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Real Life is Like Walking Through a Grocery Store

There is a ton of stuff that looks delicious, that one has $1.00 off yellow coupons nearby. Those chips will swell you up if you continue to eat them. Today’s temptation was a huge bag of Ruffles with a coupon. And NO.

Just like in life, we’re all walking around looking for what will make us happy, full, energized, and loved. Walking through the grocery store is like looking for love. The chips will not love us back. The chips don’t care about your waistline. Perhaps your partner doesn’t care about your waistline. But here is the rule: you are in charge. You don’t need to buy the chips. Even with the discount.

Nothing in the grocery store, or the walk of life, is going to make you feel happy and loved. Those are more internal.

But, What Does Make You Happy?

This is the ultimate question we all need to answer for ourselves. I’m in my 60th year, and I’m just beginning to understand how FOOD has been sold to me as happiness, celebration, fun, and love. But it’s not love. My mom’s soup WAS love. The chili I bought for dinner tonight is not love.

The love we feel comes from within. What do you love?

I love my kids. My girlfriend. My girlfriend’s dogs. My living sister and her two kids. And I feel love when I’m talking to them, doing things for them.

I also feel loved when I’m creating music or writing. At this moment, typing, I feel fulfilled. No one has to LIKE or SHARE my post. It is here. I am typing it. And this act alone, of creation, gives me internal feelings of happiness. Yes, I’d love to have my books rise up to the NY Times Bestseller list, but, my happiness is not about the recognition or fame.

When you are doing what you love, even alone, you can experience spontaneous happiness. Related to no one else, no food, no dessert, no alcohol.

This is just about me. I’m not writing about lovers, divorce, kids. I’m just writing. And somewhere along my neural pathways,

writing = joy.

Find what gives you joy. What can *you* do? It’s not another person. It’s not food or drugs. It’s the conversation you need to have within yourself. Then, as you begin to turn your actions and intentions toward your bigger goals, you will notice that happiness arrives.

When you are doing what you feel is worthwhile, you will feel happiness. Yes, our kids and our families offer a lot of love and support. But their inclusion in our lives is not enough to ward off depression or loneliness. You need inner happiness. Inner drive. An inner spiritual program of some kind that keeps you connected to your higher source of information and love.

I did not buy ice cream at the store today, or those Ruffles. I also learned that my dentist did not call in my prescription for the pain meds and antibiotics. Oh well. Life goes on.

I type. I smile. I breathe and push PUBLISH.

I listen to some lovely music and immediately feel the lift of my mood rising with the aspirational music.

John McElhenney —  LinkedIn

Please check out a few of my books on AMAZON

Especially this one, about living a creative life of intention and joy. 


this creative life - john oakley mcelhenney

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