Don't worry, be happy and enjoy

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Myron Fortson
  • 1st Space Launch Squadron commander
Have you made a personal commitment to be happy in spite of what life hands you? If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75 percent of this world. If you have more health than illness, you are more blessed than the millions who will not survive this week. 

We all experience days when nothing goes right. The leadership position you worked so hard for may go to someone else. You may lose most of your savings in a market crash. But after the initial pain, the decision whether or not to languish in despair is entirely yours. You can allow misfortune to dominate your life, or you can leave what's past in the past, and move on. By feeling sorry for yourself or blaming someone else, you prolong the situation. 

I've come to understand that there are too many things over which I have no control, and the only thing I can do is to stop allowing them to control me. Happiness is not something others can take from me. There are many things for which I can be grateful. If I spend my time being miserable, I'm denying myself the satisfaction of enjoying what life has to offer. 

Happiness is not the fulfillment of what you want; it's the realization of what you have. When the door of opportunity closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we don't see the one that opened. It's true that we don't know what we've got until we lose it, but it is also true that we don't know what we've been missing until it arrives. The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes their way. 

So, treasure every moment you have and treasure it more because you shared it with family, friends or loved ones. You can't tell what will happen tomorrow. Stop waiting until you go back to school, until you lose 10 pounds, until you have kids, until your kids leave the house, until you start a new job, until you retire or until you die to be happy. 

Life will always be filled with challenges. It's best to decide to be happy anyway. Life is too short. Enjoy what you have today.