On Monday, May 11, 2020, I wrote about the keys to happiness in the article “Discover the Five Keys to Put on Your Life Key Ring to Help Your Journey Toward Happiness.”
Today, I’d like to look at the second half of the quote “You carry the passport to your own happiness.”
If you look to Dictionary.com for a definition of “passport,” you’ll find, in short, that it is an official document to travel and that it verifies who you are. (Yup, I simplified the five varying definitions into one.)
I got my first passport when I was in high school during my sophomore year. That summer, I headed to Denmark with the high school’s orchestra for the International Youth Music Festival .
I was super excited all year AND super busy with fund raisers and rehearsals in addition to the courses and activities that I already participated in. BUT I was going to Denmark.
It was the first time I had taken a plane over the ocean to a different country, but it wouldn’t be the last. We spent a week in Copenhagen, Denmark, and another week on “the main land” of Denmark with a Danish farm family. It was an experience of a lifetime.
My passport expired in 1983, and since I was getting married and didn’t have plans to travel outside the US at the time, I let that passport expire.
In 2018, however, I applied once again for a passport. I hadn’t needed one when we flew to the US Virgin Island of St. Croix in 2015 and again in 2017, but my husband and I decided that we wanted to go on our first cruise. It was easier to get the passport before making cruise plans that hustling to get the passport after the fact. Since Hubby obtained his passport when the company he worked for had him traveling to and from Canada, he was covered; but I needed one.
Getting a travel passport is a relatively easy and straight forward process, but it requires patience while waiting for the government to process the information.
For most of us, the term passport means that we possess that little booklet of pages (and a hard card) that allows us to exit and enter this country. It claims that we are a U.S. citizen.
But according to dictionary.com, the word “passport” also means “anything that ensures admission or acceptance.” It goes on to give this example: “A good education can be your passport to success.”
So, if a passport could ensure admission or acceptance to a life that was filled with happiness, what should the passport include?
FIRST: You need to learn to look inward, to determine what would make YOU happy. YOU can’t rely on others to make us happy. Why? Because what will make them happy might not make you happy.
SECOND: Eat and move with your health in mind. I grew up with the adage “You are what you eat.” In essence, when you are healthy you tend to be happier.
THIRD: Make sure to spend some time outside each and every day. Sunlight is thought to boost the brain’s production of serotonin which helps improve your mood and increases your ability to focus and remain calm.
FOURTH: Work to create balance in your life. Ask for help and share the house work and yard work. Don’t bring your work problems home and don’t bring your home problems to work.
FIFTH: Carve out a section of each day to do something YOU enjoy. Sometimes that can be easy, like if you really enjoy baking and you take time to bake something special for the family.