Life Lessons From George Washington – Happiness

By William Kristoph

“Happiness depends more upon the internal frame of a person’s own mind, than on the externals in the world.” – George Washington

This particular quote from George Washington seems kind of obvious, doesn’t it? It seems like a simple concept. Then why aren’t more of us happy? Why do so many people seem unhappy, sad or frustrated? I think it boiled down to choice. The best lesson that my mom taught me when I was growing up was that I always had a choice. I might have a bunch of choices that I didn’t like (broccoli or carrots), or a bunch that I did like (play Transformers with Joey or go see a movie with Mom), but I always had choices. As an adult, I also have choices. I can choose to be a good parent or a bad parent. I can be a good husband or a bad husband. I can  pay bills or not pay them. Etc. Etc. Etc.

With choice in mind, how to I choose to be happy? How do I keep my frame of mind positive? What works for me?

My Top 5 Strategies For Keeping My Mind Positive And Happy

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Life Lessons From George Washington – Happiness and Moral Duty

By William Kristoph

“Human happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.” – George Washington

Think about the last time you felt truly happy. It might have been an hour ago, or a few days ago. Hopefully, it wasn’t years ago. We all have moments in life where we are truly happy. How many of those moments involved doing something that was right? How many of them involved being with others? How many were on something fleeting, like a new car or a new toy?

George Washington suggests that our happiness is tied to our moral duty. Moral duty is not summed up by an object. It is felt through actions and people. Washington lived in an obviously strenuous time. He led troops, and saw many people die. But, he obviously felt that there was a moral obligation to lead. An obligation to break away from outside rule. A duty to the future of  a fledgling country to fight for our independence, and ultimately, happiness.

There’s not quite that much drama in my life. But, Washington’s point definitely applies. Instead of looking at the selfish and looking inward, I can look to help others. I can teach my child to do good works. I can pause a moment instead of getting frustrated and offer a helping hand to someone. Those are all very small versions of moral duty compared to Washington’s. Perhaps, if we all made a small choice here and there to contribute a good to the world instead of a nothing or a negative, we’d be happier with ourselves and happier together?