To be or not to be happy: the concept seems simple, the process not so much. You awaken in the morning thinking that just one more hour of sleep would make things much better. As you brush your teeth the mirror reflects yet a new emerging wrinkle and bushy eyebrows in need of a trim. Come to think of it, my teeth appear to be sporting a little tan. Isn’t that funny, my skin is looking a little pasty white and my teeth look like they have just spent a week at Grand Cayman. They are looking more like the inside of my favorite coffee mug. ”Good morning May 21, 2011, how are we doing today?”
Should I entertain such mundane thoughts, particularly on this day? There are those who believe that today is the Rapture, the last day of existence—if that’s true, I should be on the first Tee! Hope there is enough time to get in thirty-six holes. Guess I should also drink that bottle of Bordeaux I’ve been coveting; doesn’t look like it will improve with cellaring—ha!
Is a shave in order or can I pretend that it’s Saturday? Oh wait, it is Saturday! Coincidence? Who knows? Who are the three other golfers that would be in my final foursome? Maybe I should have three others for the second eighteen holes. Hmm, one bottle of Bordeaux won’t serve that many. I’ve got it, after golf, dinner with those I love the most and a toast to whatever lies ahead. Glad that’s all worked out; I don’t want to waste any more time of this, the first, and possibly the last day of the rest of my life.
That, my friend, is an example of how you live in the moment; you live it as if it was your last, your only, moment. The longer you live, the more complex the process becomes until you reach the point in life where things, by the force of nature, once again become simplified. At those times, you don’t risk your happiness by default. It is a paradox that in life we don’t see the trees of our days—they are lost in the forest and too often simply blend into the background. You wouldn’t treat your last day with diminished dignity, and you cannot be sure how many such opportunities yet await you. Yielding a day is like giving it up to chance. If you are going to take that chance, why not take a risk on happiness?
It is a signal moment when our reality can take a moment to be reflective. The daily grind isn’t merely in our morning coffee, it permeates the day. If you allow it to dictate to you, by default you have given up that day. At times that is unavoidable for the human condition; but it need not be the rule.
Open your eyes and examine the reflection. With the opportunity of one last day of living, the things that matter most are obvious. The things that matter least need not spoil the image that you see this morning. Attend to the dailies as they occur, but don’t risk allowing them to become the object of your life. Risk your happiness by making the choices that fulfill you.