April 4


Today's quotation:

For most of life, nothing wonderful happens.  If you don't enjoy getting up and working and finishing your work and sitting down to a meal with family or friends, then the chances are you're not going to be very happy.  If someone bases his happiness or unhappiness on major events like a great new job, huge amounts of money, a flawlessly happy marriage or a trip to Paris, that person isn't going to be happy much of the time.  If, on the other hand, happiness depends on a good breakfast, flowers in the yard, a drink or a nap, then we are more likely to live with quite a bit of happiness.

Andy Rooney

Today's Meditation:

As I get older, I find that the major events are less and less exciting, and they mean less and less to me.  What's more, I've come to disdain them in some ways because I see so many people convinced that these events are what life is all about, that these are the types of things that can make people happy and content, and I know that they're getting caught up in the moment--but where will they be when that moment has passed?

Quite simply, their day-to-day lives often seem more drab and boring and unexciting after the huge events, after they've experienced the excitement of a great vacation in an exotic locale or attended the week's biggest game or concert or got a new job.  Once the newness of a new job has worn off, most people find that it's just another job. . . .

We embrace this type of thinking largely because that's what advertisers convince us to do--the big things cost money, or they make us money that we can spend and impress others.

Personally, I'm thankful when I have a tub full of hot water and bubble bath, in which I can sit and soak and let my body relax.  I love my drive to work, which takes me past forests and rivers and a beautiful lake.  A cup of hot chocolate on a cold, cold morning can do wonders for my spirit.

Big events can be a lot of fun.  But if we attach a great deal of importance to them, if we believe that they're going to add significantly to who we are as opposed to being another experience, then we're putting too much on them, and they won't be able to live up to the unrealistic expectations that we assign to them.  Enjoy them, take them for all that they're worth, but remember that they can't make you happy--only you can do that.

Questions to consider:

Why is it important to us to experience what Andy Rooney calls "major events"?

Which have a greater long-term effect on your life--major events that occur once, or the small things in life that occur over and over?  Which do you allow to have stronger effects?

How can we open our eyes more to the small things that mean so much?

For further thought:

I have learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances.  We carry the seeds with us in our minds wherever we go.

Martha Washington

more thoughts and ideas on happiness



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