Excerpt: Joel Osteen's 'Every Day a Friday'

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Happiness Is Your right

According to the authors of the Declaration of Independence, our Creator gave each of us the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Even the British prime minister David Cameron recognized this recently when he proposed polling all residents each year to measure their GWB— General Well Being.

"Well being can't be measured by money or traded in markets," he said in an interview. "It's about the beauty of our surroundings, the quality of our culture, and, above all, the strength of our relationships."

A researcher in Australia found that life goals and choices have as much or more impact on happiness than our body chemistry or genetic makeup. Another study found that half of our happiness is determined by factors other than biology. Ten percent is connected to "life circumstances" and the other 40 percent is dependent on our life decisions.

It is your choice to be happy. Make up your mind to enjoy this day, to have a blessed, prosperous, victorious year. You may have some setbacks and your circumstances may change, but don't let that change your mind. Keep it set on happiness.

It's not what happens to you or what you have or don't have that is important; it's how your mind is arranged and the choices you make. When our daughter, Alexandra, was just a little baby and I'd get her out of her crib in the morning, she'd be so excited to hear me coming, she'd start jumping up and down. She'd give me a great big, full body hug with her arms and legs, then a big kiss.

Why was she so excited? She was just happy for the dawning of a new day. Alexandra was excited to be alive to have another day to enjoy. That's the excitement God has placed inside every one of us. We should never forget how to celebrate each day. But so often as we get older, we let the challenges of life push us down and sadden our spirits.

We have to realize every day is a gift from God. Once this day is gone, we can never retrieve it. If we make the We have to realize every day is a mistake of being negative, discouraged, gift from God. grumpy, or sour, we've wasted the day.

Some people squander year after year, being unhappy because somebody is not treating them right, or because they are not getting their way, or because their plans are not working out as quickly as they would like. I've made up my mind to not waste any more days. I'm celebrating each as a gift from God.

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