Ok, so God cares about my happiness after all. But what can I practically do to be happier?
Maybe that’s the question you’re asking right now, as we step into the final phase of the dare.
Weeks ago, we learned that God approves of our happiness. And then we discovered how we were uniquely wired by God with a style.
But how, we ask, can happiness become real in our own lives, especially on our hardest days? How can we find happiness when it sometimes feels out of reach?
Lean in close, friend, so I can whisper in your ear:
The “how” is closer than you think. The “how” is found in those tiny acts of courage, when we fight for happiness, with our heads held high.
It happens in the little moments, in the slowing down, in the lingering over an exquisite memory, a perfect cup of tea, the last notes of the symphony. It happens in the hammock, on the front porch, down by the river, or — if you’re a Doer like me — right in your office.
You and I took the dare. And now we’re being called to live it.
If you’ve read Chapter 10, you know that I wrote this book because I needed this book.
I learned that happiness starts with just five minutes every day.
It begins by investing five minutes daily in seeking the kind of pleasure that brings happiness to your heart and brings glory to our God.
I know what some of you might be thinking. Five minutes? Come on. Really?
I quote research in the book to support the theory that five minutes makes a difference. But I have more than a body of research to point to. I have seen how it made a difference in my life.
Every day, I commit at least five minutes to the holy pursuit of happiness. Here are just a few things I do regularly to boost my happiness:
- Send a card to someone needing encouragement. (Five minutes tops, counting the time it takes to address the envelope.)
- Step outside every day at noon, lift my face to the sky, and thank God for this beautiful world. (Three minutes, but some days it feels so good, I stay for ten!)
- Accomplish one small task that gives me a bit of satisfaction. (Two minutes a day to make my bed!)
- Send short text messages to friends to let them know they matter. (One minute per text, counting the time it takes to find the perfect emoji!)
That’s just a start. There’s so much we can do in five-minute increments to build up our stores of happiness.
It takes discipline. But let’s get started today, with the Spiritual Discipline of Happiness. And let’s watch our happiness grow, five minutes at a time.
For Tuesday, read Chapter 11.
Head here to join the conversation! Read Romans 12:2: “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Science now confirms the truth of that Scripture. What can you do, in five minutes each day, to begin to renew your mind and alter your thoughts toward happiness?
Jennifer Dukes Lee is the author of The Happiness Dare and Love Idol. An award-winning former news journalist, she is also an (in)courage writer. She loves air guitar, dark chocolate, emojis, messy people, and Jesus — not in that order. Jennifer and her husband live on the Lee family farm in northwest Iowa with their two daughters, where they spend at least five minutes every day in the pursuit of happiness.