Americans have lost the art of being happy.
That's the conclusion of New York Times' best-selling author Max Lucado. And over the past decade, the annual Harris Poll Happiness Index confirms it. During that time, the index has ranged from as low as 31% to a high of only 35%.
"People just aren't happy anymore; they're grumpy," Lucado told Dr. Steve Greene on a recent episode of "Greenelines" on the Charisma Podcast Network. "We are just not as happy as we used to be. ... But did you know that happier people make more money?
"We think if we make more money, we'll be happy. But the opposite is the case. If I'm happy, I'm going to be more productive. So I have a lot to gain if I can crack the code on how to be happy. There is a big benefit to being happy."
Lucado says social media has had a huge impact on our happiness. Comparison, disappointment and unmet expectations have also contributed.
"What has happened is that we have allowed our happiness to be dictated by other people," Lucado says. "I talk about how Jesus teaches us to take the opposite approach. Happiness, according to Jesus, is what happens when I give it away. He said it's better to give than to receive. So the simple truth of the matter is that happiness happens when I make other people happy.
"That's why the verses in the Bible are so important that we call the one-another verses: serve one another, forgive one another, encourage one another, admonish one another. They are super practical, day-to-day tools that can help me give happiness away."
For more of Lucado's take on the biblical formula for happiness and his latest book, How Happiness Happens, listen to the podcast.
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