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Today, I’m grateful for life. Oh, the adventures I’ve had. Some horrific, others wonderful. But the journey has been a great ride.

I’ve experienced love and heartbreak, achievement and failure, sickness and good health. Opposites are the nature of our universe. We have light and dark, good and evil, fun and boring, and the list goes on and on.

What makes the journey worthwhile? The ups and downs. When you’re up, you’re on top of the world. When you’re down, it sucks. But either side of this equation is necessary, so we know the difference.

How many people truly cherish life? It really depends on their outlook and belief system. For the nihilists out there, life is meaningless. For the optimist, everything is terrific. I think you’d be hard pressed to find someone that is totally this or that. Instead, you’ll find people that are in the middle somewhere.

I have always chosen optimism over nihilism. Perhaps I was lucky with my upbringing. Perhaps I was born at the right time period. Honestly, I choose to be happy.

My father taught me a terrific way to look at things. He said, “Son, you will always have things you have to do in life. You have to go to school, you have to work, you have to fulfill your responsibilities. You will not escape these responsibilities, unless of course, you want to have a hard life. If you fail to graduate your life will be hard. No one will want to hire you. If you don’t want to work, you will starve, or you will live a life of crime to support yourself. If you’re irresponsible, you will cause great pain for yourself and anyone that joins you on your life’s journey. So you have a choice. You can do the things you are required to do happily, or you can be pissed off your whole life. I choose to be happy. What will you choose?”

Obviously, I choose to be happy. Why be pissed off about the things you have to do anyway? The choice to me was obvious.

So today I’m grateful for the gift of life. I’m grateful for the things I’ve done and the things I have not done. I am grateful for the people who have come and gone in my life. I am grateful for the teachers and mentors who have helped me learn something new, grasp a new concept, or suggested I make an adjustment to the way I think or act. All of these things are a blessing.

Happy Thursday, folks!

Until next time…