Some of the best advice I received as a young girl came from my father. The lessons I learned from him have carried me through some hard times. No matter what circumstances he faced, he tried to take a positive approach to life. At the age of 47, he was diagnosed with cancer, and eleven months later, lost the battle. I have so many fond memories of my dad. He had a great sense of humor, was full of energy, loved his work, and chose to be happy. Today, I’d like to share some of the advice I received from my Dad. I hope it helps you as much as it has helped me through the years.
Life Lesson #1: “You only live on this earth one time – don’t be miserable doing it!”
I often hear people complain about their current situation as if there is nothing they can do to make things better. There is always room for improvement, and instead of complaining, why not decide today to do something about it? Example: If you are self-conscious about your weight, choose a healthier lifestyle. Eating right and exercising will not only reshape your body, it will also give you a better outlook on life. What about your job? You may be doing an excellent job, but have no enthusiasm in your accomplishments. Sometimes a change will do you good. And other times, you may just need an attitude adjustment. During the Christmas holidays, I was talking with a friend about her new job. She “likes” what she is doing, but “loves” direct deposit and benefits. Be grateful that you have a job. If you simply cannot enjoy your job, no matter what, then it’s time to make the necessary changes by looking for something different.
Is your current life direction based on your expectations or someone else’s? Our dreams are sometimes put aside to pursue the world’s definition of success: “It’s tragic to think that people will work all of their lives doing something they moderately enjoy for the sake of someone else’s approval. Some people wake up every day with no desire to go to work and feel empty most days because they realize they never pursued their passion. They have a house, two cars, and all that the world has to offer materially, yet miss the most important element of life- inner peace. In addition, they follow other people’s expectations and mistake them for their passion. They get married because they think it is the right thing to do. They have children after marriage, because they think it is the right thing to do. They miss their little league games to make ends meet, and rationalize it’s the right thing to do. They drop them off at child care so they can make enough money to give them what they never had. When they finally give it to them, they realize why they never had it; their parents knew it wasn’t what they needed. They replace a bedtime story with 30 more minutes on the computer. They replace breakfast with a Pop-Tart. They replace talking to their children with a chat room. When the next technological wave of inventions arrives, they buy all of them. They have no satisfaction until they have them or so they think. They complain of debt and how tight money is, yet they own two cars and both of them are financed. They purchase new shoes, but never discard the old pair, and never wear them again. They skip breakfast, lunch, and eat fast food for dinner. Their lives are in the fast lane with no exit ramp in sight. They do it because everyone else does, and live beyond their means to support someone else’s meaning.” – Enjoy the Ride, Steve Gilliland
Take some time today to reflect on your current situation. Instead of complaining, remember that you have a choice. I hope you will choose to be happy, and strive to make the most of every opportunity. Why? Because you only live on this earth one time, don’t be miserable doing it!
Thought for the Day: Climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, watch more sunsets, laugh more, and cry less. Life must be lived as we go along!