17 Sep Roadmap to Happiness
Once again, my friend Lionel Ketchian has written a great article on happiness. Please read and enjoy…
ROADMAP TO HAPPINESS
Everything you need to know, you can learn while driving your car. You’re driving down the highway of life. Do you know where you’re going? You should, because that’s the reason you’re on the road again. You have a reason to be driving on the highway and there is a destination you’re headed toward. The lesson I’ve learned is that the destination is not as important as the journey.
I have learned that the journey is better when I keep my eyes on the road ahead of me. This is equivalent to being present and focusing on the moment I am in right now. All kinds of negative things can happen if you don’t keep your eyes on (the present) the road. You can crash into the car in front of you, or hit an obstacle in the road. If the road bends, and you’re not aware of it, you’ll go off the road. Staying on the road is the most important thing you can do while driving. Being in the present moment, staying in that moment, is the most important thing you can do in life.
Notice the rearview mirror in front of you. It is useful to look into the rearview mirror when you’re backing up. It is not as useful when you’re on the highway. If you keep looking through the rearview mirror, than you’re not paying attention to what is happening in front of you. Looking in the rearview mirror, while on the highway, is like looking into your past. It is not of much value to you, and it can actually be very dangerous to your health. Looking into the past stops you from being aware of what is happening right now. Don’t keep looking at the rearview mirror or the past. Staying on the road, looking ahead, is the most important thing you can be doing while driving.
Your hands are on the steering wheel, or they should be, while you’re driving. The steering wheel keeps you on the road. If you use the steering wheel properly, you will stay on the road. The steering wheel is like your mind, you need to control it. If you are not concentrating on the present moment, because your thinking is distracting your awareness, you could be headed for an accident. Thinking really does not help you while you’re driving. Thinking actually distracts you from what is important to you right now. This is true in life as well. Your thinking becomes a distraction when it is not focused on the present moment. If you take your mind off the road, you let go of the steering wheel of life, and before you know it, you find yourself off the road. Driving is a lot like meditating, the most important thing you can do is stay on the road.
Let’s say you have a flat tire. It happens, right? Well, handling a flat tire is the same as handling the problems that happen to you in life. Do you complain about it, or do something about it? If you become angry about getting a flat, you may step out of the car and rant and rave while standing in the highway looking at your flat tire. Anger can be dangerous to your health because a car can hit you. Remember that it has already happened and it’s all about your choices now. To fix a flat tire you have many choices available to you, and getting mad is not your best choice. If you’re not aware of what your choices are, you don’t have any. You can pick up the phone and call for help or you can change the tire yourself.
Don’t speed because it is similar to keeping up with the Joneses. You may not be able to afford the speeding tickets, or the loss of your license. Trying to keep up with others is not worth the risk of losing what you already have. Use your brakes when you need to slow down. This is true in life as well. We have to learn how to use the brakes in our life, so we don’t burn ourselves out going too fast. Getting there fast or first is not important, staying on the road is.
Another situation good drivers face is the not-so-occasional bad driver. What do you do about a crazy driver who just cut you off and is speeding recklessly? You do nothing! Like the flat tire, if you use anger to deal with the perceived problem, you are putting yourself in danger. Remember, your thinking is not going to serve you well. Like meditation, doing nothing is your best action. Let the distraction slip away from your mind and just concentrate on the road ahead.
Like most of us, you probably don’t have a roadmap. Happiness is a good roadmap. Use it, and you won’t drive yourself crazy. Life has endless highways. These days, we can’t help but take the road more traveled. It is still your journey, however, so choose your travel plans well. Happy highways to you!
Lionel Ketchian is the founder of the Happiness Club and can be reached at PrintLRK@aol.com. The website is www.HappinessClub.com.