I just finished reading The Choice by Og Mandino. It is basically an overview of how he gave up his life in business, to write so he could spend more time with his family. I found it interesting, but it was in the final pages that I found my personal connection to it. Here is an excerpt from Page 149.
I choose a better way to live!
Henceforth, my pursuit of happiness has ended. How blind I have been! Now I know that happiness hides not in that new house, that new career, that new friend. And it is never for sale. When I cannot find contentment in myself, it is useless to seek it elsewhere. Whenever I depend on things outside myself to supply me with joy I am doomed to disappointment. Happiness, I see now, has nothing to do with getting. It consists of being satisfied with what I've got and what I haven't got. Few things are necessary to make the wise man happy while no amount of material wealth should satisfy a fool. I am not a fool. I have drawn a circle around me. Whenever I reach across it I will be giving, not taking. My needs are few. So long as I have something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for, I shall be happy. Now I know that the only source of happiness is within me, and I will begin to share it. Like a perfume, I know that I cannot pour it on others without getting a few drops on myself. (emphasis added)
I bolded the parts of this quote that made me really think. I am conflicted with what he wrote. I am filled with happiness when I close my eyes and feel the sun on my face, when I listen to my favorite songs, when i take Harley rides on perfect days, when I lie on the back of a speedboat, sun bathing, or when I made dinner for my family. In those instances, yes I choose that they made me happy, but it was infact the event or action that brought about my ability to choose happiness. Perhaps Mr. Mandino is saying that those things dont bring real happiness. But then what is real happiness? Does it have to last at least a few hours or a couple days for it to be real?
When I cannot find contentment in myself, I rely on those who love me to share with me their happiness to bring mine back. I agree that to spread happiness to others is to bring it to myself, but on days when I dont have any energy left to fight the tides of stress and disappointment, I need those people in my life to lift my spirit and take me on a Harley ride.
I think that happiness lies in finding our true passion; in knowing who we are. It is easier to fight the battles of disappointment, loss, and sadness when we have the blessing of a clear mind. Knowing who we are and what our passion is-brings about happiness. It is that knowledge that gives us courage to fight for our happiness because it is made easier.
So I agree with most of what Mr. Mandino said- but the edited for Mitzi version would say:
So long as I live my passion, love freely and am loved freely, and have something to look forward to, I shall be happy.
Looks like that is my new quest- discover my passion and fall in love :) I'll keep you posted if that was the right recipe.
The above painting is "Enchantment" by Marc Chagall... I thought it was perfect to represent love, passion, and things hoped for.