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  Category: Articles » Society & News » Social » Article

Choosing Happiness

By Mark Susnow

Many people have been saying that this era is different and that we have more to worry about than past generations. While it is true that we have major concerns that are unique to us at this time, past generations also had their share of unique challenges. No matter what our challenges are, the decisions and choices we make on a day to day basis determine our ability to be happy. Happiness is a choice and is not dependent on future events and circumstances. Now is the perfect time to be happy.

Recently at my daughter Makaelas graduation from high school I was reminded of this truth. I reflected upon my own journey since high school. I remember how anxious I was to get away from home and begin college even though it was just across the bay in Berkeley. I believed college would be the answer to my problems and it was for a brief period of time. But soon I started to experience the same disenchantment and longing that I had experienced in high school.

My focus again shifted to the future which was getting into law school. Of course once in law school my new focus was graduating and passing the bar so "real life" would begin. And what I called "real life" began... I was out of school, making my own money and involved in an intense love affair.

There's no question I was excited when I began my career as an attorney. I was using the legal system as a vehicle of change to fulfill my mission of changing the world. After a while financial realities set in and I began to struggle in business and in love. My mindset was that when business picked up and when I met "the one" I could start to enjoy life again. My concerns about the future clouded my ability to enjoy the present.

I was repeating the familiar pattern of making an unknown future better than the present. For many of us this is a never ending pattern.

I've always been a firm believer in synchronicity...those chance encounters that change your life...those remarkable meetings. Many years ago a friend told me of a magical swimming hole along a river in Humboldt County. Off I went with my guitar, my dog and sleeping bag; I drove North arriving at the river just as the sun was setting. In the morning I awoke at the crack of dawn in search of the swimming hole. As I continued my journey I barely noticed a few campsites along the river until a camper offered me some food and coffee. Although I found myself getting hungry and tired I said no thanks to the kind invitation--I just wanted to get to that swimming hole. After another twenty yards I turned around and said "that coffee sounds good." It was what the camper said in the next few moments that has perhaps made the greatest impact in my life.

"Say man, the journey you take is probably more important than your destination. Enjoy yourself. Enjoy the journey." From that moment on I did. I enjoyed my breakfast, enjoyed the rest of the hike and of course the swimming hole was fabulous.

I can honestly say it was that experience which transformed my ability to enjoy the present moment.

Shifting your paradigm about the future will change your life. Instead of waiting to arrive at your destination before you begin to enjoy your vacation, enjoy packing and the trip to the airport. Instead of waiting for that big opportunity or break to occur, enjoy exactly what you're doing. Instead of accumulating more, enjoy what you have. Instead of feeling despair about finding meaning and purpose in your life, enjoy the inquiry. Instead of waiting for that ideal relationship to happen, enjoy life exactly as it is.

Hopefully you are inspired. Let me know what you discover and I love receiving your many responses and feedback. Thank you and keep them coming. Feel free to pass this letter on to the friends in your circle and let them know about the advantages of being on the journey. And as my friend Roy says enjoy the ride.

Journey On

(415) 453-5016
About the Author
Mark Susnow has a unique background. Formerly a successful trial attorney for 30 years, as well as musician, he integrates what it takes to be truly prosperous in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation practice. As a personal coach, leadership consultant and inspirational speaker, Mark provides inspiration and motivation to many business leaders and professionals. He knows what it means to have a big vision and has demonstrated the courage and energy it takes to accomplish it. Consider contacting Mark and be sure to visit his website

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  Some other articles by Mark Susnow
The Dance
When was the last time you really challenged yourself and allowed yourself to experience the feeling that maybe you won't be able to get it and that perhaps you might fail? I hadn't felt that ...

Spring...A Time for Renewal
Life's seasons are amazing with each season having its unique cycle. It's been a long winter and I'm starting to feel spring. Unfortunately for many the winter storms haven't been kind. When you're in the middle ...

A View from the Mountain
For the last seven or eight years I have enjoyed a recreational activity that gives me exercise and satisfies my longing to ...

Life Lessons from the River
Wouldn't it be great if there was a formula if followed would be the answer to all of your problems and concerns. We are all intrigued by books ...

Finding Meaning in the New Year
As the year comes to an end I think of all of the blessings in my life and all that I am grateful for. ...

So I'm Not Perfect
Many years ago I had one of those experiences that you never forget. It shows up in so many areas ...

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