Our best kept secret
FAMOUS psychologist Victor Frankl once said that “Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue. One must have a reason to BE HAPPY.” Happiness without meaning characterizes a relatively shallow, self-absorbed or even selfish life, in which things go well, needs and desire are easily satisfied, and difficult or taxing entanglements are avoided. Allow me to give you some tips for a meaningful life captured in 10 simple commandments:
1. THOU SHALL PUT GOD IN EVERYTHING YOU DO. Making God the center of our lives enables us to put all our anxieties and worries to rest. By actively entrusting to our heavenly Father all of our undertakings for the year (and not just passively awaiting for his intervention) we allow his divine grace to permeate and bless the “works of our hands” that would bring not just material sustenance but significance as well to all our endeavors.
2. THOU SHALL LIVE EACH DAY AS A FRESH START. Mistakes do happen and sometimes we fall. But it does not mean that we have failed. Failure only comes when we stop trying. And, waking up each day signals a new chance to stand-up and start again. In life, it does not matter how many times we fall, but how many times we stand-up each time we fall.
3. THOU SHALL DO ACTS OF RANDOM KINDNESS. Looking beyond oneself is a selfless act that brings us profound happiness. And if you show kindness only to people who know you and can repay you back then the act of giving (though not totally diminished in goodness) was like done with “strings attached to it”. But when the act is done in total randomness and anonymity, it draws not just meaning to the giver but to the recipient as well who sees a gesture of love freed from ulterior motives.
4. THOU SHALL DO YOUR BEST IN WHATEVER YOU DO. Because you are already investing your time, treasure and talent in the tasks you are to accomplish, why not give it your best right from the start? Doing chores or work/school related assignments within the mindset of “excellence” does not only cultivate the potentials within you, but likewise inspires the quality of work of people around you.
5. THOU SHALL MAINTAIN A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE. Take a 10 to 30 minute walk everyday. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant. Eat more food that grows on trees and plants, and eat less food that is manufactured in factories. And don’t forget to live in a clean and stress-free home and environment.
6. THOU SHALL FROWN LESS AND LAUGH OFTEN. It takes more muscles to frown than to laugh, so laugh more each day! Remember … Laughter is still the best medicine. No one is in charge of your happiness except you. Life is too short to waste time in hating anyone, or in grumbling on things we can never fully control.
7. THOU SHALL REALIZE THAT LIFE IS A SCHOOL AND YOU ARE HERE TO LEARN. Problems and Trials are simply part of the curriculum that is taught and completed in time but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime. However good or bad a situation is … it will change. The best is yet to come. So no matter how you feel … Get Up, Dress Up, and Show Up!
8. THOU SHALL LOVE AT ALL TIMES. To paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., let us always remember that … the ultimate weakness of HATE is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Returning HATE for HATE multiplies HATE, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. LOVE is a powerful and just weapon. It is a weapon unique in history, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.
9. THOU SHALL LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS. In times of economic crunches, it pays to be financially savvy. Don’t spend on things you cannot afford and do not need. Avoid impulse buying, and stick to your shopping list of essentials. And, never spend in advance. Wait for your monthly pay to be handed to you before actually spending it. Always set aside some extra cash for savings. You might not know just when you will need the extra cash for emergency situations.
10. And no matter what happens, THOU SHALL ALWAYS ENJOY THE RIDE. Life will come with its Ups and Downs, but like a rollercoaster ride, we should enjoy every moment of it. Remember … life is not like Disneyland or Enchanted Kingdom, and you certainly don’t want a fast pass. You only have ONE RIDE through life, so make the most out of it and enjoy the ride. Life isn’t perfect but it’s worth every moment spending it!
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