The secret to happiness may surprise you!

(Editor’s note: This is the first in a two-part series.)

In our world happiness has become the elusive dream for many. However, the secret to happiness may surprise you!

First, live a simple life. Americans complicate everything they get their hands on. Live your life with simplicity. This begins by organizing your day. Time management will do wonders.

Second, spend less than you earn. The trouble with many Americans is that we spend money that we don’t have to impress people we don’t know, and we buy things we don’t need.

Third, think constructively. Solomon once wrote, “For as a man thinks within himself, so he is.” (Proverbs 23:7).

Remember your thought pattern will produce feelings, and those feelings will produce actions.

When we think better, we will in turn feel better, and then act better.

Fourth, cultivate a flexible disposition. By doing so, you will find yourself able to get along with people - but mostly with yourself!

Fifth, be grateful. Learn to say, “Thank you” often. This will express to others your gratefulness in the kind word or deed.

Finally, rule your moods. If you are angry, deal with it, but don’t take it out on your family or your spouse. If you are having a bad day, deal with it! The moods that rule most are anger and fear. Learn how to rule your moods and don’t let your moods rule you.

The secret to happiness is becoming a new person. This begins from the inside out.

Michael Harmon is the minister of the Augusta Church of Christ.