Think about the last time you sat around with a group of friends. What was the topic of conversations? Were you discussing ideas, events, or people? Perhaps happiness can be found by looking at what the majority of the topics of conversations are when you are with other people. This may seem strange, but I believe it has merit. Eleanor Roosevelt, the First Lady and wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt once said,
“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”
Let’s take a look at what she is saying and see if we can see where happiness can and cannot be found.
“Great minds discuss ideas…”
I think we all can agree that great minds are more likely to find happiness because they are spending most of their time talking about ideas. Ideas can range from how to do something better to inventing something completely new that is needed. Ideas stimulate the mind and keeps your mind young. When you are talking with someone about great ideas and better ways to do things, you can’t help but grow. Some of my greatest conversations are with my brother-n-law with whom we challenge and support each other’s ideas.
“…average minds discuss events…”
This doesn’t mean that people who discuss events only discuss events. They can discuss ideas and people as well. The difference is how much you discuss each category that identifies where you mind lies. If you find yourself talking about events the majority of the time, this is good. It’s better to discuss events more than discussing people. With events, you can talk about positive things in your community and perhaps volunteer as well. We often discuss events at our local church. For example, tomorrow night we are walking in the Prayer Walk.
“…small minds discuss people.”
Before anyone gets offended, we are not saying that if you discuss someone that you have a small mind. I believe Mrs. Roosevelt is referring to people who spend their days gossiping and talking about people. Sure, I suspect everyone talks about someone in one way, shape, or form each day, but it should not compose the majority of your conversations. If you find yourself talking about people, especially in a negative manner, you may find it hard to find happiness in life. It’s hard to put other people down while trying to lift yourself up. This makes it difficult to find happiness.
The key point here is that we should spend the majority of our conversations discussing ideas and events. These types of conversations tend to be uplifting, positive, and are a pretty sure way to find happiness. It is when we spend the majority of our time talking about people, putting them down, or spreading rumors that really hurts our happiness. Sure, you may say it feels good at the time, but in the end, talking about others in a negative way only hurts you.
Try to be positive and uplifting in all your conversations. Avoid the negative talks of small minds and move up the ladder to events and ideas. This type of conversation is endless and can really grow your mind and your happiness.