A friend found a yellowed paper in his father’s desk after his dad died. It described his father’s approach to life. Dad didn’t wait for happiness at a future time, nor did he expect it to be given to him. He knew that happiness and joy reside within us if we choose them. He chose happiness and joy. Here is part of the foundation on which he built his life and the grace with which he faced an incurable cancer.
Passports to Happiness
We permit too many opportunities for happiness to slip by because we labor under two major delusions. One of these is that we shall be happy when–
When we arrive at a certain destination;
When we can be with a certain person;
When our schooling is finished;
When we get a better job:
When we arrive at a certain income;
When we are married;
When the baby is born;
When we recover from our illness;
When our bills are paid;
When we own a new car;
When we move into a new home;
When some disagreeable task is finished;
When we are free from some encumbrance.
The second delusion is that we can buy a ticket, or pay admission, to happiness. We seem never to learn that, wherever we go, we take our happiness or unhappiness with us; and that whatever we do; it is how much of ourselves we put into the doing which influences our happiness–far more than what the outside world contributes.
The only way we can insure happiness is to train ourselves to be happy in spite of, not because of, what life does to us. When we succeed in doing this, we become wise and useful adults.
David Dunn, date unknown
photo by Mark Smutny