When I was little, I would wake up at six o’clock and run into my parent’s bedroom. I’d perform a superman dive on the bed, and be smiling from ear to ear. My Dad told me he had never seen anybody ever wake up so happy. And when I graduated from high school and left for college, he gave me the best advice I ever received.
Reese, don’t ever let life take that smile away from you.
I haven’t. I refuse to. I’ll fight like hell to keep this smile on my face. There have been so many days when I feel like letting life steal my smile and run with it, but for some reason, I’ve had the strength to hold on.
We all have a choice of what we “take in” in life. I choose to see the good. I’ve replaced the six o’clock evening news with a few minutes on inspirational blogs, and when it comes time to read the paper, I pick up my favorite Paulo Coehlo book instead.
I’m not delusional, I realize it is evil in this world. I know there are corruption, murders, and hatred. But I choose to see the good. I choose to fill my body up with so much of it, that it shines through to everyone who meets me. It’s the best way I know how to improve the lives of those around me.
If all you ever do is listen to how much this world sucks, what do you think your attitude will be? You guessed it, you will think this world sucks and we have no hope. You are so dead wrong if you believe that what you think doesn’t matter. What you think changes your decisions and ultimately your entire life. If you think depressing thoughts, you will become depressed. If you think thoughts of hope and perseverance, you will be full of joy and passion.
I choose to surround myself with people who see the world in a positive light. I refuse to let people in, who are dark and only exert negativity. You will always be a combination of the people you hang out with the most, so choose wisely. Sometimes I even go to the extreme of deleting friends from Facebook and un-following people on Twitter because of their negative posts.
I’ve never found a better way to become more patient than to practice being grateful for all I’ve been given. The more I think of what people have done for me, the more capacity I have to love those who are all around me. Once again, it’s a choice to be grateful.
The other day I was at the GYM and I was doing some manly stuff on the bench press. Okay okay, I was on the elliptical. Anyway, all of the cardio machines have TV’s mounted on the top so you can watch the cooking channel while you burn calories. This particular day was Saturday morning so most of the TVs were tuned into College Gameday.
I didn’t feel like watching football, so I turned on the Disney Channel. The two guys on the machines next to me passed some judge-mental glances, but whatever. The truth is, I like Saturday morning cartoons. They remind me of my childhood. They put me in a better state of mind. A state of mind where anything is possible. I can suddenly remember what it feels like to have this crazy-awesome childlike faith. It’s so much more than just being a dork and watching the Disney channel at the gym, it’s about putting yourself in a place to see the good all around.
It’s important to choose to see the good. It’s a discipline. You have to fight against the current to see the good in this world, sometimes more than others. But if you leave with anything, leave with this.
Happy people weren’t born that way. They make a conscious choice to seek out the best parts of this life and fight like hell to hold onto them.