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Can happiness be bad for you?
January 14, 2020

January 14, 2020 Issue #166

How to achieve 'wise happiness'

As you head into the new year, one desire remains constant from all the years of your past: You want to be happy.

From looking at our society, however, it's obvious there are two kinds of happiness. Wise happiness comes from an activity that can do no harm to yourself or others. Foolish happiness, on the other hand, has the potential to cause you or others real trouble.

Now that may sound like killjoy thinking; it eliminates a lot of things people like to do. But it's based on solid biblical truth, and like most wisdom in the Bible, it's intended to prevent unnecessary suffering.

Anyone who is a Christian knows the greatest freedom in the world is found by following Jesus Christ. On the other hand, the worst slavery imaginable come from indulging in sin. However, sometimes it's hard to tell what's a healthy activity and what's a destructive one.

January's feature article gives some pointers on how to choose wise happiness.

An easy choice

I made the decision
When I was young.
There would be some songs
I would leave unsung.

Many a chance
Came and went.
But I chose not to be

Some think back
On their past and grin,
Proud of their wildness,
Glad for their sin.

I reflect on
What I didn't do.
No mess left behind,
And regrets are few.

It was an easy choice,
You see.
To not shame the One
Who died for me.

~ Jack Zavada,, 2020 ~

Did one of these hold you back in 2019?

What problem blocked your progress last year? Was it

  • Fear? 

  • Loneliness? 

  • Shyness?
  • Bitterness? 

  • Depression?
  • Procrastination? 

  • Low self-esteem?

Make this year different. Hope for Hurting Singles tackles these challenges and more, providing proven solutions.

Imagine you could look back, 30 or 40 years from now, and record the successful — and unsuccessful —ways you responded to trouble. That's exactly what Jack Zavada did for you in Hope for Hurting Singles.

You'll learn what works, and what doesn't. You'll understand how you're sabotaging yourself and how to stop it cold. This isn't theory, single friend. It's real world instruction based on the painful process of trial and error. Hope for Hurting Singles makes things clear, then tells you what to do in simple, actionable steps.

Get your copy today from The paperback edition is $10.99 and the Kindle version is $3.99.

What is wisdom? Read our January QOTM

January's Quote of the Month comes from journalist, author, and world peace advocate Norman Cousins:

Wisdom consists of the anticipation of consequences.

~ Norman Cousins ( 1915-1990 ) ~

Our words and our actions have consequences. Some people go through their entire life and never grasp this great truth.

Anticipating those consequences doesn't just keep you out of trouble. It helps you avoid perhaps the most unrealistic assumption in life: "It can't happen to me." Here are just a few things that do happen to careless people:

  • Getting arrested
  • Getting addicted
  • Getting STDs
  • Getting fired for stealing
  • Getting into crushing debt
  • Getting expelled from college
  • Getting injured in distracted/DUI care wrecks
  • Getting killed in risky activities.

Please use your imagination, single friend. Exercise reason and experience. Learn from the mistakes of others. Cultivate the priceless skill of anticipating consequences and you'll have a much happier, more peaceful life.

A great resolution: Be kind to yourself

The single life can be a constant struggle, and guess what? One of your toughest critics stares back at you from your mirror. This year, resolve to be your greatest ally instead of your biggest adversary.

We've been trained since grade school that everything is a contest. Know what? That's a lie! Life isn't about winning and losing. It's about loving your neighbor as yourself. When you do that, you're not trying to prove something by "beating" somebody at something all the time. When your self-esteem comes from your relationship with God, you don't have anything to prove.

While we know we should love our neighbor, we singles often forget we should have a healthy love for our self, too. Not an arrogant, "I'm the greatest" type of love, but "I'm a child of God and am deeply loved by Him" type of love. That, fellow singleton, is empowering.

Don't pick at yourself this year. Don't compare yourself to others (something I'm guilty of). Don't torture yourself because you're not one of the "beautiful people." God thinks you're gorgeous, and who are you to argue with Him?

For more on being kind to yourself, check out this list of tips.

Do something different in 2020!

The quote is attributed to Albert Einstein, but even if he didn't say it, the observation makes good sense: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."

We singles have a tendency to fall into habits because they're comfortable. Change can be scary, but if you look back in your life, change is the only way you've made progress.

Think about the changes in your life going from elementary school to high school, or from high school to college. Think about when you changed jobs or where you lived. Yep, change can be painful, but it also gives you new opportunities to grow.

If what you're doing in a certain area is not bringing the results you desire, it's time to do something different.

Above is a little plaque I made myself in my word processing program, in a frame I got from the dollar store. It's a constant reminder to me to stop doing what isn't working and do something different. Make one for yourself.

Oh, and be sure to make well thought-out changes. Anticipate consequences. Be bold but wise. Do something different!

If you want to do something different by dropping me a line, just use our secure contact form. It will send your email directly to my personal inbox, and I'll write back to you, I hope, within three days.

Speaking of something different, I'll be redesigning in 2020, freshening the look, making it easier to navigate on mobile devices, and adding lots of new content. What you can do to help me is tell your friends about it. Spread the word. Mention it in your social media. Thanks!

As I personally go into 2020, grieving the death of my brother Dave this past November, I keep in mind that God is in control, God is good, and God loves his children unconditionally. For those of you who are also dealing with loss, remember that every loss has to be grieved, in your own way, in your own time.

Let's step into this new year together, certain that Jesus is watching out for us. He is our true companion until we're safely Home with him.

Jack Zavada

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