‘Ten’. A number that represents more than just a child’s age. It represents its innocence, its kindness, its genuine love for the small joys in life and the two years before it hits puberty and turns into a rebellious teenager.
When the child is little people keep asking, ‘ what do you want to be when you grow up?’ And the child says: ‘I want to become a fireman, a policeman, a train driver, an actor, a surfer, a footballer, a singer’. But what if the question does not just have one answer? What if all you want to be in life is happy?
‘Happiness’. Another word with a million meanings, as each of us interpret it differently. Each of us want and need different things to make us happy. We live in an era where for many, happiness has taken a material form. An iPhone, an iPad, an expensive car, a big screen TV. Material things that once depreciated and used to their maximum potential will be replaced with new and more expensive items. At the end of the day this kind of happiness is only temporary.
Dig deeper into your soul, and perhaps you will be suprised by what you might discover. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and remember. Remember what used to make you happy when you were little. Was it love, family, caring, giving? Whatever memory that is, does it make you feel perpertually happy? If yes, hold on to it, keep it, treasure it and whenever you seem to take a different path just close your eyes once more and try to feel it again.
What would your ten year old self say to you if he/she saw you? Would he/she be proud? Have you accomplished all that you truly wanted? Do you see the beauty in everything? Do you have a roof, food, water, enough clothes and whatever else you need to make you happy? And most of all, are you proud of the person you have become? If the answer to all these is yes, then once you open your eyes you will feel a serenity, a calmness and happiness you have never felt before.
This is what I see. When I take a walk I love seeing people smile, an old couple holding hands and acting like teenagers, I love walking through the medows and just laying there in the refreshing green grass below a tree that is 100 years old that is giving me a cooling shade. I love picking up flowers and bringing them home. Suddenly, I feel happy and more appreciative of what I have. I love what I strive to become and the hussle I put into my effort. And most importantly, I am proud of the person I have become.
The path to true happiness is hard, challenging, cruel and you will come across many setbacks. However, do not confuse your path with your destination. Just because it’s stormy now does not mean you are not headed for sunshine.
It is never too late to take the path of self-discovery, to change your thinking, to put love into your life whatever form that may be and most importantly, to continue learning every day. The admirable traveller Allan Rufus once said:
Birth as one slice,
and death as the other.
What you put in-between
the slices is up to you.
Is your sandwich tasty or sour?