One thing you can do to be Happy – RIGHT NOW!
So, you want to be happy do you?
When I was younger I remember always wanting more…I wanted to be independent, I wanted to travel, I wanted to do it all…because I knew I would be happy once I did.
And most of the time I was successful at just doing what I wanted…but that was when I didn’t have responsibilities like a mortgage, oh…and kids.
Becoming a parent was a big eye-opener. No longer did my needs come first…and rightly so they shouldn’t when you have kids…you need to give your kids your love and attention…you need to nurture them and protect them…you need to feed, cloth, and teach them…you need to be present.
But it isn’t easy, is it? But what does easy have to do with being happy? Absolutely nothing…and here’s why.
Our lives are not always easy…things happen…kids need our focus, the bills need to be paid, the roof leaks, the septic backs-up (yes, this happened yesterday:), the groceries need to be bought, the pets need to get to the vet, the emails and calls need to be made for work, and so on and so on…we have lots on our plate each and every day…we can’t change that…things need to get done…but we can change one thing…and that is our perspective and our HAPPINESS!
OK, let me back-up a bit here to 1990 (this is really going to date me).
I had set off on my own to backpack across Europe…I was young and carefree…and a bit crazy! I was ready to conquer the world. As I got ready at home, my mom tucked a letter into the front pocket of my backpack and she said not to open it right away – open it when I need a reminder of why I am there.
I have never been one to wait…and as it turned out I needed a reminder the second day I arrived in Europe. I was on a train from Frankfurt, Germany to Lucerne, Switzerland. I ripped open the letter and I found a beautiful hand-written note from my mom telling how proud she was of me and how she would love a call home once in a while just so she knew I was safe. I am sure she tucked in a few dollars as well…but what I clearly remember was a newspaper clipping from the Ann Landers column. I wish I had the original to show you, but near the end of my trip I had everything stolen from me (but that’s another story!)
From Ann Landers:
Tucked away in our subconscious is an idyllic vision. We see ourselves on a long trip that spans the continent. We are traveling by train. Out the windows we bring in the passing scene of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at a crossing, of cattle grazing on a distant hillside, of smoke pouring from a power plant, of row upon row of corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of mountains and rolling hillsides, of city skylines and village halls.
But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. On a certain day at a certain hour we will pull into the station. Bands will be playing and flags waving. Once we get there so many wonderful dreams will come true and the pieces of our lives will fit together like a complete jigsaw puzzle. How restlessly we pace the aisles, damning the minutes for loitering—waiting, waiting, waiting for the station.
When we reach the station, that will be it, we cry. When I’m 18. When I buy a new 450SL Mercedes Benz. When I put the last kid through college. When I have paid off the mortgage. When I get a promotion. When I reach the age of retirement, I shall live happily ever after.
Sooner or later we must realize there is no station, no one place to arrive at once and for all. The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly outdistances us.
Relish the moment is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24: This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad. It is the regrets over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who rob us of today.
So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more and cry less. Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough.
By Robert J. Hastings
I don’t know if you caught that I was on a train when I was reading this…was I looking for my station? I am in tears writing this because it brings me right back to that moment, a young girl riding a train, reading a message that seemed like it was written just for me…and feeling the love of my mom beside me…showing me how to be happy.
That was a trip of a lifetime and I did enjoy each and every moment and I wrote home to my mom about all my adventures…and I made sure she knew how much her message meant to me…truly meant to me…and changed my life. I was searching for happiness and it was right there in front of me…every step of the way.
And the message was loud and clear…if you want to be happy…be happy! BE HAPPY RIGHT NOW…don’t wait to pull into the station! Enjoy the ride, enjoy the ups and downs (because we will have downs…we all do), enjoy the chaos of life, enjoy it all!
Sometimes it takes me a few trys to really hear a message…this one was clear at the time, but there were many moments since then that I forgot the message…I got caught up in life and I wasn’t happy.
And the universe is so incredible that it is in these moments that a reminder has always been put in front of me…a note in my backpack…a glimpse at our sleeping kids…a friendly call or visit right when you need it…
Just yesterday I listened to a podcast by James Wedmore…he was interviewing Jim Fortin (he’s a sales guru using Neuro-linguistic programming – NLP). Jim said, “If you want to be happy…be happy.” What? That is way too simple. No way will that ever work. Here was my reminder…
So today I went for my morning walk with the dogs and I started to repeat to myself “If you want to be happy…be happy.”
And as I walked I forgot about all my worries, I forgot about whatever was bothering me, and I focused on just being happy. And before I knew it I was smiling like a little kid…laughing out loud and yelling “If you want to be happy…be f#&#ing happy!” (keep in mind we live in the country so no one was around to hear me:) I was also thinking about that young girl on a train, reading that message from her mom…and it reminded me what I knew all along.
If you want to be happy…be happy!
Like I said, sometimes I need to hear the message a few times. My mom was on point with this one many, many years ago. This is also how she lived her entire life…being happy.
Life isn’t always easy, but in each moment we have a choice of being happy or not being happy! What will you choose?
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