Road to Happiness
It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
And I’m feelin’ good
These lyrics from the 1965 Nina Simone song, Feeling Good, is exactly how I hope you felt waking up this morning. Every day is an opportunity for a new beginning. Every morning a reason to be grateful for what you accomplished yesterday. Taking time to appreciate the little victories.
There are often times when I feel as though I haven’t achieved as much as I’d like, when I’ve fallen short of a goal I’ve set, when I’m disappointed in how much I’ve grown in a specific area (or rather, not grown) and I have to remind myself of two things. The first, is I may not yet be where I one day hope to be but I’m also miles away from where I began. And the second is every day, is the first day, of the rest of my life.
Growth is a daily process. Grace is a daily necessity. We are all taught to be patient with others but are rarely taught to be patient with ourselves. It is that patience, that grace, which allows us to grow to be the person we were created to be. Reminding yourself daily of how far you’ve come, how many obstacles you’ve overcome, and how much potential you have will allow you to be grateful for all you’ve accomplished in your life thus far.
“In our daily lives,” Albert Clarke once said, “we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but the gratefulness that makes us happy.” So often when we think about gratitude, and all the things we have to be grateful for, we look externally. The sun, the moon, a roof over my head, food to eat, friends, family, etcetera. But we forget to be thankful for something even closer to our hearts (quite literally).
For this moment, I want you to think about you. I know that’s faux paux to suggest you think about yourself but it’s important in this process. Don’t think about your flaws, your shortcomings or the things you have yet to achieve or receive in this life. But rather focus on everything that’s great about you. What are your greatest strengths, your best qualities? If you can’t answer that question for yourself, ask someone who loves you.
Take your list of qualities and ponder them throughout the day and be grateful for the person you now are and the person you are destined to become. Be grateful for the progress you’ve made over the past week (possibly as a result of beginning this series with us four days ago) and make today the day you do nothing more than offer grace to yourself for your shortcomings of the past and offer gratitude for your bright future just around the bend. Because the road to happiness, no matter which way we turn, will always go straight through gratitude.
Until tomorrow…make it a great day!
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