We often hear the expression, “Life Happens.” What this implies of course is that life is unpredictable, things happen and not always to our liking. Things occur without warning and certainly things happen that we can’t control as much as we may think we can. How do we respond to these life events? Some of us react to them with anger, resentment and sadness, some of us panic and are paralyzed to move forward while others seem to deal with what comes their way with a sense of calm and acceptance. How do we navigate through life with joy and hope verses anger and resentment? An important question for how we respond is critical to our happiness and sense of well being. At least that is what I have found out for myself.

Like you, my philosophy of life and my response to it continues to evolve and be colored and shaped by life experience. It is also grounded in the overall view that “good things are bound to happen”. The Old “Mailbag Theory.” Something good is coming in the mail. Sound naive? Perhaps, but if you wake up every day approaching life through a prism of possibilities, it can change your whole course of action and your response even in difficult times.

Trust me, I haven’t mastered this in every instance but in those instances where I have, the results have been amazing. When I decided to quit my job (chronicled in the book, “Quit Your Job and Grow Some Hair; Know When to Go, When to stay,”), I certainly didn’t know for sure that I would now find myself, in my sixties, in one of the most satisfying professional experiences I’ve ever had. If there is anything my foray into singing has shown me is that risk can be good. It can stretch you, open you up and allow you to explore things about yourself that you didn’t know were there. Taking chances is empowering. Life events can liberate you or put you on a course that you never would have considered before. Life events, whether tragic or traumatizing, exuberant or joyful shake up our patterns and thus we have to create new ones. Not a bad thing.

Whatever it was that brought us to where we are, success or tragedy, we should try to embrace it and find new meaning and opportunity. God knows I certainly don’t have the answer but since this is my website I have the luxury of saying what I think to be true—for me. Perhaps this strikes a familiar chord or agreement within you. There are certain very simple tenets that have become guidelines for me as I continue to experience my life. They are as follows:

  1. Remember that Life is short; Do it now.
  2. Hang around Positive People—negative people will only sap your energy.
  3. Give yourself permission to try new things—you have not even a discovered a portion of what you can do.
  4. Don’t judge yourself so harshly and try not to fear the judgment of others. As someone once said, “don’t flatter yourself, they’re not thinking about you”.

None of us has the answer to life’s mysteries but we do have the answer to how we respond to life. That response can make all of the difference in how much we get out of our lives.