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November Joy 9: How To Be Happy
I hope this musing finds you in good health and spirits. November Joy continues, and for today’s edition, I want to share with you a quote that I came across recently that resonated deeply with me. It is by Marcel Pagnol, a French novelist, playwright, and filmmaker who lived in the 20th century. He said:
“The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.”Marcel Pagnol
What do you think of this quote? Do you agree with it? Do you find yourself falling into the trap of nostalgia, pessimism, or anxiety? If so, you are not alone. Many people struggle with these feelings, especially in times of uncertainty and change.
But I want to challenge you to look at your life from a different perspective. A perspective that is more realistic, more optimistic, and more hopeful. A perspective that can help you find happiness in the present and confidence in the future.
Let me explain what I mean by using some examples from my own life.
First, let’s talk about the past. I know that sometimes it is tempting to look back at the good old days and wish we could go back to them. But the truth is, the past was not always better than it seemed. We tend to forget the hardships, the challenges, and the mistakes we made. We tend to idealise the memories, the achievements, and the successes we have. We tend to ignore the fact that we have grown, learned, and improved since then.
For instance, I used to think that my teenhood was the happiest time of my life. I remembered playing with my family, reading books, singing hymns, and exploring art. But then I realised that I also faced many difficulties, such as sexual abuse, loss, and lack. I realised that I had to overcome many obstacles, such as limited resources, health issues, and social pressure. I realised that I had to work hard, study hard, and fight hard to get where I am today.
So, instead of romanticising the past, I choose to appreciate it for what it was: a valuable learning experience that shaped me into who I am today. I choose to be grateful for the opportunities, the people, and the lessons that the past has taught me. I choose to be proud of the progress, the growth, and the change that I have made since then.
Second, let’s talk about the present. I know that sometimes it is difficult to be happy in the present. We tend to focus on the problems, the worries, and the fears that we face. We tend to compare ourselves to others, to judge ourselves harshly, and to doubt ourselves constantly. We tend to neglect the joys, the blessings, and the strengths that we already have.
I used to think that my life was not good enough. I always wanted more: more money, more accomplishments, more recognition. I always felt dissatisfied, unhappy, and left behind. But then I realised that I had so much to be thankful for. I realised that I had a loving family, supportive friends, and loyal readers. I realised that I had a meaningful career, a creative passion, and a positive impact on the lives of many. I realised I have love, laughter, and everything I wished for years before.
So, instead of complaining about the present, I choose to enjoy it for what it is: a precious gift that I have been given. I choose to be thankful for the resources, the relationships, and the opportunities that the present offers me. I choose to be happy with the achievements, the passions, and the values that I have. I chose to live in the moment and to bask in the now.
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Third, let’s talk about the future. I know that sometimes it is scary to think about the future. We tend to imagine the worst, the unknown, and the unpredictable. We tend to worry about the risks, the challenges, and the failures that we might face. We tend to forget the best, the possible, and the probable. We tend to overlook the potential, the opportunities, and the successes that we might achieve. We all do this, so don’t feel like you are worse off, a worry-ior, or whatever label you’ve accepted defines you.
For instance, I used to fear the future. I always wondered what would happen next: what if I lose my job, what if she cheats on me, what if my business fails, what if I get sick, and what if I die? I always felt anxious, stressed, and hopeless. But then I realised that I had so much to look forward to. I realised that I had a vision, a mission, and a purpose. I realised that I had a plan, a strategy, and a goal.
So, instead of fearing the future, I choose to embrace it for what it will be: an exciting adventure that I will create. I choose to be optimistic about the outcomes, the possibilities, and the opportunities that the future will bring me. I choose to be confident in the skills, talents, and abilities that I have.
I hope that this quote and my life experiences have inspired you to rethink your past, your present, and your future. I hope that you will find happiness in the present and confidence in the future and see your life as a beautiful journey that is worth living.
Thank you for reading today’s edition of November Joy. Until next time, stay safe, stay healthy, and stay happy!
Yours in enthusiasm,