If you're happy and you know it - it's because you chose it. (now clap your hands)
One of the best parts of traveling is the opportunity to interact with people from other cultures. Despite the fact that our lives are completely different, there are certain parts that somehow seem to resonate no matter how different you are.
You can travel the entire world and find something that holds true no matter where you are. There are poverty stricken people who get up each day and smile as they walk to work. There are financially stable individuals who get up each morning and are upset as they drive to work.Until last week, it had been about six years since I had traveled outside America. Six years, living in comfort, working, earning money, eating regularly. When your basic needs are met on a consistent basis you tend to take the for granted and then get frustrated by the little trivial things. I just got back from a trip to Peru where I was reminded that my happiness doesn't depend on whether I get a big raise, have a flat screen TV or anything else.
My happiness depends on me. Not money. Not TV. Not anyone else. I decide whether I wake up and smile with gratitude, or wake up disgruntled and ungrateful.
During my trip I was completely overwhelmed by the generosity and warmth of the local people who (in my American mindset) had literally nothing. I saw kids kicking a soccer ball made of trash with smiles on their faces.
I'm so grateful for the opportunity I had to be reminded that happiness is a decision, not something bought or just given to me.
I thought a lot about my youngest siblings. They have more than I ever had as a child. They have more than any of these Peruvian kids could ever dream of. And yet they are miserable. There entitled attitude leads them to believe they will never have everything they deserve. What a shame.
Take a second right now to think of everything you have and just smile. You and I have been blessed with a lot. Let's remember to smile and be grateful.
Kyle Aldous is a the Marketing Director for Blickenstaff's Vintage toy & Candy store in Provo, Utah. He loves to breakdance and teaches at a variety of studios in Utah Valley.
Photo Credit : Barnaby Wasson