Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Are You Happy?

Excerpted from Inspiration from a Blind brought to you monthly by

June 1st issue...

By the time you read this, I'll be wheeling around the halls at BookExpo America 2007, coaxing publishers and bookstores to buy my books. I will share my adventures with you in the next issue. You can listen to my short podcast at
Now on with this month's newsletter.

Are you happy? Are you truly, seriously, undoubtedly happy right this minute? Well, your answer may be yes since you probably had something good happen to you. But let's pretend that nothing "extraordinary" happened. Would you still be happy? Are you happy with your life, with yourself? Sure, your life isn't perfect (no one's is) but how many things in your life are you happy and content about? (Wait, don't answer that yet--you might give me "Not much!")

In order to be happy, you have to be happy! Now that sounds weird, I know, but let me explain. Happiness is the foundation of a good and successful life. When you start with happiness, you attract more happiness into your life. True, there are certain things, like life's necessities (food, shelter, clothing), family, and friends, that most people need to have in order to be happy, but the point is, no one or no other item can make you truly happy--only you have the power to create happiness in your life. You may be a billionaire and have all the friends in the world, but if you don't like yourself for whatever reason, you won't feel happy. You need to accept and be happy with yourself first. Your opinion of yourself is the most important opinion of all. Others can say how great you are, but if you think otherwise, it's not going to bring you total and absolute happiness. If you feel you have done something wrong, which is a cause of your unhappiness, then sincerely apologize for your wrong, promise to never commit the same error, and move on. Forgive yourself.

If you are happy in nature, you will enjoy what's around you more; you'll make others around you happy. You'll make more friends, enjoy what you do and say, and cherish life more.

The key in being truly happy is knowing how to appreciate the "small" things in life. You won't be a very happy person if you expect huge rewards out of life or without receiving great benefits. Happiness is not about the quantity; it's about the quality. And by quality, I don't mean wealth. You need to appreciate the quality of the purity of life. How do you find the purity of life so you can know how to appreciate it? Purity of life is everything minus the man-made problems. Think about it, most problems we face (except for natural disasters and diseases/illnesses) are caused by men. Brush away those problems for a moment and you'll then see the purity of life.

Let's take my life for example. I was nicknamed the Happy Baby when I was an infant. Now you can think that I probably had a great childhood, filled with friends, toys, and good people. Although I do have the best mom, my life was filled with intense pain that cut through my joints like knives. Yet, I smiled through my tears; I laughed between sobs; and my misty eyes lit up when I caught something pretty in the room. I was happy, for I loved--and still do--life.

I must say that I am one of those few lucky people who have been born with a happy nature. But it's not too hard to acquire happiness even if you aren't born this way. The thing to ask yourself is "Do I want to be happy?" Answering yes will not do anything for you--you have to commit to that yes and on how to find that happiness.

In life, there are always two roads to choose from: the road to happiness and the road to misery. By picking the road to misery, you will put yourself in a more miserable situation than the one you are already in; plus, you'll spread your misery on to others, making those around you miserable, too. Remember, happiness attracts happiness; same goes with misery.

I'm not telling you to jump for joy when someone close to you passes away or after you lost your job or get a broken heart. The thing is that whatever happens to you, life moves on, and you need to decide if you want to move on or not.

Who wouldn't want to be happy? While the answer may be obvious, it appears to me that very few are truly serious about living with happiness. People's focus easily diverges when a negative comments comes their way or when something doesn't go as planned. Keep your eye on your goal of being happy, then you'll find it quite easy to remain happy. Happy people are more successful in life because they are able to move on and achieve; they don't dwell on the negativity that surrounds them. I know this, for I'm not known as the Happy Princess for nothing.

So, how many things in your life are you happy and content about?

I was filled with extra happiness on May 10. What's so special about that day? Well, my mom and I flew to Las Vegas. I was there for two events: my filming session (I'm in an inspirational documentary about a book series, of which I'm a co-author) and the world premier of the Pass It On movie, an empowering film where top leaders and experts share their secrets and blueprints to success. The movie was excellent, but their secret was no secret to me--as I was listening to the film, I felt as though the experts were describing my own life and insights and what I've been teaching others. I met and took photos with Charlie "Tremendous" Jones, David Dean, Kimberly Mack, Bill Bartmann, Robin Leach (host of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous show), and a handful of other celebrities and well-known folks. But I regret to say that many of the photos were taken on a bad roll of film (can't believe my luck!), I also had the pleasure of meeting (and taking photos with) the creators of the film: Jon Dixon, Greg S. Reid, and David Corbin. What a day to remember! I have a photo of me from that day posted toward the top of my site, if you wish to see it:

By the time you finished reading this issue, I'll probably be having the honor of shaking the hand of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Stay tuned for my next issue to hear what I've been up to!

Have a very happy June!

Shirley Cheng,

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