I don’t know who wrote the story below but it touched my heart because it speaks to everything I know about life. Every day I see the power of our decisions. I encourage my clients to make conscious decisions to be happy, and to eliminate subconscious patterns that sabotage those decisions. I share this story with you in the hope that it inspires you, reminds you, or teaches you the essence of happiness.
A 92-year-old, petite, well-poised, and proud man who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock – with his hair fashionably combed and shaved perfectly, even though he is legally blind – moved to a nursing home today.
His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home he smiled sweetly when told his room was ready.
As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator I provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window.
“I love it,” he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.
“Mr. Jones, you haven’t seen the room; just wait…”
“That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” he replied. “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged… it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it.
“It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice: I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.
“Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away… just for this time in my life.
“Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you’ve put in.
“So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories!”
Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.
I know that this wisdom is common but how many of us faithfully do it? How many of us become defeated because of setbacks, bad relationships, or anything else. Many famous quotations talk about how little control we have over our circumstances in life, but I don’t believe that. Life is a product of your mindset… so create the life you want! I’d love to hear about how you’ve put this mindset into practice and the result of doing so.
Heather! What a beautiful story. As someone who grew up visiting nursing and retirement homes regularly (my mom works in the industry) I love this recount and the power of a positive attitude.
I agree – happiness is like a bank account, let’s deposit in there daily! I am going to share this with our STARFISH fans, I think it will warm their heart as it did to mine.
Happy Valentine’s Day.