***A piece written by my ever wise and ever articulate Dad***
(Inspiration from Luke Michael Roberts, Sophie Rose Kretzmann, their respective parents and my everluvving wife)
1) EMBRACE YOUR INDIVIDUALITY. We are all individuals, all different. What a privilege to be unique. It has taken me a long time to accept that my imperfections are equally important contributions to ME – the one and only. Alice Hoffman writes so eloquently – ”….everything singular is an amazement to humankind, a hymn to our maker.”
2) IT IS A PRIVILEGE JUST BEING ALIVE. You are the product of a couple of hundred fertile matings since Noah ran his arc aground some 2 thousand years BC or (dependent on your beliefs or understandings) since mammals first made their appearance some 200 million years ago. And each coupling produced a girl – not one failure. And if that is not impossible enough, then remember that you are the result of the fastest swimmer in a race involving some 300 million other participants. Then there is some more good news. From that union of two single cells, you emerged some 100 trillion cells later as YOU – imperfect, perfect YOU. And then you have survived taxis, ebola epidemics, the Banting diet and the Tax man to reach an age where you have kids. Or, like us you are fortunate enough to experience the whole roller coaster ride again to emerge with Grand Kids. Halelluya, brother!
3) YOU CONTROL YOUR HAPPINESS. If you allow people to irritate you, its your fault, not theirs.
4) HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. Whatever your perception of God, be tolerant of people whose beliefs may differ from yours. Do not be that arrogant that you think everything has an explanation. Allow God to come into that corner where the unknown resides. From whatever perspective you look at it, God is love. Focus on the light of love and God will be with you. Always.
5) DITCH YOUR EGO. Your ego is like a dirty filter between you and happiness. Get rid of it entirely, if you can.
6) BE HUMBLE. Laugh at yourself as often as your ego will allow. It is a levitating experience to acknowledge your deficiencies, to be able to say “I don’t know” or “I am sorry”or “I am a poopal”. I have become a happier (and more successful) person by surrounding myself with people who are better than me.
7) ESTABLISH LIMITS. True happiness can never be achieved if you are constantly on the treadmill trying to achieve something more. Those who do not apply the brakes to Power, Acquisitions, Money, Knowledge, Status and other issues without limits will never achieve complete happiness because they continuously feel that finality is around the corner. Except that the corner will never come without imposed limits.
8) HEALTH. A healthy body makes it easier to have a healthy mind. Easier, not impossible. I know some happy people who are not particularly healthy and I know some healthy dudes who are narcissistic and will never be content, but health makes happiness easier to achieve.
9) BE GRATEFUL. Set up your tent on the street corner of one of the poorer suburbs and observe the passing parade. And (don’t bluff yourself) – there are ALWAYS poorer areas.
10) APPLY YOUR MIND. It is your choice. Choose happiness over sadness. Everyone can do it
Your evverluvving Dad and evverproud Granddad to Luke and Sophie