Three Secrets To Happiness

Last week, I came across this video via Upworthy. In it, Sam Berns, who was only 17 years old, talks about living with Progeria, “an extremely rare genetic disorder wherein symptoms resembling aspects of aging are manifested at a very early age,” (from Wikipedia).

Stratch that.

Sam did have Progeria, but the disease did not define his life. Yes, it clearly caused him to make some accommodations, but it was not the driving force behind his day-to-day mood, or even his life goals. Even though the Upworthy post indicates that he passed away about 3 months after this was filmed, he clearly lived a full life.

There are times when I get down about minor things. Things much more easily navigated than a disease like the one Sam dealt with. Hearing him speak and listening to his simple but profound rules for happiness, I’m humbled. And inspired. And shamed. And encouraged.

Life is simply too short to get all worked up over everything. Sometimes, even over big things. We have to seize what joy we can and live in this moment, right here, right now. I know that’s far from an original observation. Hell, it verges on trite, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

If you have about 13 minutes, I strongly encourage you to give the video a bit of your time. If you don’t, make the time. It’s well worth it.


Not Worth It

I know the logic. I’m ashamed to admit I’ve used it, myself. You think you’re a kick-ass multi-tasker and there’s no way you would ever get into an accident because of your phone. You juggle things every day, right? What’s the big deal? It’s not like you’re going to kill someone…

Happiness Is…

Okay, so, yes, this is way cute, but there are a ton of cute things on the internet. I’ll tell you when this video won me over, though: at 7:49, when this 3 year-old speaks profound wisdom.


Honest and Unmerciful

I don’t get into celebrity news too much. Granted, it can be fun (in a demented sort of way) to watch the rise and fall of various Hollywood types, but more often than not, I feel kind of sleazy when I let myself gawk too long. Partly that’s because I think so much of it is ridiculous, and partly that’s because it’s so dehumanizing.

When a celebrity passes away, I see it as unfortunate, but I don’t typically focus on it too much. If the deceased was someone whose art I had a particular fondness for, I might mourn it in some small way, but I don’t pretend to have known the person. Like everyone else, I feel the void left when a talented person we’ve come to enjoy and respect passes on. I want to honor them, of course, but I don’t want to diminish their personal relationships by talking about the loss as though it had nearly the same impact on me.

This past weekend, Philip Seymour Hoffman died. He’s been one of my favorite actors for a while. I’ve watched movies purely because he was in them, and I never saw him in a single role I didn’t enjoy.

I didn’t (and still don’t) know much about his personal life. I only know he had a way of bringing roles to life so that they resonated with me. I’ll certainly miss him on screen.

But more than that. For whatever reason, his passing has been on my mind for the better part of two days. Not just because he was a talented actor, but also because the circumstances of his death seem to have been particularly tragic and unnecessary. More than a few wildly talented people have struggle with and ultimately left us as a result of drug use. All such situations are equally mournful, but the quick exit Mr. Hoffman made has left me reeling.

Maybe it’s because, years ago, a friend suggested that if there were a movie made about me, he should be the actor to play me. I don’t know. I only know that I feel a deep and resounding sadness when I think about the fact that he’s gone. Nothing compared to the sadness his friends and family feel, I have no doubt, but something that gives me cause for pause.

So today, I’m grateful for the talent he shared with us. I’m grateful, too, for the fortune I’ve had, personally, that has spared me some of the struggles he had. And, I’m grateful for the people in my life who make it worth living.

In his honor, here’s a small sample of his work. One of his better scenes, in my opinion. It’s my small way of showing respect.

Happiness & Gratitude

Whatever you’re doing, stop doing it and watch this. I mean it. Then, tell someone why you’re grateful for them.


Like, now.

Nice Surprises

Life is full of nice surprises. Mostly, they’re small things, but there’s a lot of delight to be found in appreciating even the most modest unexpected joy.

I came across this video, posted on a friend’s Facebook wall, a few weeks ago. It’ll put a smile on your face. Click here before watching it to get the scoop on the backstory leading up to the video, and then watch it below or via the link.

Unlikely Inspiration

Looking for something inspiring to start you week with? Look no further than this video featuring Ashton Kutcher.

Wait–what? Ashton Kutcher?

Yep, that’s right. Seriously. It’s well worth the 5 minutes it will take you to watch it.

%d bloggers like this: