Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Our circumstances have nothing to do with our happiness.

Sick or healthy. Rich or poor. Thin or fat. Tall or short. Curly haired or bald. None of it matters when it comes to waking up happy everyday. What does matter is gratitude and perspective.

What makes a man rich? It is not money. There are plenty of poor people – “economically challenged” – that feel wealthy in ways that are beyond their wildest dreams. They are ‘loaded’ with family and friends, rich in experiences, and participate in life like tycoons. They are showered in immeasurable riches of making a difference to someone and to the world in which they live. These are the people whose vocabulary does NOT include phrases like “I will be happy when…”, or I would e happy if…”

These people know that there are two keys to happiness. Those keys are gratitude and perspective and they go hand in hand.

Gratitude comes from the recognition of just how much you already possess. Gratitude is the opposite of taking things for granted. The challenge for most people is that they don’t know what to be grateful for where gratitude begins. There are hundreds of items on my list. Below are some of my favorites.

1. Eyes to see and read
2. Ears to hear and listen
3. Arms to hold. Hands to touch
4. Mind to think and understand
5. Heart to feel and care
6. Roof overhead & bed to sleep in
7. Food to eat and tongue to taste
8. Friends to care for & care for me
9. Family to love & spend time with
10. All of my good health. (Other than my MS, I have a lot of good health that I don't take for granted.)

These are all items that you can’t buy and that cannot be taken away from you. Even if I lost one of these, say sight or hearing, there is still much to be grateful for.

Recognizing the value of these assets is a matter of perspective. What’s your perspective? Where does your gratitude begin? Just how rich are you? It is my hope that if you are reading this, you are already a very wealthy person.

Participate. Make a difference. Live a life that matters.


  1. Dear Michael,
    I really enjoy reading your blog. You are truly an inspiration.
    Keep it up!
    Your cuz,

  2. I'm rich with love for/from my family and friends. I am gratful for everyday I'm able to wake up and get myself ready for work and play. Thank you so much for putting your perspective out there for everyone to read. You make us all stop and think about our own lives. How we can be a better person if we only listen & think about the people in our lives.
    Love you always & forever,

  3. Agree that perspective is everything. Despite being in bed I have alot to be happy about such as:

    I can eat and drink.
    Brush my teeth, clumsy but works.
    talk alot.
    Sing cept only know first couple of words then trail off.
    Type with one finger.
    Love my darling Richie.
    Love my friends.
    Enjoy the dogs.
    Listen to audio books in three languages.
    Laugh alot.
    Enjoy Richie's humour.
    Enjoy everything I can.
    Be supportive.

    Quite a list good to read and to see that though life is restricted to one room but with laptop and internet I am connected to the world.

    Riches beyond belief!

    Take care to enjoy all there is to enjoy.