We teach our kids to plan and work for their future but remind them that their journeys through life will not always go as planned. They will meet roadblocks in the form of unexpected challenges and detours that at first may bring disappointment.
In life, we won’t get everything we expect and ask for. Often, we get what we don’t deserve – both good and bad.
Life is a gift but it’s like a gift from a best friend or a wise parent, uncle or aunt who knows what you need and knows you better than you know yourself.
It is like a carefully wrapped present. You have to open it with curious expectations and a sense of adventure. It won’t be what it appears to be. It won’t be what you expect. You may find tickets in a jewellery box or a bracelet in a shoe box. For sure, you’ll be surprised.
When you finally open it and it’s not what you think, at first you might be disappointed, but ultimately it will be of great value, just what you need to grow and to discover greater happiness, and something to be treasured.
Too often we don’t recognize or appreciate the unexpected gifts in our lives. It’s as if you received a gift card to the spa, tickets to a great show or a certificate for music lessons that we leave in a box on the shelf, forgotten and unused: potential experiences, lessons and happiness never realized and forever lost.
Enjoy the gift of your life. See the relationships of the past as gifts. What were you lucky to have and to enjoy? What came without you deserving it? What did you learn? How did you grow?
What do you have today? What blessings can you count? What do you have today that you didn’t really earn, that you didn’t really ask for but you have nonetheless to enjoy at this moment?
Each morning, you might have expectations about what the day will bring, but be open to the surprises: the unexpected challenges and detours. Expect your journey through each day not to be a straight line. Look at the new opportunities for adventure, learning and happiness that open up at every corner and with each turn.
Expect the unexpected. Expect to be surprised.
And when you receive those gifts, unwrap them fully, appreciate them and use them right away. The best way to show your appreciation for special gifts is to use them right away, and the most gracious thing to do in life is to give forward.
When it comes to the luck and the love in our lives, it’s more than okay to regift.
The sixth choice in Rick Foster and Greg Hicks book, “How We Choose to Be Happy: the 9 Choices of Extremely Happy People: Their Secrets, Their Stories” is options – “the decision to approach life by being open to any new possibilities and taking a flexible approach to life’s journey.”
The key is to look for the multiple options open to you each day, to see them as gifts and to use them well to grow and realize greater happiness.
Accept, embrace and engage in the mystery and adventure of your life.
Next: The seventh attitude of extremely happy people – appreciation.