Happy SMART Day Everyone!
I just read a short interview by author and activist Gloria Steinem. In it, she was asked to offer three words that have guided her life. They were: Hope, Ideas and Friends. And while I think all of them are indeed valuable and important in my life as well, it made me ask myself, what three words do I feel enrich my life the most? Whether you agree with Gloria, or me, it may be worth the time for you figure out three words that bring value to your life and help make them more prevalent in your life today.
The three words I came up with are:
1) Curiosity. I’ve already written a blog post about the power of curiosity in my life so I won’t go into another long explanation. But without my strong sense of curiosity, I know that my life would be completely different. Because I continue to ask “Why?” and “Why Not?” I have been led on an amazing journey of discovery both outside me and deep within. Not only do I feel it keeps me young at heart and open minded, but best of all it helps me to stay optimistic about the future. Gloria Steinem said about her appreciation of “ideas” that, “Ideas are the most fun it’s possible to have—they are orgasms of the mind.” That’s very similar to how I feel about the pull of curiosity in my life.
2) Gratitude. This one is something I spend every day dwelling upon and can’t imagine my life without including it. Maybe it’s a chicken or egg thing (which came first?) where I am so grateful because I’ve had such a fortunate and blessed life; Or, I am continually grateful for the experiences of my life and so that translates into feeling incredibly blessed and fortunate. Either way, I feel that gratitude is one of those keys to a great life that is lying in front of every one of us. We can always ignore it and walk on by—or notice it, pick it up and use it to open the door to a better way of looking at anyone or anything that is happening in our life.
3) Happiness. It almost seems cliché to say that happiness is one of the most important words in my life but I would be lying if I left it out. I even recall when asked for my high school yearbook what I wanted to be when I grew up—I said, “to be happy.” But even then I meant it on a deeper level than the routine or superficial statement that we all occassionally use. Instead, I based it on the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote that said, “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends. To appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” That’s what happiness meant to me then, and although I might use a few different words today—I still believe happiness is a form of shorthand for the type of success that Emerson describes.
Of course, you likely have three completely different words to describe what is important to your world. But probably what’s most vital is that we take the time to think about them—Gloria’s, mine and then yours—and then make them a more pronounced part of our day. Remember, one great way to live SMART daily is to spend the majority of the time focused on those things that enhance and improve your life—and less time on those things that pull you down. Whether you can distill the good in your life to three words or thirty—they are bound to enhance your life and keep you focused on the best it has to offer.
“You’ve got a lot of choices. If getting out of bed in the morning is a chore and you’re not smiling on a regular basis, try another choice.” ~Steven D. Woodhull
“There is no such thing in anyone’s life as an unimportant day.” ~Alexander Woollcott