If only

“The mind can make a heaven out of hell or a hell out of heaven”-John Milton.

Without money
Without money (Photo credit: Toban Black)

Many people say they could be happy if only their family members were more loving to them. Others say they could be happy if only they had more money, if only they had a better job, if only they weren’t overweight.

The amazing thing is, if a person is not happy with what they have today, they probably won’t be happy after they get what they want. I often read about rich people who are bored and dissatisfied with life. Often people who appear to have great relationships are very unhappy with their loved ones. Most people find something they don’t like in life and allow that to be dominant in their thoughts, while forgetting about the multitudes of blessings they have.

If a person doesn’t have enough money today, they probably won’t have enough money after they win the lottery. Sounds impossible, doesn’t it? I have heard from more than one source that 85% of the people who win the lottery go bankrupt within 5 years of winning the money. They get rich, start getting friends who are even richer than them and feel they have to keep up with them. Now they have more and are not happy with what they have. Soon they squander the money away and end up broke.

I remember riding a bus in a faraway country. It was a very rough ride, apparently the bus had no shock absorbers and every time we hit a pot hole in the road (and there were many of them) I got jolted so hard that it began to feel like the bones in my bottom were going to punch through my skin. I sat there feeling sorry for myself because of the painful bus ride. Presently I looked at another passenger across the aisle. She was dressed in the poorest of clothes, probably from a very poor village in that country. She had a smile on her face. I was surprised because she looked like she was enjoying the bus ride. I began thinking about what her life of poverty must have been like. I suppose for her it was a privilege to ride a bus, she probably had to walk most places. The bus ride that was hell to me was heaven to her.

One thing many people taught me over the years is to count my blessings. It really is true that if you sit down and make a list of the good things in your life, they will be far greater in number than the bad. But I, like most people, sometimes allow the bad things to dominate my mind.

Want to be happier? Sit down every day a make a list of your blessings and spend time being grateful for each one. This will not only make you feel better, it will also bring more good into your life. I explained this concept more in several of my previous posts.

What do you think? Do you have any examples of this in your life? Leave a comment.


  1. The two words that could change the lives of billions of people.

    I used to say “If only I hadn’t let my [ex]wife go to the festival, she would never have met that bloke she left me for” but that would not have left me where I am today.

    So “if only” all you want, it won’t change anything. Instead “I’m glad I did..” and you will be

  2. Reblogged this on Aura Borealis and commented:
    Love this post from Brad Stanton! Even for all the difficulties that I have with my health (see yesterday’s post for details), I do try hard to see the brighter side of things as much as possible. I think that’s the only way to get through life with your chin up and your head on straight.

    Thanks for the reminder, Brad! 🙂

  3. Difficult to say that I have an example of this in my life. I tend simply to live my life this way, so cannot really comment on not doing so. Yes, there are times that it is harder and one does end up wishing for something else but I have never tended to ponder on these thoughts for too long. I have had much and I have had little but have always remained happy. Maybe my fantastic family and friends assist with this. Maybe I draw fabulous people like this to me. I don’t know. I do know, however, that I prefer being happy and, therefore, choose to be so.

    Loved your post

  4. to be able to live, to breathe, to appreciate the four seasons, to experience the light after a tunnel of darkness, to know the highs as well as the lows … all these are blessings to life.

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