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Hospital Window


Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window.

The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been
on vacation.

Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window. The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and colour of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst
flowers of every colour and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance. As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn't hear the band - he could see it. In his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days and weeks passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the
hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make
the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out
the window beside the bed.

It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.

She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you."


There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.

Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.

If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can't buy.

Author Unknown




Happiness is a choice!


Achieving happiness  for some of us seems to be just out of reach and so it may be surprising that to do so requires nothing more than practicing a few simple disciplines, every day.


The Happiness Institute has specifically chosen the word “choose” because each of its letters stands for one of six key happiness strategies.


C = Clarity (of goals, direction and life purpose)

Happy people set clear goals and determine clear & specific plans to ensure these goals become reality. So clarify your life plan now (because no one else will do it for you!).


H = Healthy Living (activity & exercise, diet & nutrition, and sleep)

Health forms a crucial part of the foundation to happiness. It’s hard to be happy if you’re literally sick & tired all the time. So do whatever you can to be healthy and you’ll also boost your chances of being happy.


O = Optimism (positive but realistic thinking)

There’s no doubt that happy people think about themselves, others and the world differently. Among other things, they search for more positives. The good news is that this is something you can learn to do so start practicing now.


O = Others (the key relationships in your life)

Research strongly indicates that happy people have both more and better quality relationships. So make sure you devote time to developing and fostering your key relationships.


S = Strengths (your core qualities and attributes)

Rather than spending all their time trying to “fix” their “weaknesses”, happy people spend more time identifying and utilising their strengths. Find out what you’re good at and do it as much as possible. Do the things you enjoy and enjoy the things you do.


E = Enjoy the moment (live in, and appreciate the present)

The past is history, tomorrow’s a mystery, and today’s a gift – that’s why they call it “the present”. Live in the moment and enjoy life more.





If you were asked, "Are you happy?", what would your answer be?


Often we actively search for 'things' to make us happy - expecting happiness to come when we have more money, a new car, a bigger house, a better body, the perfect partner, more of anything! We think others or new places will bring us happiness. These things may make us happy for a little while...then the gloss wears off and we look for some 'thing' new.


In reality, we can be happy all the time (yeah, sure I hear you say!)...yet even in the midst of misery and crises, there can be happy moments.


How can we be happy all the time?


Firstly, being 'happy' doesn't mean 'jumping for joy and laughing every waking moment'. By 'being happy all the time', I mean a sense of deep contentment we can feel about ourselves and our lives that can be the connecting thread of all that we do. It is an understanding and a sense that things are as they are meant to be - an acceptance of what is. A sense that we can change and/or make a difference if we choose, and that as tough as times may be, there are still joyful moments if we look for them.


Secondly, happiness is a choice, an attitude we develop towards life. By following the six key steps above, we have the basic ingredients for being a happy person. Happy people smile a lot; laugh often and out loud; they are in touch with their feelings; have the skills to be optimistic; maximise their physical health; pay attention to mental, spiritual and emotional aspects of life; feel connected with themselves and their friends; they are life-giving to be around and make others feel good about themselves; they are grateful for all the blessings in their life; they have lots of friends and good relationships and understand the importance of these relationships; they have a good sense of humour; they recognise they are happy and they work to stay that way.


Lastly, there is no magic trick or one 'cure all' for happiness. Being happy comes from noticing all the small moments of happiness that occur each day. I am talking here about those moments, that when we are attuned to them, take your breath away! A kiss from someone you love, singing a favourite song, feeling the sun on your shoulders, a hug from a child, a delicious meal, a funny email that makes you laugh out loud, a cup of coffee made just for you, a walk on the beach, the delight on the face of someone you have just paid a compliment to, a warm bed, a phone conversation with a friend, a knowing glance.... the more magical moments you find the more you are happy!


What makes you happy?


Find out and CHOOSE to be happy now!



Keep shining!

Christine Anderson