Powills: It’s time to find happiness: Learn from the dead
Powills: It’s time to find happiness: Learn from the dead

My great uncle died last week. I didn’t know him well, nor knew much about his story. He was my grandma’s brother. He was an entrepreneurial type (a partner in an architecture firm in Evanston).  He owned a sailboat (and was more than willing to scare the [email protected]# out of me on Lake Michigan with it). Be.....

My great uncle died last week. I didn’t know him well, nor knew much about his story. He was my grandma’s brother. He was an entrepreneurial type (a partner in an architecture firm in Evanston).  He owned a sailboat (and was more than willing to scare the [email protected]# out of me on Lake Michigan with it). Before he passed, he sent an email to his secondary family penned in a very matter of fact way. He was battling cancer and knew the end was near. His email simply outlined the finality of his life.

My great uncle’s passing could be your brother’s, mother’s, cousin’s. The reality is, people who are close to us die. It’s a part of life.

But another part of life is, well, life. And, what should be an never ending search for happiness.

It amazes me (me included), that no matter how many lives end (and many of them far too early) that people still struggle to find a happy place while on this earth. Sure, bad days happen, but as a new day begins, we should always fight to find those happy moments. And, if you are not happy, you should change.

We need to learn from the dead. All of those millions of people who have died before you (if you are reading this, I assume you are still alive). Learn from their misfortunes and their blessings. But most of all, learn from the fact that this life you live will go fast. You are not in control of the last breath, but you are in control of every breath in between. Do not sit there not following your dreams. Do not sit there not believing in life. Do not sit there not believing in happiness.

No matter how many times we hear that life is short, we don’t listen. Me, you, all of us.  Too many of us think we are invincible. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as this mentality makes it easier to live through tough days. We, as humans, are given this great characteristic as children that should be maintained throughout one’s entire life – hope. The hope and the will to live a great life.

Why do so many adults stop answering the questions of what do they want to be when they grow up? Why do so many of us not have bucket lists? Isn’t the drive to do what we want the ultimate meaning of life?

The beauty of franchising, is that I can look at all of our clients and see thousands of franchisees. While not all great, no one can say that any of them did not follow their dreams by doing something that they wanted to do – own a business. I did the same.

Not everyone is cut out to be a business owner, though, but everyone is cut out to be happy. If you work in an environment that does not make you happy – do something about it. Nearly everyone needs to work – why not be happy where you end up working? Change doesn’t have to be quitting – change could happen by talking with your mentors/leaders and asking them how do you get to a happier place.

Stop living the life you don’t want to live. Start living the life you deserve. Even if the riches and fame you dream about seems impossible – start taking steps toward whatever that happy place is. Do it with ambition, with your dreams wide open, and with no regrets.

My great uncle did not want a celebration when he passed. He is not alone in these thoughts. But when I die, I hope my life is celebrated for being full – and full of joy. When I pass, I hope I never said no to happiness. I hope the regrets are limited and the rewards are full. So far, so good.

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