When I was in my twenties, somebody gave me a small poster with the words, “Life is a Journey, Not a Destination” printed under the sketch of a multi-pastel colored unicorn. I always liked that idea. And, once you hit middle age (we all have our own definitions of when that is), you begin to realize that many cliché sayings are true!
Especially with social media, we can’t help but see an endless parade of quotes and sayings and words of wisdom that people post. They are printed alongside photographs of thoughtful celebrities or precious children, pictures of gorgeous sunsets or mountaintops, stills of hummingbirds or droplets of spring water.
With the barrage of these visual messages, it’s easy to tire of words about being happy, the power of forgiveness or the importance of being grateful. That’s okay, just scroll on by. But lest we judge too quickly, recognize those words may bring comfort, encouragement, hope and occasionally a needed chuckle to those that share them.
It’s alright to be excited about anticipating the future, but don’t stop being happy with what’s in the present. It’s like baking chocolate chip cookies and never taking even a single nibble of that sweet uncooked dough! Can you imagine?! I think my boys liked licking the mixing bowl more than eating the actual cookies.
When people get too caught up in the pursuit of something, to the point where they aren’t enjoying life along the way, things become problematic. There is nothing wrong with striving for goals or objectives, but the key is not to abandon gratitude and contentment while on the journey.
Happiness comes from single moments in life. They may last for a couple days or a few hours or even just a few seconds. Those are what makes life satisfying. Provides that warmth in our gut that we crave. The more you have, the better! Go ahead and set your sights on things you hope to accomplish. Put those action plans in place. Crawl back up when you get knocked down. But living in the present as opposed to in the future or in the past, will bring that sense of happiness.
Journeys also entail our relationship to other people. Family, lovers, friends—even strangers. It depends on the attitude you choose and the effort you put out. Not every part of our lives will be positive and happy. Life is life. Bad things happen and challenges arise. Living daily with a feeling of contentment and gratefulness for what you do have, ensures moments of satisfaction and joy occur along the often bumpy path.
Many people get a wake up call (or at least a very strong reminder), when tragedy strikes them or someone they care about. There comes a realization that life can end in a blink and how we allow our days to become full and busy with inconsequential things that won’t matter ten years from now. The trivial can easily suck the energy right out of our precious time.
Trade up and out. Determine what is important and vow to entice more moments of happiness to occur. Talk to people who have come through those serious, life-threatening illnesses or accidents. They emerge with a renewed outlook and an appreciation for what they have now, even if things are difficult.
Moments of happiness occur while walking down the pathway of our lives. Let us not miss a single one of them.
Most people will skip over these words assuming it’s just another blog on happiness. That’s perfectly fine. But my hope remains that someone might be touched simply based upon the struggle they are facing today. A few words can make all the difference in creating a good moment versus a bad one.
Happiness is found in single moments along our journey, and words can inspire us to keep on traveling.
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