Originally posted on Facebook HERE

This is the first post of the second year of the “Looking Out My Back Window” series of blogs. Really late start today, usually like to have these done in the morning. There’s a lot on my mind, but then – there’s always a lot on my mind. I read some really great things this morning. I love to read. Almost everything I read is spiritual and/or self help. And biographies, which I’d like to delve into a bit more. Super interested in how people got where they wound up in life, good and bad. So I’ll read a biography from someone who achieved amazing things in life – for instance, I have a couple cued up on Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla right now. I think sports people can often have amazing stories. I loved the “Men who built America” TV series. I’m interested in politicians (Lincoln, Rutherford B. Hayes), business people (Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett)… and I also have read many of the true crime stories as well (Helter Skelter, In Cold Blood, etc), and love series like “Forensic Files”. What is it that determines who ends up where? How can one person go out and have a positive effect on the entire world, and another be so despondent they take their own life? How is it that sometimes people who have had a positive effect on the world wind up taking their own lives? They had everything!… on the surface. We don’t live our lives on the surface, though. What we make of ourselves is what we believe of ourselves. I recently subscribed to Simplify Magazine and the first article in edition number one was written by Gretchen Rubin (author of The Happiness Project). In it, she says this (paraphrased): “I was suffering from a recurring sense of discontentment. I had everything I could possibly want – yet I was failing to appreciate it. I didn’t want to look back, at the end of my life and think “how happy I used to be then, if only I’d realized it”. Is it possible to make yourself happier?”… I think it is possible to make ourselves happier. Or more miserable, too. The choice is ours, and it depends on what we’d like to focus on, and how well we know and understand our essential self. Do we even know what would be essential for us to be happy? What the life of our dreams would look like? Can we just enjoy what we have right now, and be good with it without desiring more? Have we lost touch with things along the way that stir our souls? We went to see a band last night, been a while since I went to see a band that played mostly blues, and I realized right away how much I loved playing and listening to blues music. It’s totally where my roots are musically. But I had kind of let it fall away over the years, lost touch with it. Then life gave me a reminder. Not sure where it’ll go from here, I guess it’s up to me. But I found an old love last night, and it felt like coming home. How often we lose things dear to us because life got in the way. How often we fail to appreciate the awesomeness that we have around us every second of every day. No one wants to get to the end and think “how happy I was, if I only would have realized it then”. Realize it now. What does your “essential self” look like? Are you living it? Life is easier when we’re satisfied with what we have, and we understand what makes us happy. That will look different for everyone. Find yours, and live it no matter how it looks to anyone else. Happiness is an inside job.

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