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Are you happy? If you do a Google Search, you’ll see thousands of articles, websites, research studies on this thing called happiness. What makes us happy? To some, it is a new car, a new gadget, or a larger home. To others, happiness is the feeling of achievement one attains when they accomplish one of their goals. How do you define happiness and when will you be happy?

I would argue that happiness is not a destination but an attitude. I would argue that all of us are happy right now, but don’t recognize that those folks that are striving for happiness, wealth, or success, will always be doing one thing – striving. Happiness is derived from being grateful. Grateful for the life we’ve been given. Grateful for the people who have graced us with their presence. Grateful for our very existence and the ability to experience life in the moment.

Have you ever been around someone who is never happy? They complain, grumble, argue, and are never satisfied. Happiness seems to be just out of their reach. If only I had, If only I were, If only I did, if only, if only, if only. Why not be happy with what you have right now? If you are reading this you are alive. That very fact is a miracle. That very fact is something to be grateful for.

What did you eat today? I had a bowl of oatmeal. A very simple bowl of oatmeal. When you take the time to just eat and not think of anything else, the experience of eating that bowl of oatmeal takes on a whole new meaning. When I write, that’s all I do. I have my pad of paper and begin writing. I enjoy the act of creating pictures in my reader’s mind, making an argument, or inspiring my readers to perhaps re-think their lives.

When I listen to music, I close my eyes and let the music go through me, enjoying the images and feelings that come into my mind that the music brings. When I read, I enjoy the process of visualizing what another author has painstakingly created for my enjoyment. The ability to travel to another universe or places, imagining the smells, the temperature, the feelings, and all of the other intangibles a good author makes you feel when you read their works.

I’m looking out the window of my home office. The sky is blue, the temperature is a cool 24 degrees in Michigan, and there is a family of squirrels who frolic in the trees in our front yard, enjoying the corn we put out for them all winter. Sometimes I just observe these squirrels running about. They are so funny to watch and they are real acrobats. The trees we have in our front yard are a collection of Pine, Elm, and Oak. Their branches intertwine toward the top and provide a network of trails for these squirrels to navigate back and forth. Watching them jump from tree to tree, or stabilize themselves on a limb, while they chew on the food we provide is a real treat.

I am happy. I am contented. I am grateful for my life and the time I have had to experience all of the things I’ve experienced, the women I’ve loved, the folks I have called friends, my family, my collection of pets over the years, the food I eat, the books I’ve read, and all the rest. Each day I wake up is a great day, filled with the unknown adventures yet to come.

I challenge each of you to take a look at your definition of happiness. Happiness is here, now. All you have to do is recognize that you have all you need right now to be happy. It’s been here waiting for you all along.

Until next time…