That exquisite feeling called happiness can begin wherever and however we are because it has nothing to do with things. Having more is not the answer to happiness.
If we can count our blessings on only two or three fingers, then putting diamonds on those same fingers is not going to give us more blessings. If we have failed to develop meaningful friendships when our resources were meager, then we are not going to be any better at finding or keeping good friends when our finances improve.
The experience of a meaningful relationship with someone who has been with us through the good times and the bad, who knows us and cares about us in a way that makes us feel good just to know that they are in this world, is something we cannot afford to postpone.
One of the major reasons why we fail to find happiness or to create a unique lifestyle is because we have not yet mastered the art of being.
While we are home our thoughts are still absorbed with solving the challenges we face at the office. And when we are at the office we find ourselves worrying about problems at home.
We go through the day without really listening to what others are saying to us. We may be hearing the words, but we aren’t absorbing the message.
As we go through the day we find ourselves focusing on past experiences or future possibilities. We are so involved in yesterday and tomorrow that we never even notice that today is slipping by.
We go throughthe day rather than getting something fromthe day. We are everywhere at any given moment in time except livinginthat moment in time.
Lifestyle is learning to bewherever you are. It is developing a unique focus on the current moment, and drawing from it all of the substance and wealth of experience and emotions that it has to offer. Lifestyle is taking time to watch a sunset. Lifestyle is listening to silence.
Lifestyle is capturing each moment so that it becomes a new part of what we are and of what we are in the process of becoming. Lifestyle is not something we do, it is something we experience. And until we learn to be there, we will never master the art of living well.
LETTING LIFE TOUCH US
There is a world of difference between goingto Paris and experiencingParis. Going is a basic physical activity; experiencing is a rich emotional event. To experience life, we must let it touch us; and not just the positive experiences. We must also be touched by the sorrows and the sadness, by the losses and the longings. Emotions enrich our lives and create for us a special uniqueness in terms of both who we are and how we live.
To live a unique life we must first become unique individuals by experiencing a broad range of human experiences and emotions. Only when we have experienced the full spectrum of human existence can we begin to design and live a life of substance.
All progress begins with an emotion. We do not attract a better life merely by wantingit; we attract it by adopting the emotions that those with the “better life” possess.
If we want to be happy, we begin by thinking and feeling and acting “happy.” If we want to be wealthy, we begin by thinking and feeling and acting “wealthy.”
Any father who wishes to can capture the attention and the appreciation of his family with his presentresources. He does not have to wait for the wealth in order to discover and share the happiness.
He does not have to wait in order to be unique. He does not have to postpone the experience of happiness and a unique lifestyle because it is within his presentreach. In fact, by practicing what is within his present reach, it will actually extendhis reach. He only has to start with where he is and with what he has. He needs only to breathe happiness and uniqueness into his assets of the currentmoment.
The joy that could be shared by surprising his daughter with a twenty-dollar concert ticket, when that is all he can currently do, can be just as rewarding as giving her a twenty thousand dollar automobile.
This is especially true if, in the past, he has argued with his daughter about her insistence on wanting to “waste money on such foolishness” as a concert. Imagine the father — the head of the family who wants to be sophisticated and wealthy – crumbling up a twenty dollar bill and throwing it at his daughter as an expression of his disapproval about the concert that is so important to her!
How much better it would be if he were to surprise his daughter one day by going out of his way to purchase the ticket for her in advance, and then presenting it to her in -some special manner and with a few special words. How much more meaningful still it would be if the father were to purchase twotickets and attend the concert withhis daughter. Perhaps as an added touch he could combine the concert with a private dinner at a special place where the food would be extraordinary and the service unique -because of the way the tip was presented.
That is what lifestyle is all about: finding unique ways of transforming emotional possibilities into meaningful into experiences that are within our current means.
We can start right nowby offering all that is within our power to share. Whether we offer our time, a shoulder to cry on, a word of sincere appreciation or our undivided attention, if we will just be there and really live that moment, what an experience that could be!
We must not let the years, and the chances, and the small opportunities for creating moments of joy slip away. If we continue to wait until we have the resources to do the bigthings before we master the art of experiencing all that life currently has to offer, then we may find that we have -waited too long.
Let us begin this very day the process of creating a wealth of experiences and memories that will endure in the hearts of those we love long after we are gone.
Lifestyle is a source of joy and fulfillment that is available to us all, regardless of our current circumstances. It is within the immediate reach of anyone who is willing to make it a serious study.
Robin Sharma on his part believes that all too often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they spend their days striving to get things that will make them happy rather than having the wisdom to realize that happiness is not just a place you reach but a state you create. “Happiness and a life of deep fulfillment come when you commit yourself, from the very core of your soul, to spending your highest human talents on a purpose that makes a difference in the lives of others.” At the end of it all, the human spirit professes that the true meaning of life is to live for something more than ourselves. “The purpose of life is a life of purpose.”
Our lives are filled with opportunities for experiencing a new level of happiness and sophistication and appreciation. All that is required is a change of mind and a decision to begin experiencing it all now. And as we demonstrate our new commitment to take full measure from even the smallest opportunities that come our way, life will see to it that far greater experiences than we have ever dreamed of are not long in becoming our certain reward.
BY CAPTAIN SAM ADDAIH RTD.