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Springing Up

The late April showers and soft transition of temperatures that set the course for this year's May flowers were a wonderful blessing. I almost always have a rain jacket or umbrella and never let the weather get me down. Since I can't change it, I try to control the "controllables" by being adaptable and prepared. There are many things that we have no authority over, but our thoughts and emotions are not on that list.

If you think this is a stoic way of thinking, you are correct. In 3rd century B.C., the philosopher Zenos became known as the founding father of Stoicism, which is a philosophy of personal ethics to help one move through life with a smile rather than being overwhelmed by pursuits of trivial pleasures or becoming consumed by fears. One simply does his/her part in the big plan by working in harmony with others and treating them fairly and justly. So, it's not a bad way to approach things.

Other philosophies that may help our happiness bloom this season:

Build strength over worry.
Once you realize that you have no power over external events, only your own mind, then you will find your strength. This was one of the musings of Marcus Aurelius, who was one of a half dozen "good" emperors. Accept a heavy burden or failure as a resource to gain strength or wisdom or as a stepping-stone toward what you see as success.

Be selective with your wishes.
Seneca stated to be wary of the pursuit of material things, as it is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves too much who is poor. Stuff is stuff, and stuff is temporary. Excessive materialism is often an attempt to replace something that is missing within you with something around you. Be mindful of the deception of "things." First and foremost, fulfill your heart and mind. Then, buy a fishing boat (sorry, just checking to see if my wife reads these).

Prioritize, analyze, and initialize.
It isn't that we have so little time, but that we waste so much of it on trivial things. Get out of bed and do the work. The birds are doing their job, the ants are building, and the squirrels are gathering. Do your part as a member of society. Reflect on how your time is spent and make the needed changes to realize your dreams.

Do what it takes to sow your seeds of happiness and grow into the person you want to spend the rest of life being. Flourish. 

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