The next step to take in reclaiming your happiness is #3, Give What You Need.

One thing you need to realize is when you are not happy it creates a poverty mentality within you. I know that seems strange especially when most people equate a poverty mentality with a lack of money but that is not entirely true. A lack of money could create a poverty mentality but I daresay a lack of happiness is probably a better indicator of poverty. I’ve been around a lot of people who were considered poor by the world’s standards but were happy. And I’ve been around a lot of people who had every comfort and convenience you could imagine but were miserable.

A poverty mentality is a deficiency mentality and unhappiness means you are deficient in certain places in your life and most of the time those areas don’t have anything to do with money. Most people are deficient in their relationships and their emotions and they try to use money to fill those areas but it will never work. The only way to fill those gaps is to give what you need.

When you keep what you are suppose to contribute to a relationship you will find that no one will ever add up and you will switch out relationships like a bakery switches out its bagels and pastries. Relationships will teeter totter along the edge of a cliff because neither person wants to give the other one what they need. I have seen friendships and marriages crumble because although both individuals wanted to make amends, neither one of them wanted to make the first move. Rather than take a chance and be vulnerable, they would rather play it safe and participate in the deterioration of what could have been a great relationship.

Giving what you need means learning not to just be a taker. Victims are takers. Victims have a posture that says because of what I’ve been through or because of who I am, I’m entitled to take this from you and I am justified in not giving to you. The Bible, Mother Nature, your body all speak a different message. Don’t wait to receive. Give. When you give, you receive or as Galatians 6:7 reminds us; “You reap what you sow”.

You want friends? Be friendly. You want to be loved? Be lovely. You want long life? Be lively for a long time. Okay, I’m getting corny but you get the picture. Many people are unhappy because they are hoarding up the very things they need. Rather than give someone a compliment they will clamp their mouths shut hurting themselves in the process. Rather than helping a neighbor in need they would rather make every excuse in the book why they have their own problems to deal with.

We see it all the time when driving. A person will put their signal light on or make a motion so the ongoing traffic will let them in. I am amazed at how many people will angrily keep driving by or speed up to close in the gap ignoring the hopeful car with the blinking signal light. Yet, I know that if the tables were turned, those same drivers would expect someone to let them in and have a fit if they didn’t.

This Christmas many people will buy a gift for someone, but I am not sure how many people will give a gift to someone. Giving requires effort, humility, compassion and to top it all off giving requires that you not expect anything in return.

Isn’t that why we are celebrating Christmas anyway? Jesus was born in a manger with little fanfare. God took a great risk and gave the world a gift free of charge with no strings attached and no expectation that hard-hearted man would even receive it. And yet, thousands of years later, we still celebrate and honor this gift. Because of this Gift, we have the opportunity to have a personal relationship with God.

That is the secret of giving and thus the secret of happiness. Our giving not only fulfills our needs, but it fulfills the needs of others.

See you next week for the finale. 2013 will be your best year yet!

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