Gandhi once said, “Happiness occurs when what you think, what you say, and what you do, are in perfect harmony.”
We all want happiness. How we express that desire may be different for each of us. And what that happiness looks like in the end, most likely is different for each of us. Happiness could be winning the big game; being accepted into the college of our choice; having children who are healthy; having a career that fulfills our lives. No doubt we could come up with any number of other qualities, opportunities, or fulfilled dreams that could make us happy.
But when you look closely at the quote from Gandhi, you may become disheartened. We want happiness. But getting what I think, what I say, and what I do in perfect harmony as the key to happiness may well be beyond our skill. If I don’t say what I think, and do what I say, happiness may well escape me. It would likely be right here that Charlie Brown would most likely give up and let out his famous phrase, “Good Grief!”
But maybe there’s a way. Our minds are constantly filled with thoughts that demand our attention and consume our time. What if we were to somehow filter through those thoughts and get to the core of what really matters to us. I suspect that sifting our thoughts may just be what the doctor ordered. Some of my thoughts I can’t do anything with right now anyway, so let them go. Other thoughts will require the input and advice of others, so I can move them to another place until that input and advice is received. There are some thoughts that can simply be tossed aside. Like when I begin to think what it would be like to hit the jackpot in the lottery drawing. It’s not likely to happen since I don’t buy lottery tickets. It’s fun to dream, but no need to let the thought consume me.
I don’t know what Gandhi would say, but filtering my thoughts seems like a plausible place to start.
How about the saying part? Seems like I remember a part of a song I learned as a child. “O, be careful little mouth what you say.” It’s easy to let the wrong words slip across our lips. And once they are spoken we can’t simply take them back. But it’s also just as easy to let the right words stay tucked inside and never let them be spoken. How many times have I heard someone say, “I wish I had told her that I love her.” Words are a gift. Use them as a gift.
Then there’s this doing part. There are a number of things I do that contribute to a sense of happiness and they are connected to what I think and what I say. So often I find that the day is filled with other things to do that may or may not be in harmony with what I think and say. The challenge is to focus on doing those activities that enhance my sense of fulfillment. Sure the other things may still have to be done, but learning to prioritize those activities can sure help.
I like the quote by Gandhi. I think he’s right. “Happiness occurs when what you think, what you say, and what you do, are in perfect harmony.”