In my last blog I promised the next one would deal with Just a little more Passion. I started it but then I erased it. Several times. I must be honest, there is nothing more important in my life than to live every day with passion, but putting down my feelings on paper was difficult. More difficult than I had imagined.
I believe life without passion is a chocolate chip cookie without the chips, an Oreo cookie without the filling or Simon without Garfunkel. Life without passion just leaves you hungry. So, if you will allow me, I’ll deal with my addiction to passion in a future blog. I’ll talk about how to find passion or even how to rekindle it when you think the flame is out. That topic is coming, I promise, but not this time and not this blog. I’ll save that for later. So for now I want to talk to you about happiness. Just a little more Happiness.
After reading past blogs on Just a little More, you have learned how to achieve greater success both personally and professionally. You know that eating right and implementing an exercise program can improve your health. Now that you have the knowledge to be wealthier, healthier and more successful, shouldn’t that mean happiness is easier to find? Maybe not.
If you are wealthy but aren’t happy, your money brings you no joy and with it you do no good for yourself or anyone else.
If you are successful but not happy, your success brings you no pride or pleasure.
If you are healthy but have no joy, your health is wasted, as you take no advantage to build a wonderful life.
But if you have discovered the secret to happiness, then even the smallest accomplishment brings joy and that joy lifts the lives of those around you.
I attended an interesting seminar a few years ago that focused on happiness. The professor, Dr. Crum, listed some things she felt were critical to achieving happiness. Here are a few and I’ve added my own:
🚩Live in the present
🚩Live with a purpose
🚩 Live with passion
I will delve into each of these topics in a separate blog. When thinking about the first objective, we really only have three distinct possibilities:
♦️Live in the Present
♦️ Live in the Past
♦️ Live in the Future
Being in the present means focusing on what is happening right now. It means appreciating the opportunities you are offered every day. But, it also means accomplishing those tasks that are in front of you, today.
What can keep you from focusing on the important tasks that must be done today?
Distractions . There are so many distractions that it’s a wonder we ever get anything done. You have to tune out the distractions and focus.
Remember, trying to find your favorite station on the radio you had as a child? When you were not quite on the station what did you get? Static! It was constant noise until you found the perfect frequency and then and only then did the voice come through loud and clear. Learn to tune out the noise in your life.
Other distractions include: Toxic people, tune them out. Negative people, tune them out. Complaining people, tune them out. Whining people, tune them out. You can only focus on the present if you tune out the distractions.
Some people spend their whole life lamenting times gone by. They carry the mark of their past mistakes like a scarlet letter. They’re regrets hang like a weight around their neck that makes lifting their head so difficult they rarely see what’s right in front of them.
Some would refer to this as The Ghosts of the Past. Ghosts that haunt us, follow us and influence how we see the world. However, the past can have a positive effect, if we allow it. The past is there to teach us and I believe that it’s the only real purpose. I believe guilt is only there to remind us of what we have learned, so we don’t go that way again. Living in the past is a waste of the gift of the present. You can never be truly happy living in the past. What has been, has been. Let it go! Move on. Let the Ghosts haunt someone else.
The other possibility is to live only in the Future. Living for what might be. Thinking that happiness is just around the corner. Waiting for your share of the prize or your share of the punishment, both are life lost. What might be, might be. That’s true. But hoping to be happy or worrying about being sad has very little value in a life that is short anyway. Some would call this The Goblins of the Future. The future is largely unknown to us and worrying about what might happen only punishes us twice. Worrying about the future and regretting the past can cause us to overlook The Gift of the Present. We have to learn to be. You create your own present by what you give your attention to today.
Here’s another of looking at how to be HAPPY. We create whatever we think about most. This is at the core of how I live my life. It is our gift and our curse.
Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.
– Mahatma Gandhi
Years ago I heard an old Indian legend about two wolves. You may remember it from the movie Tomorrowland. There are two wolves that are always fighting.
One is darkness and despair.
The other is light and hope.
Which wolf wins?
The one you feed. Feed the right wolf and focus your energy and positive thoughts on the gift of today, the present.
In my next blog I will focus on the happiness that comes from living life with a purpose.