Insights: From the Inside Out

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happinessSurrounded by people at the airport in Minnesota, I look around and smile as I see people laughing, crying, hugging, or just in their own heads, moving as fast as they can through the crowds.

It reminds me of the beginning of the movie “Love Actually.” Why does it take us going away somewhere to acknowledge and embrace not just our family and friends, but also where we live?

While in Minnesota I attended a graduation where one of the speakers talked about how exciting it is to be on this new and scary path to the future.

I look at the graduate’s excited and fresh release on life. I realize how often we lose that feeling, and how we can feel stuck in the same old same old.

Yet hearing some of these graduate stories, it does not take age for us to feel stuck.

The speaker had the graduates who had children stand up (about a fourth), who were married and had to support a family (about an eighth), people who were on scholarship due to financial hardship (about 40 people).

Minnesota has a high rate of Somalians. The hardships many of these people had to experience to attend school were incredible, and yet they pushed, and worked and created their dreams.

Sometimes things come easy to us and sometimes things can be a challenge, but when we have that dream in front of us, it is amazing what we are capable of.

Sometimes we get tired—we’ve all been there. Without sounding corny, it is amazing what passion or love can do to move us forward. When we love something and time passes, we enjoy it more.

My way of staying in love with my life is to focus on whatever it is that I am doing and imagine it is the first time experiencing it. I take an active role in seeing, hearing and getting who I am with or what I am doing.

It takes practice and is not always easy. The reward is that even the mundane things in life can be more interesting, more fulfilling. I know, I sound like such the idealist, and that I am, yet I also know from coming from that place, life is much more enjoyable. I contribute more and I get more. I am also a realist and know that that tough things happen, but fighting them does not work. Feeling the pain and finding a place of acceptance does.

I love this story: a farmer is dying, and tells his sons that on his farm lies a secret treasure, and that they need to dig to find it.

The sons started to dig as soon as the father died. However, after a year of turning up the soil, there was no treasure to be found. Yet that year, the farm produced the best crop ever.

We often think what we want is an instant treasure that will produce happiness. But truly, happiness comes from working hard, being authentic, and being the best version of ourselves.

I know I keep stressing these points in my articles, because we as a society do not teach this. We teach that happiness comes from the outside in, but truly it comes from the inside out. That I know for sure.

Contact Shelly at [email protected] or

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