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…