Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Short Guide to a Happy Life

WARNING: This is a contemplative post. Sorry - I was just in that kind of mood.

First of all if you have never read this short and simple book - you should. I have a copy you can borrow. It will take you all of 15 minutes to read. But you will come away with so much for the small investment.

One of my favorite things in this book is this: "You are the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life. Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk, or your life on the bus, or in the car, or at the computer. Not just the life of your mind, but the life of your heart."

Great words. That reminds me of something else I have heard (and learned by experience). You are not responsible for the happiness (or lack their of) of those around you. And even more so, you are not a failure if someone around you is unhappy, sad, depressed, etc. You are not responsible for their reality - ultimately they make a choice. "A serial pleaser, pleases none."

Now since it is my blog, I am going to give you my opinion. Take it or leave it...

Happiness is a choice we make. I can get out of bed every morning and make the decision for that day. Will I be happy today? Or will I mope around and choose to not count my blessings, love the world around me, thank God for all he has given me, etc. etc. Sure I could get up and just go about my business and not give it any thought at all. But you see, I have gone through a period of depression (even took meds for a while!) and came to realize that only "I" can make that choice. Those around me can encourage, talk, preach, to me all they want but only I can decide how I will face my day. Yes, meds can help if you are clinically depressed. But I do feel that eventually it is a battle in the mind. You can try your best to talk someone out of their depressive state, but in the end, they have to decide how they will live their life. I choose happiness. Note: See one of my favorite sayings at the bottom of the blog!

I have migraines. When I get a bad migraine I can choose to stay in bed and moan and groan; or I can get up out of bed, take my migraine meds and try to go about my day. In my opinion, I can feel bad either place. In bed, or out in the world living my life. SO I TRY to get up and go even when I don't always feel like it. And there are those days when I would much rather just roll over and stay in bed.

I will step down now from my soapbox. You know life is just a busy, crazy, thing. It goes by way too fast. My family has lost several loved ones to various illness that stole them away slowly. It makes you realize how unimportant a lof of things are. I will close with this paragraph from the book:

"Learn to be happy. Think of life as a terminal illness, because if you do, you will live it with joy and passion, as it ought to be lived." The book ends with these words, "Look at the view." And like the author of this book, that is what I want to do - every day - Look at the view. Try it some time - You won't be disappointed.

1 comment:

Shehopper said...

Great post Jeanne! It is our choice...no matter what comes at us through our day. Thank you so much for taking time for my problem today. It saved me hours of trouble just for that one question. This is the time of year that you need extra pay for dealing with others. Take care of yourself.