Inspired and Blessed by Bob Acebedo
Inspired & Blessed

To Live, Learn, Love, and Laugh

Nov 26, 2022, 12:34 AM
Bob Acebedo

Bob Acebedo

Columnist

Time and again, people are obsessively engrossed in finding happiness – which, first and foremost, is a choice. If you want to be happy, you have to choose to be happy.

What is likely problematic for most is trying to ascertain what a happy life consists of. In broad terms, for most, a happy life includes, among others, the following essential features: being worry-free or absence of negativity; having positive relationships; fun and smiles; care for physical health; learning lessons; living in the present moment; love, kindness, compassion, gratitude; appreciation of what is “true, good, just, and beautiful”; etc. etc.

Whilst, for me, I’ve tried to condense what makes life happy and meaningful according to four rules: To Live, to Learn, to Love, and to Laugh.

To Live

The very first step in the path to happiness is to acknowledge your life – which entails finding value, meaning, or significance of your life. As the American poet, William Arthur Ward, aptly said, “Before you die, live!”

As our first rule, to live means:

· To embrace, without judging it, all of life’s joys and sorrows, ups and downs, opportunities and challenges, victories and disappointments – as they all happen for a reason. To live happily is to live GRATEFULLY. There’s a saying in Chinese, “Gan en mei yi tian,” which means “Be thankful every day.” These days, waking up each morning from bed and able to breathe and have your morning coffee are enough to be thankful for.

· To live in SIMPLICITY by focusing on the “essentials” or things that matter most in life. A simple life is easier, happier and more meaningful.

· To be authentic or being true to yourself and not simply living up to others’ expectations.

· To be WORRY-FREE by always living in the present moment, not brooding over the past nor being anxious about the future.

· To live HEALTHY by giving utmost care to your physical and mental well-being through balanced nutrition, sleep or rest, and physical exercise.

To Learn

As life is a constant work in progress, it is a never-ending learning process from womb to tomb and beyond. This is the underlying principle of evolution, of constant transformation or change.

Thus, to learn means:

· To see every obstacle or challenge in your life as a lesson in going forward.

· To always strive for positive transformation by learning something new or exploring possibilities.

· To learn not only to give but also to receive.

· To never grow old but only keep on growing (or learning) in wisdom, faith, and love.

To Love

The greatest of all commandments is love. It conquers all. It is the alpha and the omega, the be-all and end-all of life. From birth we have proceeded from God’s creative act of love, and thereby brought into the locus of love, our family. From childhood to adulthood, our human nature draws us into engaging in RELATIONSHIPS with others, largely defined through the spectrum of love. And, at the end of life, as St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta quipped,

“we will be judged according to how much we have loved.”

As our number three rule, thus, to love means:

· To acknowledge that your individual life’s purpose is founded on love, being the be-all and end-all of life.

· To embrace love as the fundamental principle in all your RELATIONSHIPS – with God, with his natural creation, with yourself, with your family, and with the people around you.

· To have a PRAYERFUL and loving relationship with God as well as with his natural creation.

· To strive or work for a positive and enriching relationships with others or the people around you.

· To embrace kindness and compassion; gratitude for what you have; and empowering appreciation for what is “true, good, just, and beautiful”.

To Laugh

A hearty laughter with friends. An innocent smile from a babe. Pure joys out of a family bonding. Simple fun with peers or work colleagues. These are priceless moments – and ever beautiful and memorable – in life. They make life HAPPY and MEANINGFUL.

Thus, number four rule, to laugh means:

· To always wake up every morning with a smile on your face.

· To have fun or find pleasure in things that you like to do.

· To always relish and enjoy the gift, warmth and pure joys of family life.

· To choose happiness – as something that comes from within and not from outside.

· To be happy in what you are, not in what you have.

· To be happy in what you give, not in what you get.

· To choose to be happy NOW – not tomorrow.

Verily, choosing to live, love, learn, and laugh will make your life worth living. Because at life’s end, what matters most is not how much you have acquired or achieved, but how HAPPILY and MEANINGFULLY you have lived.


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