“Be happy with what you have while working for what you want.”

“Be happy with what you have while working for what you want.”

Helen Keller, American author and educator who was blind and deaf

Image from Unsplash by Gabrielle Henderson

To what degree does today’s quote apply to how you live your life?

We’ve all heard over the years that happiness occurs in the present, however I frequently observe most folks still living by the phrase I’ll be happy when….

To what extent is fulfilling your expectations synonymous with happiness?

How often and how much is your satisfaction diminished when things fall short of your hopes and dreams?


Ask yourself:
What is working and going well in my life? How is your gratitude for these things already a source of happiness?

Ask yourself:
What am I working for that excites and inspires me?

How are your efforts and progress toward these objectives also a source of happiness?


“A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be curious, to fight tirelessly for something.”

“A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be curious, to fight tirelessly for something.”

Paulo Coelho, Brazilian lyricist and novelist

Image from Unsplash by Jessica Rockowitz

Being a grandparent is the best! It offers us a second shot of youthful exuberance that many of us missed as parents — probably due to exhaustion.

Spending time with these little ones, often on the floor, only has one drawback — getting back up!

They say that the best coaching is a good example.

Who wouldn’t benefit from bigger helpings of happiness, curiosity, and the focused tenacity of pursuing our passions?


In what ways could you benefit from some kindergarten coaching from the little ones in your life?

Feel free to share any nuggets of wisdom you have received over the years.

As we grow older, real beauty travels from the face to the heart,

“As we grow older, real beauty travels from the face to the heart, appeal turns to charm, hurt to wisdom, and great moments to shared memories. The true beauty of life is not how happy you are now, but how happy others are because of you.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Logan Weaver

How old are you?

When was the last time you took a good look in the mirror?

How does your self-appraisal compare when you view yourself from the inside versus the outside?

Without question, entropy is having its way with all of us and many of us are grasping desperately for our younger days.

Today’s quote can be a wonderful way to re-frame our perspective on the aging process.

It helps us see what we’ve been given and gained with all the days gone by.


How can you more fully embrace the process of aging and look to the happiness you have fostered in the lives of others along the way?

Empower me to exercise the authority of honesty

“Empower me to exercise the authority of honesty, and be a participant in the difficult ordinariness of now.”

—Ted Loder, Retired Methodist Minister

Image from Unsplash by Marek Studzinski

Before putting pen to paper, I read today’s quote a few dozen times to grasp its depth and significance. After exploring it in detail, I asked myself three questions:

  1. Who is doing the empowering?
  2. How can I better exercise the authority of honesty in my daily efforts?
  3. Where am I a full participant in the difficult ordinariness of now?


How can you apply the wisdom of this quote and strengthen your capacity to live a happier, more fulfilling life?

Feel free to reply to this post with your thoughts.

To be happy you must let go of what’s gone

“To be happy you must let go of what’s gone, be grateful for what remains, and look forward to what is coming.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Towfiqu barbhuiya

How would you rate yourself on a one-to-ten scale of happiness?

How has this number varied over the last several years due to personal, professional, and global events?

Consider how today’s quote offers significant wisdom to level up your score with small mindfulness adjustments.


How can you more completely let go of what’s gone?

How can you more fully appreciate what you have?

What are the small and big things that you look forward to in the future?

Contemplation often makes life miserable

“Contemplation often makes life miserable. We should act more, think less, and stop watching ourselves live.”

Nicolas Chamfort, 16th Century French writer

Image from Unsplash by Lucas Vasquez

Ed Kotch was the mayor of New York City from 1978 to 1989. In his efforts to be a good mayor and serve the city well, he would often ask How am I doing? to gain feedback and enhance his efforts.

How often do you evaluate your own efforts and contemplate how you are doing? Where are you judging yourself and making comparisons to others to see how you stack up? Where is this habit causing you misery?


How would taking yourself out from under your microscope of judgement free you up to simply act more and think less about your life?

How would assuming that you are doing just fine at being who you are help you be far happier and satisfied with your life?

Out of moderation a pure happiness springs

“Out of moderation a pure happiness springs.”

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, 17th Century German playwright, scientist, & statesman

Image from Unsplash by Aziz Acharki

Where did the concept of moderation go out the window over the holidays? Consider the following list and add some of your own:

  • Food and drink
  • Gift giving/spending money
  • Staying up late and missing out on sleep
  • Staying in bed and too much leisure
  • Excessive media consumption
  • Lack of physical activity

Where did getting out of balance present a cost that you regret? Where was the payoff worth it?


How and where might you pursue the happiness found in moderation as you settle into the rhythm of the new year?

Happiness is like jam

“Happiness is like jam. You can’t spread even a little without getting some on yourself.”


Ella and Weston, Barry’s grandchildren

For the past few years my wife Wendy, our daughter Rachel, and I engage in a multi-day peach preserve project. With 75 pounds of Georgia’s best, we blanche, peel, chop, can, and seal over five dozen jars of this sweet precious goo.

Doing our best to avoid cuts, burns, and keeping our relationship intact, we always feel very satisfied when the job is done. Given Wendy’s generous nature, about four dozen go out as gifts to sweeten the lives of others throughout the year.


What are some ways that you plan to spread a little happiness around this holiday season and into the year ahead?