THE death of the three Go brothers (Hazzy, Hisham, and former celebrity chef, Hasset) pierced my heart. They were all diagnosed with liver cancer and passed away one after the other in a 3 year time span (2014-2017); the last Go standing, Hisham, died last November 14. Just thinking about it gives me goosebumps and makes my head spin. Their poor mother! It is against the natural circle of life for a parent to bury a child.
With these echoing in my head, I can’t help but think that at times, life is cruel. On the flipside, no matter what happens, life will always be beautiful because it is a gift. The sad irony that these deaths remind us is that life is precious because it is tragically short and can end in an instant.
The older I get, the more I realize that living a happy fulfilled life is a choice. It takes work and conscious effort because problems will never truly disappear. People who smile in public do not necessarily mean they have an easy life. All of us have struggles. Some people just have the courage and fortitude to smile through their pain. So how do you and I ensure we live a purposeful life?
Do what makes you happy
We have to do what makes our hearts sing. Sometimes, other people will suggest what they think we ought to do, but the best recourse will always be to listen to our hearts. If we do what makes us happy (provided, of course that we do not hurt anyone), then everything might just fall into place.
Loving someone and not showing it in words or actions is pointless. Other people cannot read our minds so we have to demonstrate our emotions. Let’s talk to friends and family members to keep that connection. People who are able to express themselves are generally happier.
The happiest people have an attitude of gratitude. They find joy in the simple things. Even if their days go terribly wrong, they still always find a reason to smile. Remember the adage: everyday may not be perfect, but there is at least one thing perfect in every day.
Enjoy the present
Hindsight actually gives the best lessons, which we can use to plan for the future. That being said, it is also needless to worry too much. Worrying gets anyone nowhere and just adds undue stress. The most important thing to do is dwell in the present. Enjoy each moment. Be thankful for the present because it is truly a gift.
Don’t compromise your true self
Through the course of our existence, we will be presented with a lot of temptation that will threaten our values. The path in front of us is never a straight line and sticking to our core principles will help us navigate. If it doesn’t feel right, avoid it. The moment we compromise our integrity, we also put our self-respect on the line. Other people will never be able to respect us if that self-respect is gone.
Avoid difficult people
It is important to realize that we can never truly please everyone. There will always be haters—those kinds of people that dull our shine. Always full of negativity, they have nothing nice to say and are waiting for us to fail. Realize that what they think means absolutely nothing! Their hate is not our burden to carry. Ignoring them is the key, but if they are persistent, then killing them with kindness is necessary.
The most rewarding kind of existence is when we share ourselves and talents with other people. Life cannot be all about personal gain. True rewards are felt when we also give back to our communities. There are many things money cannot buy. One of those is the satisfaction of living a purpose driven life that positively influences others. More than material wealth, that is the best kind of legacy to leave behind!
Get out of your comfort zone
If we never take risks, we will never get anywhere. Majority of the older people I’ve spoken with always say they regret the chances they didn’t take the most. So take a chance! The worst that can happen is we make a mistake. But what’s beautiful about that is we can always correct it. Never fear dying, but fear never ever truly living. Life has so much to offer, we just need to decide to grab it.
Keep an open mind
Every single day is a new chance to learn. One of the oldest people I know, she is 93, always says she never stops learning. The moment we do, that’s when our brains die. Always be open to other people’s ideas and learn from experiences.
Be a DO-er!
All the ideas in our head will remain just that, ideas, if we do not do anything about them. It is important to express our ideas and then translate them into action. Travel, see the world. Learn a new skill. Take a class. There are so many things to do to keep us all happy and occupied. Just do it!
Overall, we may have a finite number of hours on this earth, but that doesn’t mean we cannot be infinitely happy. The clock is always ticking! A second, once gone, will never ever come back so what we do with our time is vital. Will we merely exist or will we truly live and thrive? The choice rests in our hands. Choose wisely.
Personally, I think what sustains me through each day are the prayers I offer to Him each morning, thanking Him for all His blessings and asking Him to protect me and my family from all sorts of ailments and harm, including death. And it really works as I can feel Him keeping us safe and sound even when we are asleep. The thought that GOD is always there to take good care of me is truly comforting for a mere mortal like me.
As a side note, to my American friends: Happy Thanksgiving! Counting blessings will always be my favorite kind of math. For comments and suggestions, please hop-on over to: www.orochronicles.com/blog/.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on November 23, 2017.