The secret to a happy life

Leave a comment


Happiness is a by-product of an effort
to make someone else happy.
~ Gretta Brooker Palmer

Palmer’s quote is my new go-to lifestyle. If I feel mopey or like I might be spiraling into a rut, I ask myself who I can bless, if not today, then tomorrow or the next day. And, ideally, I’ll follow up the thought by carrying out a random act of kindness (see ‘kindness is free…’). The act of thinking and/or doing most often pulls me out of my self-inflicted pity party even before I have a chance to invite guests. A woman I know—I’ll call her Mary—is in a long-term relationship with a partner who routinely withholds communication—verbal, as well as touch. Quite often, he goes days without speaking, and he rebuffs any physical affection. Instead of wallowing in loneliness, however, Mary seeks others who need a hug, a smile, a gentle word, a helping hand. Because Mary knows Palmer’s secret too.

How do you turn your frown upside-down?

Image courtesy of stockimages at

It’s the little things

Leave a comment

A few days ago my daughter’s boyfriend showed up at our front door with a bouquet of flowers for her just because. Last week a pair of teenage girls complimented me on my outfit. A friend of mine topped the gas tank of my rental car when I was traveling, and then treated me to a vanilla chai with a slice of low-fat banana bread on the side. A couple of months ago I grabbed a box of cereal off a shelf at the grocery store for a woman in a wheelchair. Even a text message to let someone know you care can make a big difference. Random acts of kindness — the little things that put smiles on our faces — take only minutes, sometimes seconds, to perform. And we leave the world a little brighter than it was before. Let’s try it today and see what happens.

When was the last time you received or expressed a random act of kindness?