The biggest financial mistake my wife and I ever made was worrying about what people like us were supposed to do. If we had simply focused instead on what made us happy, we would have found ourselves in a much better financial place all the way along. ~ The Simple Dollar
In life, we don’t always learn our lessons early enough. There is no accelerated course in life, we all just have to muddle our way though; tripping and falling along the way but hopefully getting to our destination a little bit wiser and stronger.
Haven’t we all given something up that we totally love just because we thought it didn’t fit the way things are “supposed” to be? This post is not only talking about a financial philosophy, it is also about our philosophy about life in general.
Some of us take more stumbles than others before we learn our lessons; before we come to the realization that ultimately, we only have ourselves to please. In the end, when all is said and done, we find that we are alone in our happiness. Happiness is something that no one can give us, it is something that we have inside us that only we can bring forth.
It is within us all to be happy. We can choose to be happy or unhappy. So how do we bring forth happiness? We draw out happiness by how we perceive life… the people and things around us.
The green chair, for instance. It’s old, it’s worn, fading, thinning and unraveling in some places. But it gives you comfort. It’s your favorite place to be. It relaxes you, it makes you happy.
But it’s old… it’s faded… it has holes. We should replace it. We can afford it. It’s the right thing to do.
Who says it’s the right thing to do? Why can’t we hold on to it if it makes us happy? Who rules what is in our home anyway? You or other’s opinion?
In my youth, I probably would have thrown out that green chair. I probably would have bought something new and shiny and fashionable; and my friends would have been suitably impressed when they came to my home. It probably would have made me happy for a while.
But in my old age, I know now that such happiness is fleeting. I will soon miss the cushiness of that old chair whenever I try to snuggle down into my new and fashionable chair. In my old age, if I had a green chair, I will know better and will keep it to please me. I will give it a softer, cushier cover, maybe mend its holes and renew its stuffing. I would keep it because it give me joy. I would keep it because it makes me happy.
Perception. It’s all in how you look at things. That old cliche’ about the glass being half empty or half full holds a lot of truth to it. You can let devastating news bring you down or you can learn from it and find something to ease a little happiness out. I’m not saying to never be sad or grieve; we all need that too. What I’m saying is, hapiness is within reach and we can hold on to it.
And that green chair, it’s like the people in our lives. Don’t give up easily on the people you love just because it’s the thing to do. Sometimes you have to listen to your heart and bring forth what makes you happy.