The other day, I was walking down the street and a homeless person smiled at me and told me to have a nice day. I told him to have a nice day too and he said that everyday for him is nice because he is alive and grateful for the little things. I know so many people who are healthy, who have many friends and loving families, yet they are not happy and just plain miserable. Interesting isn’t it? It just proves the notion that happiness does not come from the outside, but is purely an “inside job”. Our world doesn’t change all that much by having more wealth, a bigger house, etc. The wrapping paper may be fancier, but the box inside is still cardboard. The way you view yourself, the kindness you show others, and how often you choose to smile does not depend on whether you have it all, or whether things are going exactly the way you dreamed they would.
You may be thinking that if only you had (the big house, the fancy car, the great job), then you will be content and happy. But, even if you did get one or all of these things, life is still going to hit you with curve balls. Life is filled with highs and lows, and if we don’t learn to enjoy the minutia, those low times are going to leave us crippled with misery instead of just merely disappointed and willing to make the best of things. At this moment, focus on what you enjoy every single day. Right now I am sitting with a cup of hot coffee. This simple pleasure brings me joy. Maybe you have a pet that brings you joy when he or she licks your face or just sits at your feet. Focus on that when things look bleak.
Realize that you are not perfect, I am not perfect….no one is perfect. I am not a world-famous author, but I am content knowing that I put my thoughts down on paper and achieved a goal that I worked hard at. If I thought about how I am not selling millions of copies or my face is not on the cover of Time Magazine, I would never be happy. Self-respect and happiness comes from small actions and achievable goals. Don’t be hard on yourself!
Happiness has nothing to do with what you have because what you have changes on a constant basis. Happiness is about how you interpret what’s in front of you, how proud you are of the way you live your life, and how willing you are to enjoy simple pleasures, even if things aren’t perfect. Take it from me, one day things are going great, and the next you’re hit with a thunderbolt. We have no control over that. You just never know when your “now” is going to run out, so ask yourself, “How can I be joyous and content in this moment?” Try to focus on what’s right and not what’s wrong. You are not a victim, you are part of this imperfect “world” called “life”, and you are here for a reason.
©2015 Susan Korwin