Don’t Worry. Be Happy.

don't worry be happy“Here is a little song I wrote
You might want to sing it note for note
Don’t worry, be happy
In every life we have some trouble
When you worry you make it double
Don’t worry, be happy……”

Those of you born in the 90’s and beyond may not remember this catchy little tune that actually hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts for two consecutive weeks in 1988. Those of you who do remember may have the pleasure of this song being stuck in your head for the next two weeks!

Let’s begin with a big parenthesis. “Happy,” as it is used in the English language, is not the goal of this life. For this post, and for the future when this song is stuck in our heads, let’s redefine “happy.”

Happy: extraordinary peace; joy in spite of circumstances; placement of people and situations which I can not change or control into the hands of a God who loves me and wants the best for me.

If you were to make a line with worry on the far left and happy on the far right, where would you place your dot? Where would your marriage dot, parenting dot, financial dot, health dot, safety dot, future dot, and death dot go on that line?

I have a lot of experience with worry. I don’t have a PhD, but I would not say that I am a beginner. (By the way, this isn’t necessarily a good thing!) One thing I know for certain: worry does not serve me. Worry in one area of my life (i.e. finances) impacts areas of my life that are relatively free from worry. Worry impacts my emotions, responses, relationships, productivity, and even the fine lines and wrinkles on my face! Worry is not worth it!

“Don’t worry, be happy” is a choice.

Nobody makes us worry. We choose worry when we hide instead of owning our part in a situation, procrastinate, leave bills unpaid, don’t communicate clearly, and don’t resolve grievances.

What are you doing — or not doing — that is causing worry in your life?
Honestly evaluate key areas of life (dots listed above).
Take 15 minutes and come up with a solution or take an action that will move your spirit in the direction of happy.

John 10:10 says that Jesus came so that we might have “life, more and better life than we ever dreamed of.” That is the kind of extraordinary life I want to live; how about you?

Be Extraordinary!

15 Minutes

I am convinced that most issues and attitudes can be changed in a mere fifteen minutes. They won’t necessarily be completely resolved, but radically changed.

1515 minutes.

For example, imagine your kitchen is a disaster and the sink is piled with dishes. We also have a corner of our kitchen counter that is often stacked with mail, school papers, books, and today there is a pair of binoculars. When I look at the kitchen it can seem overwhelming — it seems like it would take an hour to get it back in shape.

15 minutes.

Here is where fifteen minutes comes in to save the day. Set a timer (thank you Fly Lady) for fifteen minutes, pick something (i.e. dishes, counter, or table), crank up some tunes, and get busy. This isn’t even about hurrying, but work on the kitchen for the full fifteen minutes. Every time I do this I am blown away by how quickly things turn around. Usually I easily finish within the timed fifteen minutes. Often I accomplish more — recycling out, garbage out, dishwasher started, etc.

15 minutes.

I have seen this same thing work with other areas of the house, my work time (working at home requires self-motivation that is sometimes lacking), solving a problem, and even my attitude.

timer15 minutes.

One area of my home that requires fifteen minutes of consistent attention is paper and clutter. I gave this one the first fifteen and then realized it would serve me and my family to give those papers fifteen minutes of each day. You can read about this decision in Moomers, Candy Crush, and Paper Piles.

15 minutes.

It’s not much, but fifteen minutes a day could improve your marriage, change your financial situation, clean up your clutter, put dinner on the table, flowers in the vase, veggies in the garden, artwork on the walls, and much much more.

15 minutes.

What area of your life could use a fifteen minute turn-around? Is there something that is in desperate need of fifteen minutes of your attention? The journey of an extraordinary life can begin with just fifteen minutes.

Be Extraordinary!