It would be easy to allow oneself to become depressed, realizing that there are so many things that could use fixing in this world, complain about injustice or one’s own misfortune. Instead I remember a proverb one of my mentors taught me growing up. “It is better to light a fire than complain about the darkness”.
Focusing on the negative is not going to make anything better, but in order to find the daily strength to look at the bright side of life and do our part to turn things positive, we need a source of inner power and positive energy.
A little over four years ago, when our two boys left the home to go to college and we suffered from empty nest syndrome and the economy took a nosedive, I decided that it was time to add what I call a “happiness factor” into my life, something that would add a daily dose of smile.
Mine came in form a 4-month-old female black rescue puppy that I was lucky enough to find at the Humane Society on Spanish Wells Road. I decide to call her “Joya” (based on JOY), which turned out to be the perfect name. In the meantime, she has grown up to be all of 11 pounds but with a personality that can fill a room. No wonder she made a career here at our office and is now the official CHO (Chief Happiness Officer) in charge of a good mood – something I might add every company could use.
Walkers routinely ask me, “What kind of dog is that? ” to which I answer a mix of a Chihuahua and something very fast and very smart.
I’m not suggesting that adopting a pet is the only way to find that daily dose of positive energy, but since this is the “Pet Issue” of Monthly I found it opportune to share my story. I’m sure there is 1,001 other ways to find something that helps you to keep a positive attitude towards life and make you go the extra step. I would love it if you would share what your personal “Happiness Factor” is. It really does not matter what inspires you or where you find it, the only important part is that to you have one or several. In my opinion, fast food, TV shows and social networks are not the answer, it has to be something that fulfills you on a much deeper level, either emotionally or intellectually or spiritually. The possession of material things is not fulfilling either. A shiny bike isn’t fulfilling, but the rides you take with it that make you smile.
Family, friends, nature, volunteering, music, reading, sports, cooking, gardening, arts and crafts are good sources of adding a sense of satisfaction to our daily routine but so often we fill our lives with “busy” and forget to take the time to replenish our soul.
Please send your comments to my email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would like to get your feedback on this important idea.