I woke up this morning feeling inspired to chat about a topic that always seems to put life into perspective. It REALLY doesn’t matter what you have, who you know, or places you’ve been. What matters…. is your perception of it. Your appreciation for life is where your power lies and you control your happiness each day by the thoughts you feed yourself. It’s even more important to focus your beliefs on what you know is true and not what others tell you they believe to be true. Once you base your happiness on what others believe, you give your power away. I won’t get too deep though. I’ll save that for another day.
I wanted to share this with you today because there was a time in my life where I really struggled to find happiness and it wasn’t until I really grasped this philosophy that my life turned around. This might seem like common sense to some people, but I thought maybe…. just maybe I could help one person, or at least this could just be a good reminder to others.
A large part of my unhappiness at that time was due to my lack of appreciation for things in my life. At the time, I believed that I would only become happy when reaching a destination of perfection. I thought. . . Once I have a better job, reach my ultimate weight, own two cars and a house on the river with a white picket fence, then I’ll be happy.
It took 3 devastating hardships, 5 self-help books and 8 years of spiritual practice to finally get it right. Even now, as I write this…. I still need a reset somedays when I am feeling down. The best recipe for this is to simply just list 10 things you are thankful for each morning.
Learning this has really helped me in life, because even now . . . going through what most people have labeled as unimaginable, I still manage to find happiness in the “little things” and keep moving forward with appreciation for life. If you want to know more about my current hardship, you can read about our love and loss – Audrina’s story.
If I waited until I had a perfect life, then I would never truly be happy; because my perception of a perfect life would be having Audrina here with us for a lifetime. That’s out of my control. We can’t control all of the events that happen in our life. We can only dictate how we allow those experiences to shape us. When I found out about Audrina’s fatal condition I knew I had two options and they were both in my control. . . . I could either sink or swim. Thankfully, all of the other awful life experiences I endured helped me gain the enlightenment for that moment to choose “swim”.
I have to make a conscious decision each day. When I wake up, I tell myself. . . “ I’m going to choose to swim today and here is a list of things that will help me accomplish this”. Of course, at the top of my list …. COFFEE. . . . and boy am I thankful for it! Then I pick 9 other things that I can focus my attention on that bring me great joy and passion. The more gratitude and appreciation you have for life will magnify the positive people, circumstances and situations that mirror the joy you feel. One day, you will wake up and be so thankful just to be alive and in that moment, you will realize you’ve reached true happiness. This is because true happiness can only be experienced in the moment.
Life will always be unpredictable. Sometimes it’s nice to find comfort in security, but the truth is. . . it’s just an illusion. Nothing is guaranteed and it’s best practice to never take life for granted. Unfortunately, sometimes the only way we realize this is by enduring unbearable heartache. It’s through this suffering that we come to understand and truly appreciate the fragility of life.