Barbara Barrington Jones’ Five Steps to a Happy Life


    By Brittanie Morris

    Campus Education Week participants burst into laughter as Barbara Barrington Jones heartily welcomed them by telling jokes in her “Melweena Dweeb” costume and challenging them to include humor in their lives.

    In her class titled “Steps to a Happier Life,” Jones said the steps can be remembered by the acronym “GOSH” with a “J” at the end.

    Gratitude, order, simplicity, humor and joy are the attributes Jones said improve people”s lives and make them happier.

    “The life you want is here right now, waiting for you to take it,” she said.

    Jones quoted the essay titled “The Station” and told those in attendance that life is not found in the “stations” or positions/ages of life.

    “The true joy in life is in the trip,” Jones said. “Wherever you are, be there.”

    She told participants not to live for the future when they think all of their dreams will come true, but to live and rejoice in today and take life one day at a time.

    Jones pointed out that the one thing many people lack in their lives is gratitude. She quoted The Book of Mormon, in Alma 34:38 when it counsels to “worship God in whatsoever place you may be in … live in thanksgiving daily.”

    Gratitude, she said, is not an innate value; it must be learned. Jones said it is primarily up to the parents to establish an attitude of gratitude among their children and in their homes.

    In addition to gratitude, Jones said parents must establish a house of order and told women to simplify their lives.

    “Men have an amazing capacity that women will never have — they can take one task and focus,” she said.

    Jones told women to continue to serve others and be positively productive in their lives so the necessary things get accomplished, but she also told them to simplify their tasks and take on only what they can handle.

    At the end, Jones told the audience to take joy in their lives and to have joy in their homes.

    She quoted Mary Ann Williamson, who said, “Joy is what we were born for — we cannot know who we are unless we have joy. … It comes when we embrace who we are right now.”

    Jones told participants to decide to be happy and seize life as it comes each moment.

    She closed with another quote from Williamson and said: “Don”t look to your husband or to your family to make you happy; it is not in their capacity. Look within yourself.”

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