When I had the opportunity to spend a long winter weekend at my sister’s cottage, I jumped at the chance. We'd gone up there over New Year’s weekend and since then I have been pretty much living the life of a turtle. Unless I was out teaching yoga or attending a meeting, I’ve been hiding in my safe shell staying warm, focused and holed up in my house. I was more than ready to head up again.
Going up north gives me the chance to leave some of my regular life behind and to focus inward, to walk amongst the trees and to operate at a slower pace. Reading, watching inspiring TedX talks, and writing are all part of my meandering through winter weekends up north with little responsibility and no to do lists.
I ran across this video from Sam Berns. It's worth watching. He has a philosophy for living a happy life, and it is pretty simple. I’m paraphrasing here but this is the heart of what he had to say:
- Be okay with what you can’t do because there is so much more you CAN do.
- Surround yourself with people who are positive influences, those people you want to be around.
- Keep moving forward-- there is nothing gained if you dwell on what could have been.
Three months after the Ted X talk on the video, Sam passed away. He had a disease that only a small percentage of the entire world’s population suffers from (somewhere around 200 people currently have it). The genetic disease is called progeria and it causes early aging, it is also hard to keep weight on. At 17 Sam weighed only 50 pounds.
Although he never looked the way most people think a teenager should look, he more resembled an old man, his spirit remained young and optimistic. He played to his strengths, appreciated those around him who supported his dreams, and never focused on being a victim. While his disease may have held him back from doing some of the things he wanted in life, he didn’t let it stop his forward motion and continued to make his dreams come true by finding innovative solutions to his roadblocks. Something we all should aspire to do. I know his story made me think about how I can use what I have been given to create change in my corner of the world.
Are you living happy? Does your current life resemble the one you once imagined, or are you living a life someone else told you to?