35 of 52 Voices September 11, 2014
The C3 Leaders devotion is a peer weekly reflection from business leaders related to their journey with Christ. Each weekly devotion will be written by a different author from among the C3 Leaders community.
As we go through this next year together, we pray that these words and reflections will encourage you in your relationship with Jesus Christ.
Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott are #1 New York Times best-selling authors of Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts, Love Talk, Crazy Good Sex, and Making Happy.
Drs. Les Parrott is founder of Real Relationships, professor, psychologist, businessman, and a C3 Leaders Forum Chair. Les and Leslie have been pioneers in marriage relationships and marriage mentoring to impact marriages around the world.
We had just finished speaking at a camp in the San Juan Islands when a small plane buzzed overhead and landed on a nearby airstrip. A few minutes later the pilot was flying us over the islands of Puget Sound and we were approaching the lights of a local airport.
“The most important thing about landing is the attitude of the plane,” said the pilot. “You mean altitude, don’t you?” we asked. “No,” the pilot explained. “The attitude has to do with the nose of the plane. If the attitude is too high the plane will come down with a severe bounce. And if the attitude is too low the plane may go out of control.” Then the pilot said something that really got our attention: “The trick is to get the right attitude in spite of atmospheric conditions.”
Without knowing it, our pilot had given us a perfect analogy for creating happiness in marriage (or anything else) — developing the right attitude in spite of our circumstances.
In fact, while we were writing our new book, Making Happy: The Art and Science of a Happy Marriage, the most amazing fact we learned about happiness in marriage – the one that has impacted our own marriage more than any other – is this: Only 10% of a person’s happiness has to do with their circumstances. That’s all. Just 10%!
We all think we’ll be happier if we get a better job, more money, a nicer home, cool vacations, and all the rest. But that’s not where our happiness is found. The majority of our happiness has little to do with circumstances and far more to do with deciding to be happy in spit of our circumstances.
It’s what Abe Lincoln was getting at when he said, “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
The Parrotts speak in more than thirty cities annually and they blog about marriage at LesAndLeslie.com