A lot of my friends are around the same age as me. Early to late thirties. I hear a lot of folks talking about being disappointed with life. I’m pretty sure I’ve muttered those words once or twice myself, but for the most part friends have me pegged as happy go lucky.
I don’t categorize myself as happy go lucky – although I do consider myself lucky, and happy for the most part. But I do understand the disappointment with life.
When we are young, we have all sorts of hopes and dreams and ambitions. My daughter wants to be the next Hilary Duff. My son wants a Lamborghini. I wanted to sleep 18 hours a day, marry a beautiful woman who would love me till death do us part and have beautiful children who would never grow up and leave home.
Most of our hopes and dreams will change and will remain unfulfilled. Probably because they are unrealistic. We end up falling out of love, mutually or otherwise. We get divorces. We make bad investments. Our children listen to rock-n-roll instead of Pachelbel. Sometimes we make bigger mistakes and end up wasting years of our lives in prison. Sometimes we hurt people we shouldn’t hurt.
The end result is that life is nowhere near to being ideal. I mean to say, it’s not like on TV. Like Forrest Gump said, Shit happens. It is so true.
I’ve been divorced. I’ve been to prison (from age 16 to 20). I’ve lost hundreds of thousands of dollars. I’ve misspent hundreds of thousands of dollars. I’ve been married to a beautiful woman and I took her for granted. I’ve missed out of years of my children’s lives by working dawn to dusk chasing “success”. I didn’t even go to my brother’s when he died because it would mean losing half a day on the job.
I have made many, many mistakes in my life. The ones I regret the most involve not spending enough time with my kids and other people dear to me.
But I am happy. I am in no way disappointed with life.
The secret, which may not be so much of a secret, is to focus on the goodness in life and to improve what we can improve, i.e., ourselves. I am happy and thankful for my beautiful children. I am happy and thankful for my health. I am happy and thankful for the beauty the world has to offer. I am happy and thankful for the freedom to change situations when I am not happy with them.
If you aren’t happy with your life, change it or change yourself. Life is too short to not be happy.