By Nick Howard, Development Associate at Stonehill College
Quite simply, I love life. It is as easy as that. Each day for me has moments that make me feel true joy and fill me with a feeling of excitement for more to come. Upon reflection, this lifestyle is rooted in three core principles.
First, I begin each day grateful for the rising sun. Great days come out of good mornings. When I was a child, my mother would have me leave the kitchen and come back in if I was in a bad mood. In her own way she taught me to awake each day ready to embrace it and anything short of that was almost ungrateful for the chance to do so. Today I begin each day naming all the things I am excited about. Quite often I realize that there are many blessings to find in a busy day of work. After this quick exercise, I am able to easily move into my morning routine and prepare for the day. I feel that others should begin their day in a similar way. It could be walking the dog in the morning or calling a loved one, either way it should be an activity that puts things into perspective and allows you to take advantage of the quietness of the morning. You can get a few words in before the noise of the day starts.
Second, I only do things I like. I firmly believe that life is too short to do anything else. Now, I know and will acknowledge that it is not always possible. We all have to do things from time to time we would rather take a pass on but that doesn’t mean you cannot work in elements you enjoy. No matter what I am doing or where I am going, I am dressed with the intent of self-expression and I am listening to music I genuinely enjoy. To that point of music, I only listen to artists and songs that connect to the person I aspire to be. They are compositions with purposeful lyrics and thoughtful music. I take as much satisfaction from shouting them loudly out of tune as softly singing them to myself. Yes, life is about more than clothes or music, but there is a reason that they are cultural touchstones and they go along way to putting you in a good mood.
Lastly, and this one is a little personal, but I have overcome too much to not take advantage of all afforded to me. I was born disabled and have spent my life coming to understand and ultimately embrace my Cerebral Palsy as a chance to grow personally, spiritually, and mature into a person I am proud to be. I have a saying that perspective is quite often served up on a silver plate. For me, it was given at birth.
Now, these principles are where I am at right now in life and they may change down the line, but I live a wonderful life and I am grateful every day to do so. I wish others the same.