Years ago, way back in my early 20s, I remember being bored to tears one Saturday afternoon. Passing a neighbor in the apartment parking lot, he casually asked how I was doing. “I’m bored,” I replied, thinking nothing of it. His response struck me to the chore and it has stayed me all these years: “If you’re bored, it’s your own fault.”
It took me a long time to figure that out, as simple as it seems. The key of course lay within, but at that tender age, it wasn’t clear to me. Now, whenever I find myself out of sorts or bored, I know it is a sign that Spirit needs me to spend time revisiting myself and soul.
Not long ago, I found this sign in a store and without even hesitating, bought it for a dear friend. She’s been through a lot and potentially has major life changes ahead, so I hoped it would be a reminder that the one element of our lives only we can control is our outlook or attitude. That choosing to be happy each and every day is a way of life – not an end goal that we are waiting to arrive at with the accomplishment of life ambitions.
I spent a large portion of my life seeing happiness as a barometer and living in the when/then mindset: when I get a life partner, then I’ll be happy. When I lose weight, then I’ll feel good about myself. When I get to this financial point, then I can relax about my future. No one wins with when/then. We miss out on living in the present by projecting the future.
Abe Lincoln once said that people are as happy as they make their minds up to be. In this age of “reality” TV and addiction to drama, we could use a few reminders that happiness is a way of life. No one else can make you happy or give you happiness – that power lies in your own spirit.