“No medicine cures what happiness cannot.”
Gabriel García Márquez
I was talking with a friend of mine yesterday morning that seems to always be on the bright side of life. He is a reminder that too many of us are our own worst enemies and spend so much time self-criticizing that we leave little time to just stop and enjoy the day. Not that you are like that but I am sure you know folks who are.
As I thought about our conversation later a piece written by Marc Chernoff came to mind. It is too long to reprint in its entirety but here are some of his thoughts that I think are worth sharing.
Ways to Stop Hurting Your Happiness
It takes no more time to see the good side of life and act upon it than it does to see the bad side and trip over it. If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your thinking. If you know you’re on the wrong track right now, take a deep breath. It’s OK. Sometimes you have to be wrong before you can be right.
The road of life is rarely smooth. It’s easy to stumble and fall and hurt yourself. But these bumps and bruises are a necessary part of your growth – you fall down, you learn something, and then you brush yourself off and move forward. Today, let’s take a step forward. Your bad habits – the ones that hurt your health and happiness – are 100% dependent on YOU for their survival. Stop allowing these habits to control, limit, stifle, and discourage you from being your best self. Today is YOURS to shape; own it! Break free from the bad habits that are poisoning and diluting your potential.
Stop resisting what is.
Life is a series of continuous natural events and changes. Don’t resist them; doing so only creates unnecessary stress. Let the reality of these events and changes take place. Let them flow. Or as Henry Wadsworth once said, “For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain.”
To move forward in life you must first accept the reality of what it is. This acceptance provides you with an important starting point from which you can move in any direction you choose. To deny this reality or to fight against the past will merely waste your time and energy. To wish that things were different, or to pretend that they are, gets you nowhere.
Forgiveness is a big part of this process. Forgiveness is the acceptance of the present moment, as it is, without attachment to any other time, place, or circumstance. Almost all negativity is caused by a lack of forgiveness and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, guilt, tension, stress, worry, and resentment – all forms of unhealthy attachment – are caused by too much past and future, and not enough presence.
Stop over-complicating things.
There are specific disciplines and ways of seeing the world that you have to understand before you can awaken to a simpler, happier life. As Einstein once said, “Out of clutter, find simplicity; from discord, find harmony; in the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.”
Sometimes we make life more complicated than it is. We attach our happiness to achievement and then look for it in all the wrong ways and in all the wrong places. Of course, you don’t have to live like this. If you feel like you are, it’s time to simplify things. It’s time to clear the air and get back to the basics.
Simplifying is not seeing how little you can get by with – that’s poverty – but how efficiently you can put first things first, and use your time accordingly to pursue the things that make a difference and mean the most to you. Less really is more. Instead of adding, improve your life by subtracting. Get rid of unnecessary clutter, negative influences and toxic relationships.
Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.
And then the doctor wrote:
Patient has left his white blood cells at another hospital.
Between you and me, we ought to be able to get this lady pregnant.
The patient was in his usual state of good health until his airplane ran out of gas and crashed.
Patient was alert and unresponsive.
Diplomacy is the art of saying “nice doggy” until you can find a rock.
Mrs. Ogden went to her doctor and said “Please give me a prescription for the Pill.”
“I don’t think you need the Pill at your age.”
“It relaxes me.”
“But you know the ‘purpose’ of the Pill. It’s not for relaxing,” exclaimed the physician.
“I know,” said Mrs Ogden, “but my daughter dates, and every morning I drop one in her orange juice. Believe me, I feel more relaxed.
“The economy depends on economists about as much as the weather does on forecasters.”
A man tried to sell his neighbor a new dog. “This is a talking dog,” he said. “And you can have him for five dollars.” The neighbor said, “Who do you think you’re kidding with this talking dog stuff? There ain’t no such animal.”
Suddenly the dog looked up with tears in his eyes. “Please buy me, Sir,” he pleaded. “This man is cruel. He never buys me a meal, never bathes me, never takes me for a walk. And I used to be the richest trick dog in America. I performed before kings. I was in the army and was decorated ten times.”
“Hey!” said the neighbor. “He can talk. Why do you want to sell him for just five dollars?” “Because,” said the seller, “I’m getting tired of all his lies.”
When dog food is new and better tasting, who tests it?
A woman was on the witness stand, accused of poisoning her husband. “After you put poison in the coffee, you sat at the breakfast table and watched your husband drink it. Tell me, didn’t you feel the slightest bit of pity for him?” the defense attorney prompted.
“Yes,” she replied, “I think there was one moment when I felt sorry for him.”
“And when was that?”
“When he asked for his second cup.”
A wife will always forgive and forget – but she’ll never let you forget that she forgave and forgot.
While on leave, my Marine buddy and I met two nursing students from Southern California. After chatting them up awhile, the conversation turned to what we did in the service. When we told them we were in the infantry, the girls seemed very impressed, giving us big smiles as they told us how sweet that was.
Since infantry and sweet are seldom used in the same sentence, I was a little confused. Until, that is, one of the girls said, “We admire any man who works with infants.”
“Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect. It means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.”
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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