing. I was told that two of my main purposes on this earth are; to be a mother, and to teach others what happiness is.
I realized while in my 20's that in order for me to teach anyone else about happiness, I'd need to figure out what it is for myself. When I was 15 I thought happiness was shopping for shoes. I thought it was discussing things with my friends, like how so and so is SO cute and how he must be in love with me too, because he kinda smiled at me in the hall....you know, that kind of stuff. Back then it was all about being with friends and giggling about anything and everything. And don't get me wrong, all of those things ARE happiness, but just a part of it.
I believe that happiness builds upon itself as we head down the path of good choices. It is impossible to give it a simple definition, but for me happiness.....and I mean the real stuff......is basically three things: 1. Living in obedience and integrity 2. Family 3. A decision
I had a dream one night while on my mission. The whole dream was me all alone in a classroom looking at an equation written on the black board. The equation was SIN=DYSFUNCTION. I woke up knowing that I had been taught something true. When we look at all of the dysfunction we face in our workplaces, families and the world in general, it all generates from someone's (or many peoples) poor choices, and more importantly their unwillingness to repent.
When I talk about living in obedience I'm talking about the commandments of God. When I talk about integrity I mean seeking out truth and then living by it. When I include family, I'm referring to the love and bond that should, and will exist between family members when the first two points are observed. And lastly the decision to be happy! A positive attitude. Choosing happiness, even when we feel we have reason not to be.
As you can see my short list encompasses a lot of other things that we could go into, but the way to happiness is really quite simple. I've spent a lot of time thinking, pondering and learning about what makes me truly happy, and I've found in the discovery of happiness, you can't help but discover yourself, and in that discovery of who you really are, you come to better know God, and when it comes down to it.....knowing yourself and knowing God is REALLY what happiness is!