The Girl with the Radiant Smile

One day I was walking along a pier in San Diego when I noticed a young woman dancing and singing softly to herself. Occasionally, she would stop and take a sip of her coffee. As I walked by she waved and smiled, and this wasn’t just a run-of-the-mill, everyday smile. It was a radiant smile. I mean, I actually felt uplifted as a result. She had a certain exuberant glow about her that made me feel good too.

“Someone is happy today,” I said. Her reply was, “What’s not to be happy about? The sun is shining. It’s a beautiful morning. I have a delicious cup of coffee, and last night I was at a concert and the lead singer was singing directly to me. Life is wonderful.”

I must admit that I was more than impressed. I was intrigued. (I was actually wondering what was in her coffee and where I could get some.)
“Are you always like this?” I asked. “Yes,” she said. “For the most part I am. It doesn’t take that much to make me happy.” Now she really had my attention. “Don’t you ever have problems or get in a bad mood?” I asked. This made her laugh too.
“Of course I do.” she said, “I just know that bad moods are a choice and problems are relative.” I try to look at a problem as something I need to learn. If I do learn from it, then it isn’t a problem. It’s a gift.” She took a sip of her evidently-delicious coffee and then continued. “In fact, just this morning I couldn’t start my car. Sure, I was getting frustrated. I mean, I just bought it last week! It’s brand new and I was late for work. Anyway, the good news in all this is that my neighbor noticed I was having difficulty with my car and she offered to give me a ride to work.”

She beamed her radiant smile again. “You know,” she continued, “In the two years I lived next door to her, I knew nothing about her. I mean, she’s my neighbor, for crying out loud! We had a wonderful conversation and we are going out for dinner tonight. So yes, my new car wouldn’t start, but I believe because of that I have a new friend. I choose to focus on that. That’s the gift within the problem.”

If we could all see our problems and mishaps from the viewpoint of the young woman with the radiant smile, our lives would be so much easier. She is living proof that it all comes down to choices.

Rather than dwell on negativity, you can choose to focus on what is working in your life, to be grateful for what you have, and to use your time and energy finding solutions to your problems. If you do, you will be nourishing your soul and experiencing a happier, healthier reality for yourself. Either way, the outcome is based on choices. Choose to be happy now, no matter what is happening around you. If you wait for something else to change first, you don’t stand a chance at happiness. How’s that for delivering the truth?

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