Here’s what I’ve discerned in my 48 years: Happiness does not occur as the result of the big, important moments that we *think* make us happy, but rather the small, seemingly insignificant moments that we tend to take for granted. What I mean is that if you can find gratitude in small things like sleeping in a house with a good roof, or having enough food to feed your family, or safely making it home at the end of a day after being out amongst the crazies, then you’re going to accumulate a lot more happy moments. As a result, you’ll be happier than not. However, if you walk around with spite, rage, jealousy, and resentment in your heart – you’re basically accumulating bitter, contentious moments. Little opportunities for happiness become pain points because you’re not getting your way about something. People I know who are more consumed with angry moments than happy ones are invariably unhappy people who think that big, fleeting moments are the important things in life. They have no idea how to let go of bad things – and they lack gratitude for little things.

I’m telling you – making your mind up to see the small, good things in life is the secret to happiness. It’s not brain surgery. It’s simple math. Zig Ziglar once said of sales that, “The little yeses add up to the big yes.” I think this is also true of a happy life.

The Ride

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.