Hello! How are you today? [Oh,Aw], I’m so [happy,sorry] to hear that. [ 🙂 , 😦 ] Me? Oh! I’m FANTASTIC! Thanks for asking! Why the extra cheerfulness on this otherwise dreary day? As I headed for the tree I was wondering the same thing, but it was undeniable. I was filled with joy and excitement.

Maybe it was that the rain had stopped before I went outside to walk, or that I knew once I got back I’d be stuffing 240 newsletters with flyers for the walking group and a weight loss/fitness challenge starting in two weeks. It could’ve been the preview for the new episode of House that got this song stuck in my head, or maybe it was that I got to talk with one of my best friends from high school the night before which me feel a little more like “me”. We used to do all kinds of crazy stuff and laugh our heads off all the time. I’m sure some people thought we were totally off our rockers (only partly true) or high, but we were just being ourselves and having a blast. If you want to see some photos you’ll have to connect with me on facebook.

I think a big part of my happiness, too, was because I had discovered earlier that morning that I had qualified for Success Club (something that’s part of my coaching business) and didn’t even realize it. Why is that so important? Well, it means my business is doing well and eventually I may end up on a cruise as a thank you from the company I’m partnered with and now I’ll be getting new leads in addition to the customers that are already assigned to me every couple of days so I can be their coach. But, that’s not the most important thing. It’s the fact that I was recognized for doing a good job, but I wasn’t doing it for the recognition. I was simply doing what I love, helping other people transform their lives the way I was helped by the supportive community I’m part of as a coach.

I don’t know about you, but to me that’s a big deal. I’ve had jobs where I did what I had to do, but didn’t really enjoy it. I’ve had jobs where I started off excited, wanting to get ahead, but left with a bad taste in my mouth because the people I worked for only seemed to care what I was doing if I made a mistake. I’ve had jobs where the more the company grew, the less I felt like a valued member of the team. But not now! I feel successful, appreciated and trusted. The funny thing is, I technically work for myself, but the company I represent makes me feel like part of a family even though it does hundreds of millions in sales each year. It’s all because the heart and soul of the business is people helping people, one on one. It starts at the top with an amazing CEO who’s passionate about helping others and it gets passed on, person to person. That makes me very happy.

The farther I walked, or bounced, along the more I thought about all the things I’m thankful for and it wasn’t long before I realized I had a huge smile on my face. Then it hit me, the beginning of true happiness is gratitude. We can be happy in any situation or circumstance if we choose to focus on the positives and have an attitude of thankfulness. Every situation can be looked at from different perspectives. It’s up to us to choose to look at things in a way that will move us forward. We have to take responsibility for our happiness and stop telling ourselves that if this or that was different, then I’d be happy. There are things in my life that certainly aren’t perfect, but if I dwell on those things that’s exactly where I’ll be stuck. I choose to see the opportunities and focus on the progress instead of wallowing in self-pity thinking only about what I don’t have or what I haven’t accomplished yet.

So where are the photos? I was pretty distracted by my feeling of euphoria this morning and I couldn’t bring myself to posting pictures of a gloomy day when all I felt was sunshine. I did remember how much I love the happy, cheerful sculptures at Alton Baker Park and decided to go hang out with them for a few minutes.

We can’t rely on our external surroundings for happiness. If we do, we’ll never really be happy. Lord knows there’s always plenty of trouble all around. There is a plan for each of us and we all have the potential to do great things if our thoughts are in the right place. If you want to feel like your life means something, find the right motives and be thankful for everything that’s happened to you up to this point. Each experience is there for a reason. Maybe it’s an opportunity to learn and grow. Maybe it’s a chance to help someone in need. But sadly, we’ll miss out on the happiness if we can’t learn to be thankful…in all things. I hope that you can experience even a fraction of the joy I felt this morning because it was worth every challenge that made it possible.

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