Answering An Often Asked Question About Happiness

I guess to some people I come off as an older Buster Scruggs, smiling all along the way. Those who know me best know there is another side to me, much more serious. However, for the most part, I am a very happy camper. That comes through to others and I am often asked how I maintain that attitude. It boils down to three things…none of them original…but all of them work. They are…

1. Focus. We have two things we can focus on…the things going well in our lives or the things that need fixed or are not right. I choose to focus on the good things…my wins…my happy moments…the things I love. I don’t ignore the reality of things that are not right or need fixed, I just spend WAY more time focused on the pleasant things in life. And…I am extremely thankful for those things.

2. The Future. I always have something out on the horizon to look forward to…always. Could be a trip or a get together with a treasured friend or some event. When I am bogged down on the reality of today, I can take a moment and remind myself of the good things ahead.

3. Challenge. By that I mean, I always have something I have actual plans for that will expand my world…learning how to use new technology, or a new photo technique or jumping in the ocean with sharks or salt water crocodiles.

Hey, I have more things that scare me than you do…but I have learned to put those fears aside and go for it. Having a process in place where I can “go for it” and be likely to live through the experience is part of it…and I have that “not completely foolproof” process in place. Should that process fail me, well…as my dad told me on his death bed when he asked me how I thought I might die and I told him I thought there was a good chance I would be eaten by a tiger shark…”Great plan…you will make all the papers!” Dad was hospitalized at that time, for the first time in his 94 years, and not liking it…told me it would be much better to go out BIG. Keep in mind…I would prefer the “die in my sleep” kind of an end…but it is what it is.

So there you have it….part delusional…part by intentional thought…a mix that gets me through the day. I hope your plan works as well.


Don Hurzeler