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It’s official, study after study in the field of positive psychology is telling us what the Bible has said for 2,000 years. The keys to being deeply happy are eight key qualities. The happiest people…

1. Are grateful, teachable, and humble
2. Have processed their mistakes, wounds, pain, and losses
3. Have developed impulse control and use their emotions to fuel and enjoy life
4. Pursue their dreams and posi¬tive purpose with diligence
5. Are forgiving, non-judgmental and gracious
6. Think positive, beneficial, constructive thoughts rejecting unethical, and selfish thoughts
7. Savor each day, harmonize with the people around them, and do not attack others
8. Set boundaries for themselves and others and sacrifice to pro¬tect those boundaries.

The problem with the above list is that we don’t believe the studies and we don’t really want any of these qualities. We still think that the key to happiness is money, power, popu¬larity and/or pleasure. But true long lasting happiness is from the inside out. I believe that God wants our best even though we may not and so He enrolls us in classes to develop these missing ingredients.

We can either cooperate with Him or fight what He is trying to teach. It is important to realize which class God has enrolled us in because these classes have quizzes, tests and finals. If you do not pass the exams then you stay in the same course. I know people who have been enrolled in anger management class for thirty years and still haven’t passed the final. God knows that your ultimate joy and happiness will be in the development of the eight quali¬ties listed above so He constantly gives you opportunities to work on these qualities. I am amazed at the difference in the lives of people who begin cooperating with God on these qualities rather than fighting Him. Remember it is official, the happiest people have the above qualities.

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