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Friday, 7 October 2011

Forgetting to Be Happy by J. A. Bennett

(Source: Contemplation)

Why hello! It's Jennie from A Book, A Girl, A Journey come to inspire and entertain once more. You'll find the lovely Lynn over at Jenny Hansen's blog today, so hop on over there once you're done here!

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A couple of weeks ago I listened to speech from a respected religious leader, Ditier F. Uchdorf. He centered his talk on this flower. 

Since the flower has five petals he talked about five things we should "forget not". Many things he said applied to writing as well as life. One stuck out in particular.

Forget not to be happy now.

He started by relating happiness to the "golden ticket" in Charlie and the Chocolate factory.  

He said, "In this classic children’s story, people all over the world desperately yearn to find a golden ticket. Some feel that their entire future happiness depends on whether or not a golden ticket falls into their hands. In their anxiousness, people begin to forget the simple joy they used to find in a candy bar. The candy bar itself becomes an utter disappointment if it does not contain a golden ticket."

It's so easy in the writing world, especially in online forums, to feel as if what we are doing is not enough. We want to write so many words a day, we want to have successful blogs and online profiles, we want to be published.

All of these are good desires, and all of these are things we should be striving for, but are we losing sight of our happiness now?

I have a desire to be published, it's something I've been working towards for quite awhile. I've been doing what I can, writing and refining my skills, but I have felt myself getting stressed out over my work.

I want nothing less than perfection so every little critique was getting me down. Hearing this speech was like an "ah ha!" moment where I realized that even though what I want is good, it doesn't mean that I need to sacrifice my happiness for it. 

I shouldn't be waiting around my whole life for a golden ticket when a perfectly good chocolate bar is staring me in the face. Writing makes me happy, that's why I do it. If getting published is my golden ticket then it's something I need to earn. In the meantime I'm going to enjoy that fact that I get to do something that I love every day. Now excuse me while I go find the nearest candy store.

Do you get caught up in waiting for your golden ticket? What are you doing to be happy now?

Jennie is a stay-at-home mom of a three-year-old boy and a one-year-old girl. Besides writing, Jennie has a passion for cooking and good movies. She blogs at A Book, A Girl, A Journey about writing and other musing on life. She is currently writing a young adult novel about a girl who learns the rules of time travel the hard way.