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The best and most powerful things we can write about is those we have seen ourselves and experienced. For me I have met a vast amount of people and I am always ready and waiting to learn from them. But one of the most powerful things I have ever been taught didn’t come from watching a life lived, it came from a funeral.
I remember attending a funeral of a gentleman (who we shall call Derek) who lived until his late 80s. He was a quiet and pleasant old man who for most of his life had been madly in love with a woman who he called his best friend. He worked hard but was single and had nothing to spend his money on and he was a quiet man so he didn’t spend time or money socialising. Now the woman he loved was forbidden to get with him by her mother, many assumed it was because he was working class and she was middle class that her mother disliked him so much. Years later Derek was in his early 70s and the mother died and was out of the picture. He then out of fear didn’t make a move, he then out of fear stayed silent for years and didn’t tell her how he felt. He out of fear had let his opportunity pass by and in turn – Spent his whole life pursuing a woman he never got with.
Eventually she found another man similar to her and he was a lovely gentleman. However, Derek had been left on the shelf. Derek attended the wedding and it was painful for everyone to see. Eventually his health deteriorated, until he finally reached his deathbed. His family who he barely socialised with surrounded him for little comfort but to find out what he was doing with his money, which he had accumulated a lot of but was always too scared to spend. Eventually he died, and at his powerful and tragic funeral attended by so few, I seen the results of a life that was quietly lived making little impact on this world – simply out of fear.
Motivational self-help videos always spout the cliché of “Don’t give up” – But the truth is, you need to give up sometimes. You aren’t wired to be thinking of your own happiness. Tony Robbins recently said and I believe rightly so “Your brain isn’t wired to make you happy, it’s programmed to make you survive.”
So what do you need to give up to be happy? I believe that these things can control our happiness, and once we let go of them we can begin to live.
You can’t let people scare you. You can’t live your whole life trying to please everyone else. You can’t live your whole life worried about what everyone else is going to think. Whether it’s your hair, clothes, what you have to say, how you feel, what you believe and what you have. You can’t let the judgement of others stop you from being you. Because if you do, you’re no longer you. You’re somebody everyone else wants you to be and that will never bring you happiness.
I’m making the choice to live this one and only life we have pursuing happiness relentlessly and endlessly – Are you?
Written By Dale Roberts as part of a new blog series – Keep an eye out weekly for new and regular posts.
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