The Happiness You Take is Equal to the Happiness You Make

I think the discussion of destiny or fate comes around on its own.  Whether you believe in a life that is destined to happen or not, there is no denying inevitability.

Happiness in my life is a choice, one I make every day.  It is a skill to cultivate, like any other.  Life isn’t just going to hand me happiness.  For anyone who thinks they are owed happiness will only find disappointment or worse, heartache.  There was a time in my life that I believed I was owed something.  Maybe it was happiness.  Maybe it was reward.  Reflecting back, I can’t remember what it was.  The truth is it never came.

There is a fundamental understanding in the game of baseball about defending a ball hit to an infielder.  As the defender, the understanding is that in order to be successful you must go to the ball.  Even though it is hit toward you and moving in that direction, the most successful play is to run to the ball, lest it hit some anomaly in the dirt and make a “bad hop”.

The experts call it “playing the ball”.  For those infielders that wait, the experts call it “the ball playing you”.

Why all of sudden am I talking baseball?  Because life is a lot like being a shortstop when the ball is hit to us.  If we remain stationary and wait for life to come to us, it might take a bad hop.  Or it might slow in the grass allowing the runner to reach base safely.  If we charge the ball, run toward our lives, we are taking action and lessening the possibility of bad hops and runners reaching base.

Stuff still happens.  It always does.  That is the inevitable.  That you could do something a thousand times and be successful or be the best or simply survive.  It is inevitable there will be one time that won’t be the case.  That’s the balance of life.

For me, I can only accept that “things happen” if I know I’m giving 100% effort to charging the ball.  If I’m going after life, and not waiting for it to come to me.  If I honestly put in that effort, then I’m more willing to accept when the ball takes a bad hop anyway.  If I’m not putting in the effort, I can only be left with “what ifs”.

I don’t like the “what ifs”.

I don’t like the “what ifs” so much that I won’t even discuss them.  Because I could “what if” my life all day long.  It isn’t going to get me anything but a day full of talking to myself.  It’s not productive.  And for me, even if the steps are small my goal is to be productive every day.  What is productive?

Charging the ball.

Because for me, happiness is a choice.  I want my life to be a certain way.  I want it to be that way so that I’m happy.  I make a choice every day to be productive to reach my goals.  But let’s face it, life isn’t easy.  Sometimes the “stuff” that happens seems like falling dominoes.  I’ve experienced those moments in life when nothing seems to be going right for me.

I could inject a thought on destiny or fate here, but I won’t.  I’ll let you decide for yourself the meaning behind those moments.  What I will say, however, is that we still have a choice in those moments.  We can let them define us or we can let them refine us.  I prefer the latter.  Those moments help educate me.  They help me to cultivate the skill of being happy.  Every day.

If you’ve read my Facebook page or been here to the website before, you’ve most likely seen me mention something about my morning motivation.  That’s my way of getting started each day.  It is a reminder that I have an opportunity each day to make a choice.  I seek out wisdom that inspires me to be happy.  Sometimes it’s a song, sometimes it’s a picture.  Often times it’s a quote, and often I’ve seen that same quote a thousand times.

What I find is that one day out of a thousand that quote will resonate.  It will speak to how I’m feeling that morning.  It will be the right thing to help keep me on track to being productive.

It was a skill I had to cultivate.  Like a baseball player, it was a skill I had to practice.  It wasn’t normal when I started to seek out a reminder each day.  At one point I even had a sticky note on my desk to remind me to do it.  Now…it’s a part of me.  It’s a part of my routine.  As important to my morning as coffee.  I honestly miss it on the days I don’t make time for it.

As if I’ve missed an opportunity when I’ve been given a choice.  A choice to be happy…

16 responses to “The Happiness You Take is Equal to the Happiness You Make

    • Thank you!!!

      That Abe guy was pretty smart. There are a few Lincoln quotes that are relevant today as they were the day he said them. That’s wisdom….

      I appreciate you taking the time to comment today!! I hope all is well with you. Take care and have a FANTASTIC day!!!

  1. Once again, Greg, you have wowed me with your words. I love the baseball analogy, it really makes your point crystal clear. I also love your words about the choice to let the bad stuff that sometimes happens either define you or refine you. I have heard the part about not letting negative things that have happened define you, but I have never heard the added positive spin about instead letting the negative stuff refine us. To just say that we shouldn’t allow bad situations to define us is a neutral statement, it’s like saying you’re no worse off, just move forward without letting the negativity of a situation control your life. To say that we can choose to let those same situations refine us, as in make us better people than we otherwise would have been, is a very powerful, positive statement. I believe that is totally possible, so long as we make the choice to reframe negative situations and have the determination to be able to see that there can be some degree of a positive outcome, be it a lesson learned for our own lives or the ability to help someone else deal with a similar situation at some point in the future.

    It’s getting redundant, but I still feel compelled to say it; thank you for sharing your words with us. Once again I am glad this was my first stop on the web this afternoon:)

    • For what it’s worth, your constant praise is the reassurance I need to keep on my path. It lets me know that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing in this life.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts today. I have found that we can always find a positive if we look for it. I’ve talked about it before, we find what we look for. The negative is out there. Bad things happen. Such is balance. It is in how we deal with such things that makes us who we are.

      For me, Define or Refine is easy to remember…and I’m all about making things easier! Ha ha ha…Life’s tough enough as it is, isn’t it?

      I’m really glad you stopped in today, and that I could help in some small way. You are a gift ~ One that I appreciate completely. I hope you have a fantastic day!!

  2. Well I know you know that I chose happiness this morning (I usually do anyway LOL) and worked at it !!! Great post Greg 🙂 xoxo

    • Your hikes are so inspiring KK!! I need to get up earlier and get moving myself. I make excuses in the summer for not hiking because of the heat, but if you’re in the DESERT and doing it, I’ve got no reason why I shouldn’t be.

      My love to you and PB…

  3. For someone who has many years before he’s “old”, you are very wise. I have also learned through my 51 years on this earth to “choose” happiness & to go for that ball. However, I tend to still struggle with the “what ifs” from time to time. For me, they are sometimes productive in that I can list all of the things that could “go wrong”. Then, I’m happy when the “what ifs” do NOT happen. I’m also happy if the “what ifs” happen like I was thinking they would, I’m somewhat prepared & have a game plan in place. However no matter what happens in my life, I try to look hard for that silver lining & rise above it. We can ALWAYS find unhappiness, happiness is more rewarding & more of a challenge to find especially in the darkest of times. Keep running towards that ball. I know I will.

    Well said, Greg! Kudos to you!

    • Thanks Dava!!

      I credit being a voracious reader for any wisdom I have. And having a wonderful support system my whole life. I’m blessed with amazing parents and a my brother is AWESOME!

      For the past twenty years, my wife has been that support system. She gives me perspective. And makes me want to be a better man. When I struggled with happiness, she was there encouraging me to keep going. To keep searching. It is because of her that I firmly believe we “choose” happiness. She made me a believer.

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