Amy Rees Anderson

Resolve To Be Happy Regardless Of Our Circumstances

With all that’s going on currently with COVID-19 the words of this talk which shares some universal regrets that dying patients have gives us much to consider about how we ought to look at things. It’s a talk given by one of my favorite speakers, Dieter F. Uchtdorf, titled “Of Regrets and Resolutions” and here is an excerpt:

“When we are young, it seems that we will live forever. We think there is a limitless supply of sunrises waiting just beyond the horizon, and the future looks to us like an unbroken road stretching endlessly before us.   However, the older we get, the more we tend to look back and marvel at how short that road really is. We wonder how the years could have passed so quickly. And we begin to think about the choices we made and the things we have done. In the process, we remember many sweet moments that give warmth to our souls and joy to our hearts. But we also remember the regrets—the things we wish we could go back and change.

A nurse who cares for the terminally ill says that she has often asked a simple question of her patients as they prepared to depart this life.  “Do you have any regrets?” she would ask. 

Perhaps the most universal regret dying patients expressed was that they wished they had spent more time with the people they love.  Isn’t it true that we often get so busy? And, sad to say, we even wear our busyness as a badge of honor, as though being busy, by itself, was an accomplishment or sign of a superior life.  Is it?  …If we fail to give our best personal self and undivided time to those who are truly important to us, one day we will regret it.  Let us resolve to cherish those we love by spending meaningful time with them, doing things together, and cultivating treasured memories.

Another regret people expressed was that they failed to become the person they felt they could and should have been. When they looked back on their lives, they realized that they never lived up to their potential, that too many songs remained unsung.

Another regret of those who knew they were dying may be somewhat surprising. They wished they had let themselves be happier.   So often we get caught up in the illusion that there is something just beyond our reach that would bring us happiness: a better family situation, a better financial situation, or the end of a challenging trial.  The older we get, the more we look back and realize that external circumstances don’t really matter or determine our happiness. 

We do matter. We determine our happiness.  You and I are ultimately in charge of our own happiness.  …Sometimes in life we become so focused on the finish line that we fail to find joy in the journey…

Doesn’t it seem foolish to spoil sweet and joyful experiences because we are constantly anticipating the moment when they will end?

…We shouldn’t wait to be happy until we reach some future point, only to discover that happiness was already available—all the time! Life is not meant to be appreciated only in retrospect. 

No matter our circumstances, no matter our challenges or trials, there is something in each day to embrace and cherish. There is something in each day that can bring gratitude and joy if only we will see and appreciate it…

Isn’t it better to see with our eyes and hearts even the small things we can be thankful for, rather than magnifying the negative in our current condition?  Let us resolve to be happy, regardless of our circumstances…

•Resolve to spend more time with those we love.

•Resolve to strive more earnestly to become the person God wants us to be.

•Resolve to find happiness, regardless of our circumstances. (end of excerpt)

Perfect advice right now! Have a beautiful weekend.

~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )

                                                                                                                              

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