It was over two years ago now that I first pondered publishing a post titled, “I Could Die A Happy Man.” Now that may sound morbid to most, but I meant it in only the most positive sense, and still do.

Happy Jim Golfing Slab City Gopher Flats

My reasoning at the time was that we had enjoyed a wonderful life with Jerry on the road, where he taught us – among many other enlightening lessons – that every day is a great day, no matter what life throws your way. I was recently reminded of this by a comment on some satellite radio show about coping with difficulties. It went something like this…

“You always have a choice. Even if your only choice is how you react to the situation, you still have a choice.”

Kristopher Krall, AKA Spoonie GSo true. I choose to be happy. It sounds simple enough, but it can be harder than you might think, especially when life throws you a curveball. Or worse, beans you high and hard.

With the anniversary of Kris’ death coming up, and doctors suddenly telling another dear friend cancer is killing him, I thought it high time to share how I do it. Be happy that is. Consider it a bit of open source enlightenment.

Ever since we hit the road with our three legged dog after his cancer diagnosis and amputation, I have been privately working on this personal mantra…

I am available to more good than I have ever experienced, imagined or known ever before in my entire life. So I open myself to all the wonderful gifts the universe has to shower upon me. And I am grateful for living a happy healthy life free of pain and discomfort, thriving in tune with the cosmic dance. I know the universe is conspiring on my behalf, so I free myself of guilt and blame and think kind thoughts, speak kind words, and act kind deeds toward myself others and the environment. Should I experience stress or pain, I choose to let it go knowing that I am completely free without it, because I am most happy and comfortable enjoying every moment to the fullest choosing to live life in the ever present now.”

Happy Couple at NuRVers Ralley Luau NightIt’s an ever-evolving work in progress but that’s what makes it work so well. I repeat it most often when out for my morning runs. Another friend, Dave Berman, found it enlightening enough to use a variation we agreed upon when he launched his Manifest Positivity blog. You can ask Dave how the differences he suggested I incorporate make the mantra more effective, he’s the certified NLP practitioner.

But I am a creature of habit, and I believe this is working for me. Call it mumbo jumbo if you will, but a little good juju can go along way if you ask me. So I recommend anyone seeking a little more happiness from life develop a mantra of their own. Below are a few resources that led to me developing mine.

Recommended Enlightenment

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams by Depak Chopra –  I first listened to this audio book on tape (yes, audiocassette) in my previous life as a marketing manager who spent hours a day in traffic.

Ethics for the New Millennium by his holiness the Dalai Lama – Could there be any greater path to enlightenment than getting it directly from the source?

The Secret – The law of attraction is no secret after all, and anyone who has read or seen this will recognize the first few words of my mantra.

Pronoia by Rob Brezsny – Never read it, but a few of the things I tell myself I learned from Dave, who swears by its teachings about how how the whole world is conspiring to shower you with blessings.

Am I Being Kind by Michael J. Chase – I still owe Dave a public thank you, and book review for this quick read about how asking one simple question can change your life, and your world.

Excuses Begone! by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer – Didn’t read this one either but did take plenty of notes during Dr. Dyer’s seminar of the same name on PBS about how to change lifelong, self-defeating thinking habits.

Guardians of Being by Patrick McDonnell with words by Eckhart Tolle – Read our book review of this enlightening little treasure if you love Mutts, or wonder why it’s such a big deal to us.

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22 Responses to “The Power of Positive Thinking”
  1. Jim says:

    Another great book that gives you a lot to think about is “Many Lives, Many Masters” by Brian Weiss. It’s one of my favorites.

  2. Todd says:

    I like the quote about always having a choice. When we come across people and circumstances that bring in negativity to our lives we can choose to not let that negativity bring us down.

  3. Elaine says:

    ahhh.. such positive words. Don’t forget to add “The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz to your readings. One of my favorites.

  4. Great post and thank you for the books to add to my library.

    Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers made a huge difference in my life.

    Life Happens :-)

  5. el jefe says:

    methinks at times we tend to think too much,i`m just saying!!

  6. Kim says:

    Another good book is “The Power”! Great post!

  7. Nina says:

    What a fabulous post! This is something close to my heart and something I practice everyday too. I went through a serious depression in my 20′s and that’s when I learned about positive affirmations. They’re my daily mental exercise and I’ve been doing them ever since and plan to keep on it lifelong. So right there with you! Nina

  8. Bliss Kisser says:

    Great article, with a much-needed reminder to keep my focus POSITIVE. Thank you! I LOVE your morning-run-mantra, and am considering “borrowing” it! <3

    All bright blessings to you! <3 <3 <3

    PS–Do yourself a huge favor and read "Pronoia"! It is one of the most fundamentally wonderful gifts that I have ever given myself! <3

  9. Jim says:

    Being a firm believer in the power of coincidences, I thought I would share a quote I discovered this morning from the Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity:

    “Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

    Don’t know the original source, this has apparently gone rather viral – a good thing if you as me – since I found it via a LinkedIn colleague who found it on tumblr, from twitter… whether or not the quote is authentic, it is definitely wise.

  10. Connie says:

    Your topic hit the spot as we’ve recently been dealing with a curve ball thrown our way. I like your mantra, especially the line “Should I experience stress or pain, I choose to let it go knowing that I am completely free without it”. That line seems even more appropriate for all of us RVers who shed so many of our personal belongings to experience the freedom of not being trapped under stuff. Now I realize that it works the same way with stress. Letting it go produces the same liberation. Thanks for sharing…it’s just what I needed to hear!

  11. Dave Berman says:

    Excellent! So good to see you shining so brightly and sharing like this. And thanks for the plug :-)

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