February 26

The Commitment to Be Happy

February 26, 2016

Personal Growth

I opened up my Skype program and connected to Charlie. Pain and victimhood were carved into his face, so I wasn’t really asking a question when I said, “How are you feeling?”

“Oh, not so good,” he groaned in a barely audible voice.

I asked him what he was unhappy about, and he described some petty inconvenience, as most people do.

The way I responded was somewhat unusual, but Charlie had experienced enough Real Love that it was time for him to learn something new. “Do I love you?” I asked.


“Well? You’re hesitating with ‘well?’ Do I love you or not? I don’t need your answer to satisfy me, but you need to see the truth and to say it, without hesitating.”

“Yes, you do.”

“Have I proven that I love you beyond doubt?”

“Yeah, I guess so.”

“You guess?” I asked.

“You do love me.”



“Have you ever had that before in all your life?”


“Is your wife learning how to be loving?”


“So you have a parent—me—who loves you unconditionally, and your wife is learning how to be loving. Is that more than you ever thought possible several months ago?”


“Would that not qualify as a miracle in your life?”

“Yes, it would.”

“So when I ask you how you’re doing, why focus on some small, meaningless inconvenience? Why choose to let that tiny thing overshadow the fact that your life is transforming in a miraculous way?”

“Hmmm . . .”

“Doesn’t make much sense, does it?” I asked.

“Not really.”

“So I’ll ask you again: How are you feeling?”

“Pretty good.”

“Nope,” I said, “not good enough. Not TRUE enough. Just ‘pretty’ good?”

“My life is great and getting better.”

“Try this,” I said. “Say that your life is spectacular, and you’re committed to making it even better every day.”

“My life is spectacular. I’m happier than I’ve ever been, and I’m going to keep doing what it takes so that I’m happier every day.”

“And how does it feel to say that?”

He laughed, genuinely and enthusiastically. “I feel better already. And I mean it.”

I was NOT trying to get Charlie to have a more “positive attitude,” which rarely lasts. I was suggesting that he see the truth and that he make a commitment to continue in the truth and to FEEL the results of living in the truth. I am reminded of a poem written by W. H. Murray of the Scottish Himalayan Expedition in 1951:

Until one is committed there is hesitancy,
The chance to draw back,
Always ineffectiveness.
Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation)
There is one elementary truth,
The ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans:
That the moment one definitely commits oneself
Then Providence moves, too.
All sorts of things occur to help one
That would never otherwise have occurred.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision
Raising in one's favor
All manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance,
Which no man would have dreamt would have come his way.
Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace, and power in it.

If you COMMIT to be happy, the entire universe will join with you in that commitment and help you to fulfill it. Learning opportunities and blessings will appear before you in ways that you could not have consciously orchestrated. If we are less than committed to happiness, however, there is—to use the words of W.H. Murray—hesitancy and ineffectiveness.

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