I watched a TED talk (from 2013) this evening by Sam Berns, who at the time was a 17 year old with progeria, a degenerative disease that makes him look like he’s 80 years old. He gave an inspiring recipe for a happy life:
1. Focus on what you CAN do instead of what you can’t.
2. Surround yourself with people you want to be around.
3. Keep moving forward.
He says he doesn’t ignore sadness or hard times. He accepts it, experiences it, but then looks ahead to the time when things will be better, or focuses on what CAN do right now, or embraces the people around him. He wanted to make a difference in the world by being and inventor. I believe he has passed away now, but I believe he did make difference in the world by his example.
In thinking about my previous post about “choosing happiness”, it’s evident that none of Sam’s bullets say “Choose to be Happy”. Rather, happiness comes as a byproduct of making choices that bring happiness. But, if you’ll allow me to get a little more meta, by making the choice to apply these excellently articulated choices, you in fact are “choosing” to be happy. The choice of happiness is made by choosing deliberately how you will act, instead of simply reacting.