by Irwin Lengel
(Lakeland, FL)

(Author Unknown)

We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then have another. Then we are frustrated that the kids aren’t old enough and we’ll be more content when they are. After that, we’re frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage.

We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouses get their acts together, when we get a nicer car, when we are able to go on a nice vacation, when we retire. The truth is, there is no better time to be happy than right now.

If not now, when? Your life will always be filled with challenges. It’s best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway. One of my favorite quotes comes from Alfred D. Souza. He said, “For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.”

This perspective has helped me to see that there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So treasure every moment that you have. And treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time…. And remember that time waits for no one.

So stop waiting until you finish school,
-- until you go back to school,
-- until you lose ten pounds,
-- until you gain ten pounds,
-- until you have kids,
-- until your kids leave the house,
-- until you start work,
-- until you retire,
-- until you get married,
-- until you get divorced,
-- until Friday night,
-- until Sunday morning,
-- until you get a new car or home,
-- until your car or home is paid off,
-- until spring,
-- until summer,
-- until fall,
-- until winter,
-- until you are off welfare,
-- until the first or fifteenth,
-- until your song comes on,
-- until you’ve had a drink,
-- until you’ve sobered up, until you die,
-- until you are born again to decide that there is no better time than right now to be happy….

Happiness is a journey, not a destination.

Thought for the day:
Work like you don’t need money,
Love like you’ve never been hurt,
And dance like no one’s watching.

Comments for Happiness

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A new beginning
by: Elna Nugent, Lenox, MA

Dear Irwin:

In line with what you have said , Albert Einstein in his book " Out of my Later Years" said that when we are comfortable with life we learn nothing...we tend to vegetate and lack motivation. He said we need to have external pressures and may even require a dire threat to harness our skllls and insure our growth. He said that by nature " We are indolent, if nothing spurs us on we will hardly think and will begin to behave from life like an automaton."

I have spent my life searching out what we are doing here on earth--and why. I have found that in order to "evolve" or "enlighten" we must have challenges or difficulties or we stagnate. Retirement can be one of our most formal challenges. It also tells us we are aging and that can depress some. Yet this time of life holds a mirror to us of what we have learned and we reap the fruits of our efforts.

We are in a powerful , challenging dynamic time of life. It gives us time to see things as they really are and look in wonder at a bird or a blade of grass and be amazed that even a stone has a tiny remnant of life force.

The God consciousness is in every one of us, but we often don't ask anything of it until we get off the daily merry-go-round. We are on a continuous journey that doesn't end. I have had experiences that have shown me in strong terms that we have only just begun.


Until I "retired" I never thought about happiness. I just assumed it would just happen once I was free to do my own thing.

I've discovered that my life has been spent pursuing money instead and now I crave happiness.

The thought that we will be happy once we reach retirement is a fantasy...just like a marriage...it isn't always "happily ever after" either. I wish I had thought about life differently when I was younger.

I won't waste another minute waiting for my happiness.

Thank You
by: Alice in DC

Reminders of living life no matter when is always a welcomed jewel.

by: Paula.

I posted a comment on your blog two days ago but it has not shown up. So I will try again. I found a quote posted on my Facebook page that I think is appropriate for your blog.

Beware of Destination Addiction - a preoccupation with the idea that happiness is in the next place, the next job and with the next partner. Until you give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else, it will never be where you are.
- Robert Holden, Ph.D.

by: Paula

This was posted on my Facebook page today.

Beware of destination addiction. The idea that happiness is in the next place, the next job, the next partner. Until you give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else, it will never be where you are.

Words I need to take to heart.

by: Sheila of Canada

Your comments are right on track! And, you know what? As far as I can remember (which is a few more days than yesterday!) I have never had the thoughts you mention: that one day I will be happy when whatever is over or begins. I guess I'm a normally happy person, for which I give thanks. And thanks to you Irwin for pointing that out to me!

by: Ricardo U.S.A.

Irwin, it appears that you have it all together.....I have not reached that point in my life as yet....let to many inconsequential things in life upset me....hard to let go of some of the "stuff." Your piece certainly rings true!

Sometimes it is difficult when you are "at the bottom" so to speak and looking up.....that is when a positive mindset can make a HUGE difference. I am beginning to think that that is part of our personality OR, it is not. Do not know if you can learn that. At any rate, it was a very thought provoking piece and thank you for sharing it with us!

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