Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit


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Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Here is a little song I wrote
You might want to sing it note for note
Don’t worry, be happy
In every life we have some trouble
When you worry, you make it double
Don’t worry, be happy…

It has been 20 years since Bobby McFerrin first sang those words. I remember when I first heard the song. It was cute and quaint.

And then I got really tired of it.

I thought, how can anyone take such a positive attitude to life?

A lot can change in 20 years.

In the time since McFerrin first sang those words there have been numerous studies and reports on happiness.

Happiness is a right

Happiness can be taught

Happiness can be mapped

For most of us, happiness is conditional.

If I get that promotion, I’ll be happy.

If I get that new car, I’ll be happy.

If I had a million dollars, I’d be happy.

If I make that sale, I’ll be happy.

If s/he asks me out, I’ll be happy.

In reality, we only have one choice in life: Do I want to be happy or don’t I want to be happy?

That’s it. No ifs, ands, or buts, and no conditions because when we put conditions on our happiness, we are saying that we’d like to be happy, but not if I don’t get that promotion, the new car, the million dollars, or the sale.

Happiness is under our control. And I’m sure most of us would answer “yes” to the question “Do you want to be happy?”

In other words, “Do you want to be happy from this point forward for the rest of your life, regardless of what happens?”

Well, yes…
…as long as the market doesn’t crash
…or my car doesn’t crap out on me
…or

Without condition; any condition you put on your happiness will limit your happiness.

But I don’t have control over those things.

Face it; you can’t control things and keep them the way you want them.

It has taken me several years to finally get that through my head. There are things I can control and things I cannot control. Granted, when things are going well, it is easy to be happy. But when life gets difficult, it isn’t so easy.

Are you willing to break your vow of happiness because certain events took place?

We flew down to Philadelphia last month. On the way to the airport we received word that our flight was delayed. So we decided to take our time and have an early dinner while waiting at the airport. And then our flight was delayed again. Now we were concerned we might be late for the family gathering. This delay routine continued a few more times due to weather conditions. All flights were being held from entering Philly airspace because of summer storms. There was nothing we could do about it. And there was a silver-lining in all of this.

Our flight should have left around 4pm. Another flight to Philly on the same airline was to leave at 5:30pm.

That flight boarded and pushed away from the gate.

And had to sit on the tarmac until given permission to take off.

I couldn’t complain about the delays because we were in the airport…with food and drink…and bathrooms…and air conditioning.

Don’t worry, be happy

Our purpose in life is to enjoy and learn from our experiences. We weren’t put on earth to suffer. And we don’t help anybody by being miserable.

There are two facts in life: we were born and we will die. How we spend our time between those two events is our choice.

There is this little song I wrote
I hope you learn it note for note
Like good little children
Don’t worry, be happy
Listen to what I say
In your life expect some trouble
But when you worry
You make it double
Don’t worry, be happy…
Don’t worry, don’t do it, be happy
Put a smile on your face
Don’t bring everybody down like this
Don’t worry, it will soon pass
Whatever it is
Don’t worry, be happy