An Ancient Secret to Greater Happiness I Discovered Last Week


Nothing like logging into Facebook and seeing a friend at the beach, in a cute swimsuit, with a perfect body, playing with her perfect kids . . . while I’m over here with baby poop somehow in my ear, eating burnt toast, and unable to remember the last time I showered

It’s hard for me sometimes not to compare my circumstances with others and wish for what they have. 

Well, recently I was reading and came across the ten commandments (those 10 rules God gave his people in the oldest part of the Bible). I usually don’t pay much attention to these old rules because they seem pretty easy to follow. I mean, I’m not murdering people, or stealing, or having affairs. But as I read through them, one stood out that I haven’t really thought about much before. It says not to covet (a greedy desire for what someone else has).


Up there in God’s original top 10 most important rules for living is not to desire what isn’t ours. I hadn’t really put much thought into this one; however, if we really don’t desire what other people have, it would radically change our lives. 

woman sad looking up, depressed, thinking
Photo by Eunice Lituañas on Unsplash

Until this reminder, I hadn’t even realized how I was coveting to some degree pretty much daily: Man, I wish it were me on that vacation instead. I wish I had that body. I wish we had as much money as so-and-so. I wish my kids were good at that. I wish I had time like others to do such-and-such workout. I wish my family was more like so-and-so’s family.

But what if we didn’t desire what isn’t ours? How would it change our lives?

We’d Be Happier

Have you ever been happy with some part of your life until you saw someone else had something better? You get a new something and love it until you see Kelly got an even better one? You work your butt off to lose 10 pounds and feel awesome until you see Michelle lost 20 pounds? We also love to imagine how perfect life would be in we only had [fill-in-the-blank]. But if this were true, rich, famous, and attractive people would be much happier than they are. It doesn’t take much looking around to see how just as many people with money, fame, and beauty fight depression, anxiety, loneliness, and substance abuse. When we just enjoy the sweet parts of our lives without comparing them to others, life is much better. 

We’d Have More Time and Energy

Wanting what others have is a time and energy thief. Instead of spending these resources enjoying our own life and/or improving it, you waste them wishing you had what those around you have. 

We’d Be Much Better Friends to Others

Isn’t it wonderful to have friends who are genuinely happy for us in good times? Isn’t it fun to have friends you can celebrate the happy parts of your life with? It’s hard to be joyful for our friends’ good fortune when we are jealous of what they have. If we could truly be 100 percent happy for our friends when they have even better stuff, everyone will love being our friend.

We May Make Better Decisions

I can recall things I’ve bought because I wanted to in some way emulate what someone else had, even if it wasn’t really something I could afford or something I cared about that much. When we are focused on spending money on what is right for our family and not based on how others spend their money, we will most likely spend money more wisely.

I’ve challenged myself to keep an active inventory of my thoughts and to stop any thought that desires what someone else has. In place of that thought, I’m working on telling myself: I am happy for so-and-so. Our lives are not the same, and I don’t know all the details of so-and-so’s life. I am so grateful for what I have. God, please give me the things that are the best for my life.

I challenge you to join me! Let’s appreciate and enjoy our lives and be happy for the good things others have; I feel confident we will all be happier!

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Proud to be raised in Burleson (shout out Kelly Clarkson), Jami was even the Elk mascot for her beloved Burleson High School. Jami's greatest pleasure comes from exploring the world and learning about all the beautifully unique people in it, so she started a business in the summer of 2021 taking groups of women around the world! Her business, Women Exploring the World has already taken women to experience Christmas markets in Bruges, Brussels; Paris, and London. They've also taken women to Costa Rica, Italy, Tanzania/Zanzibar, Scotland, and to Norway to see the Northern lights. Jami's greatest gift is her family, Corban, her beloved hubby; Jessy (born 2011); Maggy (born 2013); Lilly (born 2015); and Jude (born 2018). Besides running her travel business, Jami spends her days having adventures with her kids, homeschooling them part-time, assistant coaching PE, attempting to keep her brother and sister labradors out of trouble, keeping her son from killing their cat, and supporting her husband at his Edward Jones office downtown Fort Worth. Jami is a woman secure in God's love for her. He is her first love.



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