I cannot thank my brother Ed, enough, for gifting me with Resisting Happiness, by Matthew Kelly. This book was a real eye-opener for me! As human beings, we naturally resist happiness, and when we do so, we resist God, the source of all happiness. “Why do we resist God? Because deep down we don’t trust Him…deep down we think that God is trying to limit our freedom” (p. 214). Kelly tells us throughout the book that we need to become “the best version of ourselves.” How do we do that: by stopping the resistance.
Throughout the book, Matthew Kelly shows us how we can find happiness by tackling our urge to be resistant. Let me share with you just two golden nuggets, gleaned from reading this wonderful book, that I believe will make me happier – just a couple of things I can do to fight the resistance to be happy.
Idea #1: Prioritize Your Life in Accordance with God’s Plan
Matthew Kelly comments in the book that when he conducts his various speaking engagements, he comes across people he has met in the past. Since Mr. Kelly always brings up the concept of setting aside 10 minutes a day in prayer with the Lord, he always asks “How many days last week did you spend ten minutes in quiet conversation with God” (p. 53)? Kelly goes on to tell the reader how he, himself, spends his ten minutes conversing with God about what is on Kelly’s plate for the day, looking to God to tweak the plan, if necessary.
What an awesome idea! I’ve taken Matthew Kelly’s advice, and every morning as I lay in bed, I thank God for another day to serve Him. I think about what is on my agenda and seek affirmation. On several occasions additional tasks pop into my head. These tasks get priority, as I believe they are things God wants me to address within the upcoming day. What I have come to realize from this experience is that I am getting through all of my tasks by mid-afternoon! These are tasks that would have normally crept over into the following day.
Lesson learned: Prioritizing my day in accordance with God’s plan makes me more productive, and that makes me happier!
Idea #2: Do Without, For Someone in Need
Matthew Kelly speaks of his love for food. That is something we share in common. Weight gain is another thing we seem to share in common, as he describes his struggles to resist unhealthy foods. In Resisting Happiness, Kelly endorses fasting. He suggests that we start small, by denying ourselves of one item a day. When we do so, we should offer it up for a cause. As we begin to deny ourselves, we leave room for God to make changes for the better in our lives. We can offer our sacrifices for the benefit others. Through self-denial, we grow in the virtue of self-control.
Another awesome idea! I can do that! I started with small things like giving up a dessert, and when I do, I offer it up as a sacrifice for a friend who is suffering from aggressive breast cancer. When we put purpose behind our actions, we are more inclined to keep up the good habit.
Lesson learned: I am more inclined to do without, if I can do it for someone in need. Bonus points: I will lose the weight!
Find Your Path to Happiness
These are just two of many golden nuggets of information packed in this book waiting for you to discover. If you are looking for happiness, then look no further than “Resisting Happiness.” If you would like to get your own copy, then click here.