August 2014 ~ Donít Take Life Too Seriously . . . Itís Only a Hobby!
August 2014 ~ Donít Take Life Too Seriously . . . Itís Only a Hobby!
Excepts from a speech by Michael Anthony in April, 1991
I always get so excited when I get to deliver this program, about living and loving and just plain being happy. It is after all, my own very best therapy. I have always said that psychologists only become psychologists because they are trying to solve their own problems in some way. Those of us who are still practicing havenít found all the answers yet.
I have learned that if you use your mind to create the things in life you want, they will come to pass ... So each time before I give this presentation, I take time and go over it in my mind, just as if I am really giving it so it will go smoothly.... So today, I faithfully laid down on the bed and started over each word of this message. . . . and promptly fell asleep. I just hope it doesnít have the same effect on you.
What we want to accomplish over the next ninety minutes or so is to take a look at things in our life that are NOT NEW. That is where we must start if we are going to understand how not to take life too seriously, and want to lighten up life. . . enjoy life.. . . find some fun in it. I would like to take a minute from this program and read you a letter written by an eighty-five year old man just after finding out that he was about to die. It goes like this:
None of us is going to get out of this alive. So why do we make it so hard on ourselves? Nothing is forever. At least not on this physical plane we call life. We live an imperfect life inside of a perfect Universe.
Every event and every person that comes into and goes out of your life is with perfect timing and in perfect harmony. Without guilt or blame or even judgment, the Universe operates in perfect order, perfect vibration. When one segment of our life ends, a new segment begins - all without your heart skipping a single beat . . .
When I say Universe, I am of course talking about that all encompassing, omnipotent source of life and being.
When we look at the Universe as a whole, or all of Godís creations, we find that it is far too grand, too expansive and yet too minute for us to comprehend. When we look at this great spectrum, we start to feel our own joyous insignificance. Once we take stock of this insignificance, we feel a great weight of self-imposed, self importance lifted from our shoulders.
In short, we realize that we have been taking ourselves far too seriously and we then start to look towards celebrating our place in this grand scheme - celebrating the wonders of even the smallest of things.
The Universe is perfect and yet changing and we as humans resist its changes. We resist because acknowledging its changes requires that we change with it ó a difficult step for many of us humans.
Because it provides us with a sense of loss . . . A sense of coming from a place that is familiar and going to a place that is foreign. Yet, change is inevitable. You are here tonight seeking change, not ever considering that change is taking place as you sit here. Of course, some change is harder to deal with than others.
Did you ever get up in the morning and find a new wrinkle and hoped it was a pillow crease? Or found a new grey hair and convinced yourself that it was just the light angle? Or discovered a bulge in some posterior place that wasnít there yesterday. So you see, change goes on without us . . . in the perfect order of the Universe.
The only true path to happiness is not in the words of others. It is in the strength within your heart and soul. Your ability to enhance that which has been given you.
We always want to "BLAME" life. We seek to blame because change forces us into dealing head on with our life. So we blame other people, our mother or father, God, the kids, our mate, and it goes on and on.
How many times have we heard a wife say, "I just canít get him to do what I want. I wish he would change." That is far easier than asking the question, "What changes do I have to make to get the reaction I want?"
All of us experience change ó our perception, our opinions, our views change. Think back 5 years or 6 months, or last week and see how you feel today about abortion, gay rights, racism, police brutality, war, etc. Are your feelings and opinions the same? Why not? What has changed? How did you adjust to the change?
It is the process of change that causes us the most stress. Most of us create phantom anxieties. We worry about things that never come to pass.
Mark Twain said, "I have had so many troubles in my life . . . most of which have never happened."
Sometimes change causes great pain. Sometimes this pain is ó by itself ó a great healer. It is through change that we transform. Thus it is through pain that we contemplate, examine our lives, become conscious of our direction and evaluate our value.
Adapting to Change on the other hand ó if well accepted and well managed ó can bring great prosperity and happiness.
Prosperity can be defined as a sense of well being ó financial as well as emotional. There is a great difference in being "broke" and "poor." Broke ó meaning being without financial resources. Poor ó being down in spirit. There is an old saying that says, "The best you can do for the poor is not to be one of them."
Only you can decide when the prosperity of peace will enter your life. You can shut it out forever if you want.
Happiness is a different state for each of us. Many of us cannot even decide what happiness means to us individually. Happiness is an abstract concept. Most of us only think about happiness when we donít have it. Yet, we are all looking for it all the time.
Abraham Lincoln once said, "Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."
You see ó we do make life very complicated. We do take it far too seriously and we become invested in our outcomes, rather than the peace and happiness we seek. What we want, how we want it and when we want it is more important than accepting that there is a perfection to Godís being.
There is an order to the Universe. We have to learn to quit challenging the Universe and live with it in harmony.
To be happy in our life, we must change. It is inevitable. It is in everything we know and are.
We must change from blaming, from judgment, from guilt.
We must change into acceptance and understanding.
We must cooperate with the changes in our lives. For each change is your own personal miracle.
About the author: Michael Anthony, Ph.D., was my best friend and business partner for more than 30 years. Michael was well known for his Organizational Development work, his unique corporate training techniques and inspiring public speaking. His physical body died June 8, 2014 after living a rich, full life. His wisdom and spirit lives on.
Page updated: May 11, 2023
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