One time when I was at an all-day event, a stranger stopped me and asked, “Are you always this happy? I’ve seen you a couple of times today and you just never seem to stop smiling.”
I was totally surprised but immediately answered, “Yes. I really am this happy all the time.”
And you guys, it’s true!!
I am usually ridiculously happy- I love life, I am happy to be alive, and I am excited for each new day.
What makes me happy?
And what makes other girls happy?
Do happy girls have something in common?
Cake = Happiness and Happiness = Cake
Well, I’ve realized that they do.
And it’s cake.
Whaaaat? Let me explain.
Now, I love cake. Any kind really, except for carrot cake. I had carrot cake at my grandma’s 80th birthday party, went for a spin on the merry-go-round and then threw up all the cake I had just eaten.
Carrot cake and I haven’t gotten along ever since.
So today, I’m going to be picturing a 7 layer chocolate cake with chocolate mousse frosting sprinkled with reese’s peanut butter cups.
I want you to picture whatever kind of cake you would absolutely love- the kind that would literally make you drool in the most awkward way.
Good- got it in your mind?
Okay, now today we’re going to talk about the connection between cakes and happiness.
I’m not much of a baker, so when I make a birthday cake it’s the single layer kind.
Have you ever had someone make you a double layer cake? Or even three layers? They’re amazing!! All the frosting and cakey goodness in layer after layer- it’s a total dream!
But can you imagine a 7 layer cake? Mind blowing!
The same thing goes for happiness.
There are specific things that happy girls do. Each is like a layer on a cake. One layer is good, two is better, but seven? Absolutely amazing!!
What Real Happiness is NOT
Now before we start I want to make something very clear.
I am NOT going to be talking about some of the things other people think make us happy.
I’m not going to talk about cute boys waving at you, or getting the best grade in your math class, or winning the soccer championship.
These things can ADD to your happiness, but they are NOT the source of lasting happiness. Basically, if happiness is a cake, these kinds of things are the sprinkles on top. Fun, but not necessary.
So if we’re building a 7-layer happiness cake, what are these layers made of? If it’s not cute boys and beating the pants off everyone in math class or being a soccer hero then WHAT is it that makes girls happy?
Let’s start with our base layer- layer #1 which is probably the hardest to get right, but is also so, so important.
The happiest girls I know are grateful for their bodies.
It might be, but it’s true.
Happy girls don’t spend time worrying about how their body looks or what other people think about HOW their body looks. They are simply grateful for their bodies.
I spent years and years and years HATING my body. It never looked good enough, my backside wasn’t the right shape, and my frontside sure wasn’t either. But then I started doing something really, really powerful.
Every night when I kneeled down to pray I thanked Heavenly Father for all the things my body had done that day. I thanked Him that I was able to get out of bed that day because my body is healthy and strong. I thanked Him that I have strong arms that were able to give a friend a tight hug. I thanked Him for the ability to rock climb and feel like a total cool kid when I got to the top of the mountain. I thanked Him for feet to push the pedals in the car, and hands to move the steering wheel so I could drive myself where I needed to go.
And as I thanked God for all these little things I had taken for granted for YEARS I began to appreciate how absolutely amazing my body IS. Not how it looks, but how it IS!
And the coolest thing? I felt happier than I had in my whole life.
If you want to be a happy girl, remember that happy girls CELEBRATE their bodies instead of hating them.
Happy girls serve others.
Now I’m not saying every girl needs to become Mother Teresa and devote her entire life to service, but what I am saying is that happy girls are always on the lookout for someone they can help.
One year I had a teacher challenge everyone in her class to make eye contact with and smile at everyone we passed by between classes. I love a good challenge so I decided to do it.
And you know what happened?
I made about a hundred people a day smile.
I would make eye contact and smiled, and people who had looked grumpy before were suddenly smiling. People who looked lonely suddenly looked happy.
And me? I felt like a superhero!
With some basic eye contact and a happy smile I was changing the world one person at a time!! And the more I focused on helping other people feel happy, the happier I became.
Happy girls spend a lot of time making sure other people are happy too.
Happy girls also don’t take failure personally.
Now here’s a scientific secret for you: boys have the ability to shrug off failure by placing the blame for it on the situation, not themselves.
If a boy plays terribly in the big playoff game he’ll chalk it up to not getting enough sleep the night before, or not warming up properly, or the other team psyching him out.
For a girl, we’re much more likely to think, “I’m such an awful player. I don’t deserve to be on the team. I’m going to tell the coach I quit.”
Agh!! Can you see how unhappy that kind of thinking can make you? But happy girls fight this tendency to take failure personally.
Happy girls look at the situation of a failure and think about the outside factors that caused it. Then they make a plan to fix the problems and do better next time!
Happy girls take healthy risks.
Happy girls aren’t afraid to fail.
They know that life comes with risks, and that they learn the most when they put themselves out there.
During my Junior year of high school I ran for class vice-president. I thought it would be really funny to end my election speech with a rap (maybe because I grew up in Los Angeles) and so I went for it.
Looking back, that rap was totally ridiculous- I probably looked like an idiot, and I’m not surprised I lost, but I am SO proud of myself for taking a healthy risk. Because it made it easier the next time a healthy risk came up to say yes. Even though I didn’t become class vice-president, and even though I probably made an idiot of myself, the world didn’t end. And so I knew that the world wouldn’t end if I failed at something else.
And chances are, if you take enough healthy risks, you’ll find something new that you love, or are great at, or that might bring you new friends. And those things can totally add to your happiness!
Happy girls laugh at themselves.
My mom is one of the best examples of this.
She is an absolutely MESS when it comes to technology. She needs help for things as simple as opening her email sometimes. It is hilarious to watch her struggle through things that you and I could do in seconds.
And the best part about it? She laughs at herself the whole time. That time she called me and begged me to help her figure out how to attach something to an email, or when I spent an hour teaching her how to log in to Facebook, she laughed the WHOLE time. She thought her computer illiteracy was just as funny as I did!
Girls who take themselves too seriously get stressed out when they make mistakes or when others laugh at them.
Girls who can laugh at themselves will never be at a loss for something to laugh about!
Happy girls are active girls.
No, you don’t have to go run a mile right now, but girls who are truly happy spend less time behind their phones, and more time with real people.
Last Sunday I went for a drive and ended up parking near the temple. I felt so much peace as I sat and just listened to the birds chirping, the stream rushing by, and people occasionally passing by as well. T
hen a group of 4 friends caught my eye.
Each of them was staring down at their cell phones, ignoring each other, and completely missing the beauty around them.
It was so sad!
Happy girls have a serious case of real life FOMO- they don’t want to miss out on any of the real life experiences they came to this earth for. Happy girls are active and anxiously engaged in REAL life.
Happy girls get their worth from God.
Here is a horrible, horrible news flash: if your self worth is based on anything or anyone other than God, you are at risk of having it smashed.
I had a really good friend who always built me up- this friend saw the best in me and was constantly telling me how fantastic I was. After a while I found myself relying on this friend to remind me of my worth. Until one day my friend decided I wasn’t good enough anymore, turned around, and walked away from me.
My confidence was crushed!!
But I made a great decision- I decided that I would never rely on a person for my worth again, that I would rely 100% on God. And it has made all the difference.
Since that day I have had people tell me how much they hate me, how awful of a person I am, how horrible I look in my clothes…. All the things…. And while their remarks sting, they don’t really matter, because my worth doesn’t come from them- it comes from God.
The very happiest girls get their worth from God.
And that, my friends, is the happiness cake for girls. 7 layers of pure awesomeness that will lead you to the happiest life you’ve ever had.
But, what if you’re looking at that list and you’ve got maybe one of the seven layers of the Happiness Cake? Is it time to throw in the towel and decide you’re an unhappy person for life?
Not at all!! Pretty much everyone starts out with just one or two layers.
The best thing to do is to choose one layer of happiness that you want the most. And you work on it. You work and work until you get it just right and then you move onto the next layer.
And then the next.
And then the next.
You can be the most ridiculously happy girl on the block- just make sure you’re looking for the right kind of happiness- the cake kind, not the sprinkles kind.
Because the cake kind of happiness- that is REAL and LASTING. And that’s the kind we want.
So tell me, which layer of the happiness cake do you want to start working on today?
Oh, and what flavor will it be?
Anything but carrot cake. 🙂
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